All of us have known someone who has worked so hard and is so good at his or her job that fellow workers just can’t imagine how they could possibly be replaced. These are the people that can be counted on to give 110 percent no matter what is asked of them. They are the ones everyone says when a problem comes up, “Ask April” or ”See what Tom thinks.”
The same goes for church or community organizations—some individuals give so much time and effort to their extra- curricular jobs that no one believes it could keep on running without them. It’s the 4-H secretary who is so organized that she can answer just about any question and has years of on the job training to back it up. It’s the church volunteer who seems to have time for choir, cooking for dinners, making pies, teaching Sunday School, and everything else someone needs.
However, the sad fact of the matter is that all of us can be replaced at our jobs. There are always younger people ready to learn and maybe even improve on our work be it farming, teaching, nursing or working in a factory. They may not do it exactly as we did, but usually they get the job done.
It is also true for all the many extra activities all of us are in. There are always younger members to take on increased responsibility. Of course they will not do it exactly the way we did it and they probably will make changes, maybe even major changes. But the 4-H dairy program will continue, the Boy Scouts will still meet, and the women’s group at the church will find a new leader.
It is one of life’s hardest lessons—that we are replaceable.
There is one place though that we can’t be replaced. And that is within our families. To them we are all special, unique, exceptional and irreplaceable.
We need to start living our lives as though we really believe this—taking more time for our families, regardless of our jobs and the organizations we are active in. Because the granddaughter’s 7thbirthday party that you missed to do hay will never happen again; the niece’s wedding you should have attended but had to work is over, and the very special chance to see a baby enter this world was lost due to an activity commitment. These priceless family moments are gone forever and you weren’t there.
Yes, you can be replaced at your job and in your community life too, but NOT in your family life.
Kathy Smith is a farm wife from Wayne Township. She writes for the Ashtabula County Farm Bureau.