Friday, October 14, 2016

simplicity 2016: flat on my aster

Once upon a time, I took a class on Meyer's Briggs. For those who don't know anything about MB, check out this article, super helpful.

However, in a nutshell, it is a personality assessment designed to help you better understand why you do what you do, and how to do what you are best suited for.

One of the character traits is referred to as being a "J" - which stands for Judging.

Not an accurate word at all, because "J" basically means you are highly organized, appreciate things done in a sequential order and strive for order in your life.

And if any of you know me, you will know that my "J" is off the crazy charts.

If you give me a label maker and a day planner, I will conquer the whole frigging planet. In an hour.

Cause ain't nobody got time to waste time.

I often wonder though, why I am this way?

If it's wrong to be so organized and thorough.

If I need to cool it and just "go with the flow."


Two weeks ago I was in NY, celebrating my great grandmother's 99th birthday.

And while it was absolutely wonderful to be there, I left feeling unsettled.

And to be truthful, I also didn't really want to leave.

I didn't want to leave her.

I didn't want to leave how at home I felt there.

I didn't want to leave the deep sense of belonging that almost overtook me when I drive onto her property.


As I was walking through her garden taking pictures one afternoon, I stopped and held my breath as I watched bees pollinating the flowers.

I quickly snapped a few photos, and then I just stood there in complete envy.

Yes. You read that correctly.

I was envious. Of some bees.

And here is why....

They have ONE job.
They do their job.
They aren't running around trying to do everyone else's job.

They have a schedule.
They know when to work and when to rest.
There is only one leader they follow.

They don't have emails.
They don't have cellphones.
They don't have calendar invites, bills, or anything else weighing them down.

Their life seems...simple.


I've been home for two weeks now, and I still can't shake this unsettled feeling.

A little out of place. Not sure what direction I am headed in.

Which is crazy, because I have so much going on right now. And it's all really really good.

But, as I was sitting in the Meyer's Briggs training today, I FINALLY felt like I had a break through.

Two nights ago I was reading Martha Steward Living - don't you dare judge me, she is BRILLIANT!

And as I read through her calendar for October, where she tells you what to start planting and what she is harvesting for winter, that's when it hit me.

Why I feel so at home at my great grandmother's house. And why I have the same feeling on my uncle and gramma's farm.

I'll try to explain it like this:

  • Farms and gardens run on a seasonal calendar. 

  • You have to plant and harvest your crops at a certain time, or you won't have any bounty.
  • I mean, weather is always a factor. But you can't control that. You have to prepare and then just wait.

  • There is predictability and structure.

  • A specific role and a specific desired outcome.

  • A farmer plants crops, a bee pollinates the plants, the earth changes seasons and new life comes into the world.
It's this cyclical calendar of events, that while it has the potential for being mind numbingly boring, it's not.

Because it's always a little bit different.
A chance for new beginnings and a fresh start.
And I think that's what I am craving a little bit.

Schedule, predictability, a need for things to be done in a certain way in order to obtain a certain outcome.

While I often judge myself harshly for this desire for order and schedule, I think I'm beginning to realize it's something rooted so deeply within me, I don't think I could shut it down even if I wanted to.

There is something inexplicably beautiful about the natural order of the earth. And I really, really love it.

That realization? Leaves me feeling like I have had the wind knocked out of me and then knocked flat on my aster.

Get it? Aster? A flower? #dadjoke


Don't get me wrong, I love my job and I love my life.

It's just.... when I am with these amazing women, on the properties where they have and are building their lives, things make more sense.

Stuff isn't so urgent. We just are.  We get up early, enjoy the day quietly, share a nice meal, and then go to sleep.

If this was my routine, day in and day out, I might get a little bored. Maybe not though.

But, if I could find a way to incorporate this spirit of just being into my daily schedule, I have a feeling I might feel a little more settled.

Or maybe, I just need to go plant some asters.


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