If you’re anything like me, you sort of have two different personas. There’s one you exhibit between the hours of 8 and 5 Monday through Friday, and another one you exhibit the rest of the time. Personally, I feel like when I drive into town for work, I’m a completely different person. Sort of because I have to be. But I’ve started to notice this is more the “norm” nowadays. Women who farm have in-town jobs, dress nicely, and do awesome in the corporate world.
The business-casual dress also puts a whole different spin on things. When people see me in ankle pants, a sleeveless blouse, and open toe wedges, they are usually pretty surprised to hear I have chickens, ducks, horses, and take care of our small hobby farm. As the old saying goes, Dress for the job you want. It would be pretty hard to land a job in an office if you showed up to the interview in your farm clothes.
I guess the same could be said for office attire making its way into the barn. Nice shoes, especially, have no place in the barn. I try really hard, but often find myself breaking that rule in a time crunch. [ See picture above 😉 ]
It is funny though how quickly we all change from one outfit to another, and in turn, from one persona to another. Sometimes when I get into work and start checking emails and drinking my coffee, I think to myself…Wow, just an hour ago I was in a dirty t-shirt, shorts, and boots–feeding chickens, horses, and cats, and cleaning stalls. Now here I am clicking my mouse and typing on my keyboard. (Yes, I washed my hands with soap and water!!)
This double life, with sides on complete opposite ends of the spectrum, sometimes makes me feel like people don’t “get” me. Which really I am perfectly okay with. But the one thing I have noticed over the years, among various jobs, is that sometimes there can be a disconnect among your colleagues depending on where you work. If you work in the agriculture or animal industry, then chances are you have colleagues who are living a very similar life. And will understand if you tell a story about how you were running late because a horse needed a wound cleaned, a bucket was frozen, or hay had to be tossed down from the loft. But if you don’t work in either of those industries, your stories will be lost upon confused ears. Wait, where did you have to go to get the hay? Is your horse going to make it? You had to use a hammer to break what?
I’ve worked in both kinds of places, and when you work with people who don’t really know farm life, it makes you appreciate it even more. The dedication and responsibility add so much value to life lessons, especially when you grow up that way. It can be fun to tell farm stories to people who don’t know this way of life, and when you come across those who are in awe, it really makes you see just how special farm life is.