Is it July yet?

Do you ever have those moments when you think you may hide out in a closet for a few days so you can get your shit together and stop the panic-attack feeling you get because life seems to have thrown you a curve ball at warp speed? That’s been my month of June.

This has been a year of change for me and my family. My husband started a new job with an insane schedule. We added another baby to the mix. Our extended family has had their own share of rearranging as well (moves, switching up careers, coping with the loss of loved ones, etc.). I’m usually a big fan of change – it makes me feel like things are moving forward and evolving – but I’ve had my fill for 2017. I’m ready for things to feel a little more “normal”. (Perhaps this is the new normal. If that’s the case, I better put that space in the closet on permanent reserve.)

Our food plot has had a rough go of it. Between me battling the raccoons  digging up my cucumbers, peppers, and tomatoes for three weeks (we “re-homed” three of them), and my husband ignoring my row markers and wheel-hoeing my seedlings to death (bless his heart, I know he’s just trying to be helpful), I’ve managed only to enjoy greens, rhubarb, scapes, and the few glorious strawberries my small pop-up patches of plants have produced this year. Last year I was already nearly plucking cucumbers off the vine and greedily collecting green beans for dinners. It’s times like these that I really appreciate all that goes into food production and am reminded of how lucky we are that the grocery store is a fifteen minute drive away (when your husband digs up the kale and watermelon for the second time). But seriously, our great great grandparents were rockstars.

Luckily, I think we’re on an upward swing. The garlic and onions are waist high, the first sowing of green beans have flowers, the squash is starting to sprawl, and the cucumbers have given the big middle finger to those raccoons in garden-pest heaven by finally taking root. I feel like I’m in a race against time now to re-sow additional rows of this and that for freezing, canning, and drying for winter storage. I’ve decided I need to cut myself some slack this year (you know, the nine-week-old and all), but the garden is my happy place, and I’m so ready to really kick butt at this.

After a lot of thought and deliberation (and a few tears), I’ve decided to go back to work for my current employer part-time rather than full time. I am so grateful they want to keep me on after I told them my desire to spend more time with family (and cut the looming $20,000+ childcare expense in half). My flexible schedule will allow me an additional three days per week at home and the ability to tackle the things I’d love to accomplish in my free time (ha!), but it meant turning down a dream position I was offered with a local municipality, and starting the process of letting go of who I’ve been until this point in my life.

The Working Woman has always been my identity. I got my first job washing dishes at a mom-n-pop restaurant at the age of 14. I’ve been contributing to Medicare and Social Security ever since. Stepping away from a full-time position goes against everything I was taught growing up. Study hard, build the resume, take the job with the crazy hours to advance your career. The heel-clad Miranda Priestly on my right shoulder is scoffing at my decision. Susie Homemaker on my left is rewarding me with a freshly-baked chocolate chip cookie. I’m a sucker for a good cookie. . .

I’ll step into July with a new mission: to let go of living up to the self-imposed image of who I thought I was supposed to be at this point in my life, and embrace who I’ve become based on what makes me happy. I’m lucky to have this opportunity, and damn it, if it means I’ll have more time to better mark my crop rows so Mr. Wheel Hoe doesn’t get overzealous with the weeding again, then I’m going to try to enjoy it.

Here’s to June!

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