It’s going to rain. It’s done raining. It’s sunny. It’s cloudy. It’s windy. It’s calm. We’re broke down. We are not broke down. It’s going really well. It’s not going very well.

It never ends. There’s always a reason to work. I make those excuses to work nearly every single day of my life. I am the worst at finding every reason to work. I think some days my wife and kids appreciate my desire to work and other days, my excuses for working are frustrating.

Back in early September, one of my daughters suggested we go to watch an Iowa football game sometime this fall. That does make sense, because one of our best college friends’ son is a starter for the Iowa Hawkeyes football team. My daughter mentioned three possible dates that may work. Immediately I identified that the Penn State game would likely be the best game. The problem is that game was scheduled for Oct. 9, which was likely to be prime harvesting weather.

For the next couple of days, I wrestled with what decision to make. Do I step away from the farm on what could be a perfect day or rely on my excuse to work? A few days later, I said, “get the tickets. We’re going to the Iowa — Penn State game.”

I was committed to go. Secretly I was hoping for a rainy day because my mind would rest easier walking away from corn harvest if it was raining. I would rather sit in the rain at a football game than missing a sunny day in the field. As the day approached, the weather forecast became more clear. It was going to be 80 degrees and sunny; an absolutely perfect day to be in the field. We worked like crazy leading up to that Saturday and worked late into the night Friday and got up early Saturday morning to do a little more work to “justify” being gone for the day.

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I slept in the van on the way down to the game so I did not have to look at other combines in the field. When we got to Iowa City, we met our friends to tailgate long enough to eat. Then we went the soldout football game with seats on the 48-yard line. What a great game it was. Just plain exciting from start to finish. Our friend’s son played a great game, and the Hawkeyes won a 23-20 thriller as the fans stormed the field.

We then went back to their house to grill and talk about all the excitement of the day. The next thing I know, it was 9 p.m. and we were heading home with our family. As I drove, I then realized that I hadn’t thought about farming for about six hours, and maybe it was really OK not to work on a beautiful Saturday.

There were all kinds of excuses for me to work that Saturday but for that day, I chose my family and friends, and that ended up being an awesome decision. It reminded me that from time to time, it’s OK to take a little time for yourself or to take a little time with your family or friends. I am thankful my daughter suggested the idea of going to a game knowing how much I love harvesting in the fall. Fortunately, we had planned for going to the game and committed to it, otherwise on game day I would’ve made my work excuse again.

Sometimes passing on a memory will have as much value as passing on the money. Having the freedom to make that decision made me realize that is one of the reasons why I love farming.

Myron Friesen is the co-owner of Farm Financial Strategies Inc. in Osage, Iowa. He can be contacted at 866-524-3636 or