Antisocial or just plain content?

Discussion in 'Countryside Families' started by Earthbound, Dec 23, 2006.

  1. Earthbound

    Earthbound Well-Known Member

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    This topic has been on the forefront of my life for a while now. I have a full time job working on our farm, we have critters which take up lots of time, fields to ammend, greenhouses to prepare and take care of, crops to grow and tend to.....we operate a functioning farm and support ourselves off of it. Bottom line, at the end of the day i'm pooped. Its a 7 day a week job, 365.
    Alot of my friends don't understand our lifesyle choice, we are always getting invited out to the pub or dinner parties and 99% of the time we decline. I try to explain that i need to lock down the critters at dark and need to be up at the crack of dawn so a late night for me is 9pm :1pig: . I am not interested in loosing any sleep or being tired the next day and having to write off a day of work here by being tired. I love our life, our farm and the animals. I AM content here, but it's always brought up about how "anti-social" we've become since we got the farm.
    We have a friend that moved in with us about a month back, I've known him since I was 16 and he's a farm boy from the praries and spent his life on dairy farms, he knows farms and the work they are. We are slow with growing in the winter and needed someone to help out with the rent. Things started off great and now he's doing the " do you want to go to a movie?" thing at 8 at night and as always I say no. I AM tired, and want to chill out and read before bed. I don't know what he expected, but it's frustrating. He does not know many people and i think he's wanting me to be his social life. I did before he moved in, explain our life and our choices...........
    I look around at our place and take such pride in what we've created and feel so blessed with the fact that we can live off our land . We are avid recyclers and are very modest, but everything runs smoothly albeit maybe not "beautiful" at times..lol!
    He has at time refered to us as "hippies" or "hillbillies" and i explained that i was hurt by these names and that he needed to be abit more open to the way we do things or hit the road. I'm venting here and just wanted to know if any of you have had "problems" like this and if so, how did you deal with them?
    New years eve is coming up and we have an invite to a friends party where everyone is going. I'm getting calls daily.."your coming...right????". Somehow I'm feeling guilty for saying "no" again......... Fact of the matter, I'm not interested in the drunk party scene and would rather spend a night in "alone" with DH, a bottle of wine and a movie. I guess some would view it as us not having any life as we very seldom leave the farm, but we've worked our butts off to get to this point.
    Anyhow thatnks for letting me get this out and I look forward to your stories.
    corry
     
  2. Wildwood Flower

    Wildwood Flower Halfway, OR & Wagoner, OK

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    Corry,

    I can certainly understand where you're coming from. However, I do believe that moderation in all things is a better way. A little bit of social life for you and DH will do you good in the long run. If you don't take a little time out, pretty soon it won't seem nearly so pleasant together.

    I just learned this from long experience.

    In the "good ole days" people took time out to go to church and prayer meeting on Wednesday evenings, and maybe a dance once a month. My folks did this, and their marriage lasted for 60 happy years. I don't think my mother would have held out without a little sort of social diversion now and then. She and my Dad bowled together every Wednesday evening too.

    Maybe you will find new friends who share your enthusiasm for the farm life. Sounds like your old friends have a different lifestyle is all.
     

  3. Earthbound

    Earthbound Well-Known Member

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    Thank you and you are right. I think I made it sound like I'm farm bound...lol! We do get out, but I prefer to do daytime things and buckle in at night. Every tuesday afternoon the DH and i do what we love best, which is thrift shopping and hitting the flea markets. We get up early, feed and muck out the farm then off for breakfast and a day of "junking". We also do have people stop by during the day and we make trips of the feed store run and do the regular running around. In the summer we open up our farm for tours and teach composting and permaculture workshops. We are also involved with a local non profit that helps to educate people on the importance of eating locally and growing their own foods. we have a demonstration garden at our place and host tours for school kids and people in retirement homes. So it's not like we don't see anyone or interact. We just prefer to stay in at night and prepare for the next day.
    corry
     
  4. farmergirl

    farmergirl Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have had the same dilemma that you are having now. I agree with the advice to do all things in moderation. It's easy to get so into things around the farm that you sort of tune out the outside world, but I don't think it's altogether healthy. Seek a balance between home/work(farm)/alone time/ hubby time/ friend time. One problem I had for awhile was my friends not understanding that I needed time to spend alone with my hubby. We were working opposite schedules and seldom had time to hang out. One friend would talk and talk and talk on the other end of the phone, even after I said I needed to go to spend time with my hubby. I finally made the decision to carve out time for him and also time to spend with my friends. It's hard to balance the farming pursuits with a fulltime off the farm job and a social life to boot, but I've figured out how to do it. I only commit to get togethers with friends when I know I can/will attend. That saves me from feeling guilty. Alot of people are early risers, even if they are "city folk". I think you could make an exception for NEW YEAR'S EVE! I mean, come on, you gotta break out of the mold every now and then!

