It’s hard to believe I’m six months along on my journey to new normal. I still don’t know exactly what that means but along the way time seems to have vaporized. Like a retiree, “I don’t know how I ever had time to work!” Except that I’m not yet retired.
In some ways, it did feel like a retirement transition. I left my career behind — but not for winters in the tropics. I’ve started a new business; I’m also pitching in on our family dairy rebuilding from a disastrous barn fire. I’m the first to admit this has been an anxiety-inducing season.
I’ve spent more time breath-praying angst away these six months than in the last six years combined! Turns out, my professional life was among the least of my concerns. Thankfully, we’ve all made good progress. Hopefulness is rising in me like the cool breeze of late summer’s eve. I can smell a new season on the air.
How could it be only seven months ago that my work calendar ruled? It was my first thought most mornings and last thought most evenings: What’s up next and how must I prepare? Agendas, objectives, and milestones coalesced and fused with projects and programs in a business cycle churning at breakneck speed. Traveling for work consumed more than a fair share of my time and energy. Maybe I was numbed by the intensity because it seldom gave me pause.
I loved the challenges of the work. I loved my colleagues and the community. I was heavily invested. Just the thought of stepping away unnerved and frightened me. Could I survive, to say nothing of thrive, absent this familiar framework? What new challenges might I face? Would I prove capable?
When the time came, it felt like stepping off a cliff into a chasm. Was there another step or two, just shy of the edge? Perhaps the perceived path was not my path after all. Or a taut tarp stretching across the misty depths? Perhaps this calls for a perfect landing, as if on a trampoline. Neither, actually. Instead there was a bridge. Indeed, I could cross the chasm to new normal. I strode forward on relatively firm footing and have hardly looked back.
I’ve been pleasantly surprised by newfound freedoms in the space opening before me. This summer I’ve truly relished room to breathe, time to process, and opportunities to develop. I’ve been stretched in ways I didn’t anticipate and developed in ways I couldn’t predict. Painful at times, yes; but also productive. I can hardly believe I’m saying this but I am thankful for the disruptions of late.
I can only speculate on what the next six months will lend to the new-and-improved version of me in the making. The last six have been nothing if not a fast-track, eh? I’m grateful for close friends and family alongside on this journey. Your encouragement and support have been invaluable. I imagine your arms extended and hands interlocked like a structure of planks forming a bridge.
Even if daylight wasn’t shrinking, there would be too few hours in my day. SheFarmer for now; I’ll continue with farm office admin indefinitely. I’m scrambling for time with six precious small people (a.k.a. the grands); such good company they keep! I’m writing and designing, knitting and sewing, canning and freeze-jamming. Oh, some travel planning, too. In fact, we’ve just returned from the biggest RV show in Hershey, PA — what a hoot! Yes, there’s more to that story… and several other summer pickings. ;=) Seems one thing I’ve not been doing the past few weeks is blogging. ;/0
As great as it feels to be making headway on my sense of new normal, I know better than to get too comfortable. Anything could change and something surely will. It’s inevitable. But my faith is firm. I believe God is who he says he is. I trust his promises. Sometimes I get caught up with concerns and must remind myself: He’s got this. All of it.
Maybe you’re in the midst of a long slog, deep in the mud and murk, dragged down by heavy boots. (I love that imagery; it calls to mind a most poignant childhood memory.) Or perhaps you feel stranded high and dry, desperately thirsty and praying for a cool breeze to hit the back of your neck. (Have you considered digging a ditch? I love this story!) Regardless, I’m sincerely sorry for your troubles. I get it. I hope you’ll listen in to the top 10 on my playlist. Be encouraged! God is not surprised by your circumstances any more than he was mine. He’s got this, too.
- Eye of the Storm (Ryan Stevenson)
- Hills and Valleys (Tauren Wells)
- Chain Breaker (Zach Williams)
- Alone (Hollyn)
- Happiness (NEEDTOBREATHE)
- He is With Us (Love and the Outcome)
- Whom Shall I Fear/God of Angel Armies (Chris Tomlin)
- Overcomer (Mandisa)
- Brave (Mariah Peters)
- Daughter of the King (Jamie Grace)
- Bonus! Rescue Me & Never Let Go of Me (Lifetree Kids)