I recently wrote a rant-ish post about being a PhD. How I use my degree maybe not as a professor, but more as a thinker every single day.
I’ve recognized this a lot lately as I’ve waded into the first stages of flower farming. It reminds me of my surprise when I had a baby. When I became pregnant, I was immersed in this whole new universe and language I had no idea about. Pick up a baby magazine and I was surrounded by a new vocabulary. So many debates and decisions. What kind of diapers, how medicalized a birth, co-sleeping, onesies, products galore. It was a whole world I knew nothing about, even though it had been there all along.
Flower farming is much the same way. It has its own calendar, its ebbs and flows. So many special bloom varieties to choose from. Growing zones, soil amendments, succession planting…I am wide-eyed and soaking it all in. Just the photos on insta of all the beauty makes me swoony.
On the calendar side, so far I am playing catchup. I’m learning you have to be thinking at least 6 months ahead, and eventually a year. 3Splitz Farm is not even 6 months old (hard to believe!) so I am giving myself a little grace on that. We wanted tulips, but it took a while to find the right ones. In the mean time, I read in all sorts of places about where to source high- quality bulbs and what they should look like. My lightweight crumbly bulbs from the local mega mart weren’t going to cut it. This is a researcher in action. Most major places were sold out, but I finally found a farm with a great reputation that had the flowers we needed. The first set of bulbs went in the ground on the late side, but I’ve ordered seeds now so they should arrive in plenty of time. Slowly but surely the calendar is spreading forward. Soon we will be on pace.
Planning the land is the next challenge. It’s left me paralyzed at times, thinking that where we plant ______________ (bulbs, seeds, plants, veggies) is some kind of permanent decision. What if the flowers don’t thrive there? What if they can’t be seen the way we want them to? What if animals or pests destroy the crop? We took the step and planted the first set over the last couple of weeks. I was guided by my OLW: DO, and reminded myself that mistakes can be fixed. Of course, that’s only if we have the courage to make them! I am listening to the land and trusting that it will tell me what to do. It’s a wonderful intersection between science, wishes, and hard work.
Then Sunday came along and I learned a few words. Observed my couch getting a beat down. I listened to hootin and hollering more than I care to reflect on.
Now it’s Monday. Same shit different day.
Out of bounds, you ass!
Block in the back.
Why isn’t the whistle blowing.
Take the time out.
Quiet for a few minutes. Maybe it’s half time?
Friggin’ safety sucks.
Are you kidding.
Whistle blows repeatedly.
It’s going to #6 be ready! said spectator.
Get out of bounds!
Jesus friggin’ Christ.
This is bullshit.
He got pushed!
He got pushed.
Over and over.
Watch the recap.
Oh, what on earth could I possibly be writing about? Damn football. College football. NFL football. Monday Night Football. It’s all the same to me. A shit show on steroids. Unfiltered chaos. Overwhelming negativity.
A big fat distraction at bedtime. An annoyance on the weekend. A time suck. An unnecessary event that includes rage, celebration, sportsmanship, and so much more. Why do people get so hyped up that they talk to the TV? Do they think the referee can hear them? Is a game really that personal? So crazy to me.
Is there a healthy level of watching football that doesn’t seem like it will cause a heart attack? Am I the only one that experiences this? I took a poll and apparently I’m not.
I don’t need to go to a bar for this kind a of people watching. I can be in my own house. I can go to a friend’s house where the guys are watching a game in the man cave. Sometimes it’s even a coed event and/or spectacle.
It’s hard to do your homework. It’s hard to pay your bills. It’s hard to have a phone conversation when others are acting like 2-year-olds having a tantrum because they didn’t get a sucker or toy at the store.
How does one sum up this behavior? What does it do for our kids who are watching silently? Will this aggression spill over to a youth football game? Is there any logic in this chaos? Should one be able to control their emotions in the moment? This doesn’t even include alcohol which would only intensify the crazy.
