At least she knows she doesn't want to be a farmer...
July 15, 2012 9:43 PM Subscribe
How does someone used to constant mental work adjust to the drudgery of manual labor?
posted by justalisteningman to Human Relations (27 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
My girlfriend is working on an organic farm for the next 3.5 months. Nice! Or so she thought.*
She recently moved to this farm from a highly interactive environment, where she was working with people, engaging with compelling ideas, writing reports, and using many parts of her brain all day (otherwise known as university). Going from the former to the latter is driving her batty: her brain is going to wonky places, and fixating on issues that she can't do anything about (notably, worrying about finding a job after the farm, the future of our relationship, and missing me). Thinking about these issues in a controlled environment is beneficial, but being consumed by them for hours on end in not productive.
She was looking forward to this summer, and the challenges it presented, but she's getting burned out rather quickly. It turns out that weeding for 7 hours a day gets old.
What can she do to help/ease/change this situation? Any advice welcome.
Details of note:
-LONG DAYS: She gets up at 5am, starts work at 5:30, and ends work around 7- 8pm. At the end of the day, she has about an 1-1.5 hours to herself, in which she prepares a meal for herself the next day, and reads, so she can do something with her mind.
-NOT A LOT OF FREE TIME: see above.
-NOT ABLE TO USE INTERNET/PHONE DURING WEEK - this place is in the boonies.
-ABLE TO USE IPOD - She can listen to music, meditations, and audio books on her iPod while she works. She's a little reluctant to do this, as it kind of defeats the purpose of connecting to nature.
- SAT, SUN, MON TO HERSELF: She spends weekends in her hometown, or visiting me, (or I'm visiting her). We are able to see each other about once every other week. However, most of her friends have left the town, leaving her feeling unfulfilled during most weekends.
-ISOLATED: There are the two older, 'all business' farmers, and a 17 year old intern on the farm. Not a lot of people to relate to. This, and the above issue, are problematic for her: she is someone who knows that having a supportive community is necessary for her.
-UNABLE TO LEAVE: the farmers there need her help this summer, and there are no alternates for replacing her. She will be there until the end of October.
Thanks! She's having a difficult summer. Again, any advice welcome.
*I mean, there are good portions and bad portions of the job. It's more complex, and she has difficulty describing how she feels about the situation. She's got this problem, and it's distracting her from enjoying her summer.