    Just my rambling thoughts.....
     
  5. suburbanite

    suburbanite Well-Known Member

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    Invite some of the carousing friends to spend a 'relaxing' weekend on the farm, and 'let' them tag along with you on all your chores. :rolleyes:
     
  6. 1GandJ1

    1GandJ1 Well-Known Member

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    I have enjoyed the comments here. I have asked the same questions of myself. Some of the answers I had come up with are..... my life has to matter to more people then my direct family. So I need to therefore rub elbows with others, wether I want to or not. I have things to say and a personality that can be used to make a difference in other peoples lives.

    I too need to hear and learn from others of all walks of life to help me be a better person. I can only accomplish this by having contact with others.

    Now with that staement it seems that you do accomplish interaction with others and it sounds like alot of fun ( I would enjoy being around someone like you and your DH)

    I see that your scheduale is the only thing that doesn't match up with others so well. Maybe stretching your personal wants once in a while would be good for you and others. Also, maybe invite the others to the flea market or an afternoon movie would make them feel you are available for friendship.

    Can you see that if THEY turn you down for an afternoon couples get together because They can't change their schedule it would cut down on the comments.

    Ask your tennant to go to a 4:00pm movie not an 8:00pm movie. If he says no then most comments would have to stop. You sound like great people and personal growth is a good thing. Hope your year end activities are all you wish for.
     
  7. Dubai Vol

    Dubai Vol Well-Known Member

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    I certainly sympathise with your plight: you have changed your life and still have friends who are in the "normal" grind: they work nine to five and party evenings and weekends.

    My advice: make extraordinary efforts to keep your old friends in your life. These people are still reaching out to you. Reach back. That doesn't have to mean going out in the evenings with them. It could mean inviting them round your place on a Saturday afternoon for a barbecue.

    Bottom line: friends are priceless. Don't lose them because your lifestyle is no longer the same as theirs. Keep the lines of communication open. Even if you can't go out, let them know how much you appreciate that they are keeping you in mind, promise to reciprocate, and follow through.

    Just as your livestock is worth a little extra effort, so are your friends.
     
  8. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    I'm a lot like you...when the chores are done in the evening, I'm ready to wind down, and get some sleep. I do my socializing mostly during the day, and I like it like that. Even when I 'go out', I want to be home by 9:00 pm. I can't function well after then, anyway, so I'm not having fun. And I can't 'fake' fun for the sake of others.

    But, we have occasional parties at our house, some of which have folks who hang on until the late hours. It's a bit easier, though, because I'll leave them with my husband and get the chores done, or occasionally get some help from the guests. We also have people over for daytime barbeques or something. (Sometimes we do that when we need some help! We got a freestanding 8 x 20 sheep shelter turned last time!)

    I guess what I'm saying is to make sure you socialize...but do it on terms you can be happy with. If you force yourself to 'pretend' you're having fun, you'll end up resenting the friends you're trying to hold on to.

    Meg
     
  9. Earthbound

    Earthbound Well-Known Member

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    Thank you all for ALL the comments and advice. It got me thinking and I agree with the fact that most of the "problem" is our difference in schedules. During the summer our place is rocking. We have tours as i mentioned, BBq's, and work parties. We even hosted a formal outdoor dinner for a local high end restaurant where they prepared the menu with everything grown and raised off our farm, it was amazing and the guests were journalists taking a food critic course. We have people over to help on the farm with big tasks and in return we feed them and send them off with vegi starts we grew here on the farm. Last year we had 11 outdoor parties, mostly mid afternoon to 9'ish so that the kids could come, we pen off some gentle chickens for the kids to pet and spend time with them and show them where their food comes from(or should :rolleyes: ). I have invited some of the more "urban" friends to come by for a day of "work" or help harvesting, but the excuses are endless. I guess with this new years thing coming up, my frustrations got the best of me. It also is pretty special that they still are extending the offer, they must really love us. As I mentioned we have worked very hard to get where we are. Our goals were ,to be financially self sufficient off the land and to be mentors in the community in regards to ethical growing and food choices. i feel we have reached both these goals. We have become growers for a local chef co-operative where these chefs have made a commitment to support local growers and serve only local produce on their menu's. We also host meetings for this co-operative. Working towards our goals has also taken away from our time available to hang out. I guess I just need to have some heart to hearts and say these things to my pals.
    Thank you all again for your advice, and please keep them coming!
    corry
     