Is there another equivalent to football in America that causes so much raw emotion amongst its spectators? Maybe a heavy metal concert. A violent hockey game? Just not sure.
I’m sure there is another side of football I can’t see at the moment because my judgment is clouded with all the noise and disturbance around me. Either way I found it fitting to jot down my environment during this insanity. I thought somebody make get a chuckle out of it.
Are you a football fan?
Can you keep your behavior in check?
Are you an athlete?
I will invest in some headphones during football season to stay sane. At one point I thought a finger might have been severed with all the curse words I heard. Guess no cause for alarm. It’s just football.
Oh damn it’s just half time now! I need to get headphones now.
2020 was a year that upheaved many goals. Maybe it was the rules changing about where we can go and what we can do. Maybe it was shifting priorities from getting out and going to just hunkering down and staying safe. Maybe it was self-imposed or created limits of mental exhaustion and the like.
Whatever the reason, 2020 pulled the rug out from our runway of dreams. The universe laughed at our plans. Goals had to shift. Travel, work, adventure, all kinds of things had to pivot.
I looked back at my goals and in a conventional sense, I didn’t meet them. I’m not giving myself a pass because life got hard. It is what it is. But, inspired by Gretchen Rubin, I decided to make a little “Ta-Da!” list, which reminds me that despite my 2020 challenges, things still got done.
I maintained my fitness regimen, moving my body pretty much daily. Most of the time this meant working out at home or in the gym, but I also started hiking more often and put many miles on my bike.
I took a more active role in my personal finances, learning how to move money around and make it work.
I partnered with trusted friends to purchase the property for 3Splitz Farm. We navigated the first stages of planning and implementing the vision for our rustic paradise.
I started a new business of my own.
I established a 501(c) and led that organization through a successful first year.
I bought a new car.
I read lots of books.
I parented my kids through a trying and confusing time in their lives.
I maintained several of my health priorities: eat well, drink well, connect.
I lifted up my friends and loved ones to lighten their mental loads.
2020 wasn’t what I expected, and 2021 won’t be either. Some of these accomplishments weren’t on my radar at all this time last year. This has all informed how I am thinking of my goals this year. Leave a little more room to move, to play, to grow.
I had to stop myself from writing the “shadow truths” about each of these goals. For most of these bullet points, there is something I could have written as a “but…” But ta-da lists shouldn’t come with qualifications. These are what they are, and many are a start. Several appear in my goals for 2021, to enhance, improve, and expand.
My little weekend escape is over or almost over. This afternoon I was on the back of the plane which allowed me to hear the count and recount of passengers manually by the crew before take off. 91 on board. Confirmed 91 on board by the second attendant.
That led me in my idle time on the plane to calculate the percentage occupied to available. Just over 63% was occupied on this flight. I think that’s an upward tick compared to some previous months of hard times for the airlines. How long can airlines hold on with diminished capacity?
I was flying Southwest as mentioned in a previous post. Group boarding but one seat open in between each passenger unless people are family. Another friend was on Delta with the same open seat strategy which I observed on my last Delta flight. Delta includes sanitizing wipes in the on-board sacks. Another was on Spirit and oddly enough there was no breaks in seats and the plane was more full according to a friend. Interesting how each airline adopts their own plans relating to safety and profit.
The airport seemed busy enough on my return leg but not packed. I again enjoyed the people watching aspect including the two women with shower caps, masks and chemistry- type goggles that I saw in line at Starbucks. I really wanted a picture for this post but I couldn’t bring myself to snapping it.
Just another day in the air for this girl. Surprisingly I was super relaxed and just observing for my pre-flight wait, my actual time in air and as I moseyed on out of the airport for the day.
Time to get back into the swing of life for a few days before traveling again. Figuring out my end of year travels. Have to wrap up the cruddy year of 2020 where I seemed firmly planted most days on the homestead. Off to adventure more.
This was a new term for me this week but apparently it’s all the rage. I went to Disney World on a last minute-trip and boy did I see a lot of 2020 nuances.
