When I finished graduate school in Burlington in 2007, Travis started a PhD program in Seattle and I stayed in Vermont to work at a non-profit. We literally had Thanksgivings with each other’s families. I had moved from Burlington to Montpelier and started to sublet-hop, living in 4 different homes in just 15 months.
This was a difficult 15 months, although also really great. I lived mostly on my own for the first time in my life, on good terms with roommates but not close with any of them. Liking my co-workers and liking my work, but not being consumed by it the way grad school consumed me. I didn’t have any friends in town and spent a lot of my time alone. I missed Travis, and having a thriving social life, but I also appreciated the quiet.
I’ve been a journaler since my teens, and found that with more downtime, I was writing more in my journal. At some point during the bleak and silent white winter I started re-reading journal passages and found, in one variation or another, the phrase, “I think I’m just going through a transition right now” in almost every entry as I wrote about loneliness, not sure if I should follow a boyfriend, what would I do in Seattle, did I want a desk job, what was the meaning of life, oh my lord. I felt suddenly ridiculous and sort of snapped out of it. It’s a thin line between self-reflecting and taking yourself too seriously.
So understand what I say when I say: I just think I’m going through a transition right now. My kids are 6 and almost 3, ready to move forward without the support of a mostly stay-at-home mom (Ly’s therapy appointments and intentional playtime notwithstanding). Travis and I are ready to transition more of our time and energy to the farm. I’m ready to move back into the workplace, part-time or full-time. I’m ready to take on a regular yoga teaching schedule for the first time since Ly was born. It’s a whole lot of big fat transitioning. So it’s apt that this blog of mine is about to transition too.
I love writing about food and kitchen fun, especially when it involves my kids. But there are so many other good food blogs out there. I will never be queen of the recipe, and as much as I love the science of cooking, I do not have the time to devote to researching the different molecular stages of candy-making (although seriously, sugar crystals really are amazing things). Write what you know, but also write what you can. So here is what I can write about, and will be writing about as Travis and I manage these large shifts in our lives over the next couple of years:
- Apples, learning to apple farm, making my first batch of homemade apple cider vinegar. I got some really awesome pruning shears for Christmas that I’ll need to write about (see photo with James below).
- Learning to tap trees and actually make syrup, not just consuming it and selling it. And consuming it some more.
- Budgets. We are looking at focusing more on the farm and inevitably this means our time and income in other places will change. Time to really crack down on our spending, and I’ll share all the nitty-gritty of budgeting while married.
- Food that is meant to be prepared easily when swamped, cheaply when budgeting, and eaten trailside while holding a cordless drill.
- Learning to chainsaw. I’ve emailed the local experts about signing up for a class.
- Possibly learning to drive a tractor. Possibly not.
- And always balancing life with being the mom I hope to be, holding hands and letting go at just the right moment.
I just really think I’m going through a transition right now. 2016, so long. And 2017, let’s get started. We’ve got work to do.