  10. tinda

    tinda Well-Known Member

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    My parents farmed -- long ago when there were no conveniences like electricity, etc. My DD always took Sunday as a day of rest, no work outside of chores. He always said "If I can't make a go of it in six days, be darned if I will make it in seven!"
    They did just fine and had time for friends and recreation.

    Merry Christmas
    tinda
     
  11. Sharon in NY

    Sharon in NY Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like your friends are feeling neglected - they don't want to do what you want to do, and you don't want to do what they want. Can you compromise a little? Shut the critters in early and go out 1 night a month for an evening event, and then have an afternoon get-together once a month for friends where you host? Because the bottom line is that you may want these relationships again. With your friend who is living with you - even if you don't want to go out, could you spend an hour playing scrabble or just talking? It sounds like you may be very protective of your evenings - I understand that completely - we're up by five and I hate night activities. But I do recognize that we have social ties that matter, and once in a while we stay up too late and go to bed early the next night in order to have a family connection. I don't mean to be critical, but would it really be so disastrous for you, once in a while, to be a little short on sleep in the service of a relationship that is presumably important to you? Speaking as someone with four small kids, who has been sleep deprived for the last 8 years ;-), I can say it isn't the end of the world. I *do* understand the desire not to do evening things, but these are clearly people who want to maintain their connection to you, and are at a loss as to how to do it. Can you help them find a way? Can you compromise a little, and ask them to do the same? Friendship is so precious, I'd hate to see you lose it.

    Sharon
     
  12. crashy

    crashy chickaholic goddess

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    I would not call it antisocial I think of it as you have worked all day and your tired!! LOL
    Seriously, I really think your content, some folks need to be around other people a lot more than others.
    We prefer to not be around too many people and when we are is usually family and that is enough for us. My brother thinks we are crazy living the way we do. Hes is always running around joining softball teams and such...I think he is crazy!!
    I don't like bars they are too smokey and those type of folks are not my style anymore. I am sure there are plenty of nice folks who are at these bars but just not my thing. I like to be home puttin around playing with my birds and dogs, gardening home stuff.
    I guess we are just stay at home folks.
     
  13. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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    Dh and I have each other. We have the homestead. That is all we need. We have a few friends scattered around the country, but none near by. Nobody bothers us or expects us to explain ourselves or justify our lifestyle.

    donsgal
     
  14. Oregon Too

    Oregon Too Active Member

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    If it helps, we are the same way. Except our summers are busy but nowhere near as much as yours!

    I dunno - the older I get the more I just want to do only what pleases me. DH is the same. Going out at night just isn't pleasing anymore. The things I love are my husband, my animals and my farm. If they were gone tomorrow, I would only regret not having more time with them. I can't say the same thing about going out on the town, getting together with friends too often or the like.

    And we were pretty damned social when we were younger...and like I told DH, if we change our minds, lets be uber social again. And likely, when we are really ancient goobers, we can even move to a retirement center, with planned activities if we REALLY think we are missing out:)

    But man, here it is the same thing - people yattering about us being "anti-social", "hey, why don't you get out more?" or if DH runs to town for groceries and I don't go, it is "hey, do you really HAVE a wife, cause we never see her, yuck, yuck," and on and on. Yet everytime we do go to town, we catch up on the gossip, and guess what? MANY of the people who are calling us anti-social and saying we are really idiots for being stay at homes are a) having affairs (like we run into the husband and girlfriend!!) or just got divorced. Just learned of two today when DH made a post office run. I told him he is lucky I am such an easy keeper, lol.. I'd venture to say most of these people say they wanted to be out and about more because they don't like what is at home. But we do, and at our ages (barely 50s) we've seen a lot of this.