Let’s start with the temperature checks. I get it but wow of all the times at Disney this is new and different but definitely expected in 2020. Then there is the mask up rule. Over the mouth and nose at all times. It’s on signs, it’s broadcasted all day on speakers and cast members let you know often.
Only time to remove the mask is when you are actively eating or drinking in a stationary position. No shifting the mask on the move, in line or just for fresh air. Not to mention their mask guidelines are specific. No neck gaiters. Must be two layers. No mask with the vent. Kids over 2 need one. Not just at the park, at Disney Springs and pretty much everywhere. I only felt like I could take a mask break in the bathroom of all places – behind closed doors.
It’s normally a popular fashion statement to have matching Disney shirts, family reunion shirts or special occasions like a newly wed couple or first trip to Disney, but this year the theme was different. Majority of shirts said Socially Disneying or Disney 2020 with toilet paper for the zeroes. Interesting, new and something I didn’t expect.
I also didn’t expect lines to get into retail stores to get a souvenir. One-way traffic when walking. Cow corral type setups at entry points to separate people. Limited food service. Reduced choices all around for snacks. I only found one place that sold my turkey leg that is a normal purchase at Disney. Such a disappointment but with only 30% capacity, I am sure all staff is not working which impacts sales.
The longest, twisted and turned lines that only an imagineer could have designed! I am an adult I can adjust. Kids over age 5 seemed to do well with masks. Kids 0-4 seems challenged A-Z. Take a look.
I thought back to taking my kids in the 0-4 years old category, Squirming around in lines. Wanting an ice cream while waiting in lines. They always thoroughly enjoyed character visits and autographs. Guess what visits are at a distance. A far distance!
Parades at Magic Kingdom were interesting. One float – people gathered in closed proximity. The float moves on and people disperse. 20 minutes later another float. Same scenario. What a clever way to still offer a parade while keeping people together less than fifteen minutes. Genius.
Then at Animal Kingdom they put the characters on a pontoon boat and sent them around in a water tour with music and cheers and waves. Seemed to uplift those around even at a distance. Such creative ways to bend and flex on Disney’s part so people can still enjoy a little different Disney experience during the pandemic.
Disney also did a great job with signage. Reminders in lines to be 6 foot apart. Signs to separate. Seating even on walls or resting places by bathrooms had signage showing not available for seating due to 6 ft rules. In addition there were plastic dividers on rides where lines wrapped and people would normally be in close quarters for an extend period of time. Just creative overall.
Although the theme park was at a drastically reduced capacity it still had lines. Mainly because every other seat was empty on rides.
Now that I covered all the steps Disney took to comply with new rules and regulations, let’s talk about judgment. Those who thought I should not go to such a public place. Those who believe social distancing involves becoming a recluse and staying trapped inside your home avoiding people.
Sorry folks that’s not me. I maintain my health and sanity in more than one way. I work out for mental clarity, stress relief and to get out of the four walls of my home. This is a requirement for me but a risk to others. I support local small business because I am a small business owner and I need to go out to stimulate the economy. I can mask up and comply with local rules but I won’t be a prisoner of the pandemic.
I enjoy fresh air each day. I walk my dog. I go to the park. I ride my bike. I’m sure some particles in the air could get me sick. Particles in the air could have gotten me sick in 2019 before the pandemic too.
Just wrapping up this post with one can socially or physically distance and still be active. Maybe social Disneying is for those who are extreme risk takers but even the most cautious people need to interact with others, breathe fresh air and really just celebrate life. Anything less just isn’t living. I’m not even sure if I’d say it’s surviving. It’s more like being robotic and slavelike.
Everyone has a right to an opinion. Everyone has the freedom to speak. However one should never judge another unless you walk a day in their shoes. And at Disney that means walking a marathon on most days.
I had a great time in Disney. Made mask memories and saw a side of the country practicing safety measures that I would not have seen otherwise. I may not do it again but I enjoyed my spontaneous trip.