planning for change

kate jComment

The Flour House is completely empty right now. Bright sunshine coming through the windows, just the right amount of dim on the lamps above. Between the smell of the coffee and the hum of the mixer in the back, I'm wishing I could recreate this picture - and bagel - in my own kitchen every weekend morning. 

I just stopped in "quick" - I promised the farmers that I was coming to town for groceries. They were headed out to pick loads of sweet corn for us to work on prepping to freeze this morning, but after the week I had, I knew that my need to leave the house at 6:30 am on a Saturday for groceries had an ulterior motive ... and sometimes, it's best we just keep those to ourselves. 

These last two weeks, I've done myself in. I've done it. I let it get to me. I chose to let my emotions get tied to my actions get tied to my inactions get tied to more emotions, and then the spiral took on a little life of its own. 

The thing I hadn't anticipated about taking the same job I held 6 years ago was that I managed to sneak a whole bunch of internal baggage on board with me when I signed the dotted line. I told myself that I was different, that I was older - wiser and would handle the position differently this time. 

I am, after all, in a much different place in life than when I left there last. Do you ever feel that way? Like who you are is not who you were? I've spent the last few years doing some massive soul searching and pushing my limits. I couldn't possibly be the same person in that same old role, right? I have changed.

That's the thing about the Universe, though - it keeps you from getting cocky. It wants you to prove that you've changed, grown ... evolved. I'm sure it's a way of showing ourselves that we've crossed a bridge and solidifying the shift, but I kind of arrogantly thought I'd crossed most of those paths and left them in the dust. I was ready for next. For new. Fresh start sucker, right here, ladies and gents.

Yesterday, I left home at 5:15 am, drove through Starbucks and pulled into the office at 6:20. I started my day feeling great, followed quickly by reporting that didn't work, systems that went down and a 3-page to do list that had glaring highlights all over it. By 10 am I was tucked in an office in tears, by 10:55 I'd cancelled lunch with a friend at the last moment because of said chaos and by 1 pm I was an hour behind on deadlines.

When I finally looked down at said list at 4 pm, I realized I'd forgotten to prep us for a huge client onboard coming first thing morning. My heart sunk. My eyes swelled. My internal voice was beating me up in a flashback way that made me suddenly swear it were 2009.

I cried most of the way home. 

But it wasn't because of my day. Shit happens, and heaven knows not every day can be peaches and sunshine, but the funny thing about working in exactly the same place you used to is there are constantly direct comparisons to who you were when you were last here. 

And yesterday, my almost-35-year-old-self felt 27 all over again - exhausted, overwhelmed, stuck, forgetful, irresponsible, dramatic, rude, thoughtless and as far from resourceful as one might get. 

I didn't hate the day. I hated the way I was responding to the day. The way I was choosing to respond to the day. I knew better. I know differently.

I stopped at home for take a 5-minute shower to wash off the tears before I finally headed to the farm for a late dinner with my boys, and as I stood in the warm water wondering how I got back here, I realized I didn't get back here. I chose here. A new here. And I vowed it wouldn't be the same. But only I can make that happen. 

I'm amazed at the ways old habits creep in when we put ourselves in familiar environments, how auto-pilot kicks in and old stories show up where we thought for sure we'd released them. 

Awareness is both awesome and painful. I recognize the ways I'm the same and yet different. The hard part is moving past recognition to action, though - and not beating myself up for all of the things I see in myself I no longer wanted to see. 

It became clear I need a plan.

I went into this position in the same way I tackle most things - a little bit of fear, a whole lot of faith and a strong belief that this is what's best for my family. I also now see that I rely so heavily on those beliefs that I often skip right over a feasible, logical plan of attack. 

At this point in my life, if there's one thing I know about myself it's that I'll figure it out. Whatever it is, wherever I am - I'll figure it out. And while it's helped me get to where I am and keeps me adaptable and willing to try, I can't help but wonder if there isn't a better way. 

Now two months into this shift in our lives, I'm thinking maybe a plan would have been a good idea. Maybe, thinking ahead and using my resources in advance would have been a fantastic choice to make sure that this time in my life would feel differently than the last. Maybe, just maybe, winging it isn't always the best solution. 

I brought home a gigantic stack of work this weekend. 

There's corn to be shucked, boiled and frozen.

We need groceries for another busy week ... I probably should at some point cook something.

Farmer Johnson heads back to super long days in the fields on Monday for seed corn detasselling, after the last few weeks of spraying and Y-DROPing here and there. 

There are schedules to plan, dishes to do, laundry to switch, and on, Monday I go back to the same place I drove to 7 years ago on that very same day. 

But I am different.

And I have a plan.