    People who know us very well are okay with this - and those who aren't, and get almost possessed with telling us to get more of what they think is an active life? Well, I drop 'em. Most of our friends and acquaintances now days must be people who can handle a relationship where we see each other in person infrequently - there are lots of good people out there for whom this works well.

    We understand we've been blessed with our relationship over the last 30 years, and plan to just keep doing what we enjoy for as many days as we are yet to be given. What a gift - I won't willingly trade a minute of that for things that just don't ring my bell. P.S. I come from this stock - my parents have ALWAYS been like this, and they married at 16 and are almost 80 now. And I used to think they were wierd when I was young, laughs on me!
     
  15. Oregon Too

    Oregon Too Active Member

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    And p.s. I too used to feel the guilt when I said no - but honestly, the coolest people are real friends who should completely understand and let you bow out gracefully. Like call to invite you, so you feel included, but know you well enough and respect your values enough to expect to hear "sorry, can't make it but love you anyway."

    You got the good life by the short hairs - don't let go of it unless you really feel something is missing, and definitely not just because your friends think so based on what rings their bells.
     
  16. farmergirl

    farmergirl Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I will say that my wanderlust has diminished since I've found a place where I belong....my farm! Now when we talk of vacations, I often want to just vacation at home. Still, I don't want to limit myself to just farming and homesteading and animal rearing. I like to see movies and go to book readings and concerts. I like to shop at the co-op and I can't do that from home. If we were all content with just what's at home, we wouldn't be chatting up a storm here on this board! I also find that as much as I LOVE our farm and all our animals, I love it in a whole new light when I spend some time away in the city dealing with traffic, hearing of our city friend's tales of neighbor woes, high taxes, noise and light pollution, complaints about their dog that barks (surprise! dog's do bark sometimes...). It sure feels good to get back to the real world (home) after an adventure in the city.
     
  17. MarleneS

    MarleneS Well-Known Member

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    When I was a youngster my parents were often concerned with how much time I spent alone. My social butterfly twin sister made it convenvient for me to be around others if I got the urge, likely made me over look what it takes to be a good friend training.

    Just recently husband made a comment about my lack of being a friend skills :( Kinda hurt my feelings, after all it isn't as if I'm lacking friends, I have some very great friends...and I think they get me :)

    And yesterday I showing off another single spaced typed letter I got in a card from a friend I have had since grade school. Of course in the letter she did mention that all she got was a "Life goes on." Note in her card :(

    At my father's funeral last fall, I did get told that I missed out on a great weekend in New Orleans, with the other five best of friends from high school because they didn't have my address or phone number. I teased them about they didn't try hard enough because it's likely they know my twin has lived in the same house for the last 41 years :)

    I'm sticking with, if you're happy I'm happy and I'd appreciate the favor returned. And I'll work on the idea that being a friend requires that you put some effort and time into is so that hopefully when I'm old and have lots more time on my hands and I need a friend I'll still have a few left to visit.

    Hugs
    Marlene
     
  18. wyld thang

    wyld thang God Smacked Jesus Freak Supporter

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    Me and my hubby do enjoy going out once or twice a month. Our little town has great live music with local bands. Sometimes I go for coffee with my neighbor friend in the morning, and we have fun talking with friends we find at the shop. Saturday and sunday mornings are popular at the coffee place, kinda like how people go to the bar after work to blab and unwind. But mostly I am home, and I am sure content in that, too.

    I always liked those shows(like Northern Exposure) that showed folks interacting in the small town bar/grill. It really can be like that, although one does have to make the effort to reach out. I always say hello to folks I even barely know, like from school activities or neighbors. I'm a "waver" ;)

    Do you know your neighbors well? you could start there..since they don't have far to travel. Every once in a while we invite the neighbrs over for pie and a bonfire. Growing up sundays after church were for visiting, having friends for desert in the evening. The Sunday day of rest is still a good idea. IT's not good to go full tilt every day. Of course you still get basic chores done, but the rest of the time is for family and friends. IN the end you'll look back on people, more than how long your fence got...
     
  19. highlands

    highlands Well-Known Member

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    Remember: Friends are highly over rated. A slight nod of the head when passing is more than sufficient for maintaining human interaction. Now excuse me as there are projects to get back to... :)