Last Thursday I sent an email to my CSA farmer. It was after 8pm. I worked late on my farm share pick up day, for the third week in a row. The pick-up times came and went. My big brown paper bag full of produce sat all alone on the shelf. She would have to go down to the farm stand and put it in the mini-fridge for me, again.
In my email I told her I felt like a farm share failure. I told you and my farmer and myself that if I tried another CSA, I’d commit hardcore to picking up my share on time, every time. How am I doing? Well, I do pick it up. It just takes me two days. What do I deserve? An outright F or like maybe a C+?
Set up for success
All of the elements for success were there. The farm I chose is on my way home from work. My pick-up window is open until 7pm. My local farmer is patient and welcoming.
Yet, we are more than a month in, and I only managed to pick up my share on time twice.
And while I’m confessing
I blew my other rule. The plan was that if I didn’t use the veggies within two days, they’d all go into a Farm Share Soup. For two consecutive weeks, I made delicious batches of soup.
Farm Share Soup is just everything and anything that didn’t get eaten right away thrown into a pot with some chicken or vegetable broth.
If you looked in my fridge today, it’s overflowing with veggies from not one, not two, but three weeks of CSA produce! Oh come on, Tiffany. You just lost that C+.
Accepting sunk costs
Economists teach a concept called sunk costs. You incurred the cost. You can’t do anything about it. What’s done is done. Move on.
Which really means, don’t spend time staring into the rear view mirror.
So, I’m not going to. Instead, I’m going to look forward. What can I do now?
And anyway, what’s the big deal?
Hey, if I go all season and never make another pickup on time, oh well. My farmer isn’t too upset with me. It’s not too late to eat the veggies. They’re all still pretty fresh when I get to them.
A little voice inside me is still annoyed with myself that it’s disrespectful to not follow the rules. I am somewhat inconveniencing my farmer.
But, if I listen to that voice too closely, I’ll quit the farm share all together, just like I did the last time.
Accepting my reality means I can’t just leave work early and tell my boss I’m blowing off some big account to go pick up my CSA produce.
And since I already have my family members picking up my kids, bringing them to sports and camps, it’s not fair to ask them to cover for me on my farm share pick up every week, too.
No, I will just forgive myself and choose to be content with doing the best I can week after week. I will stick with the farm share and not let my guilt force me to quit again, leaving my local farmer with one fewer, albeit imperfect, customer.
Since 2018 is officially over, I can now go back and see all the stats…and you can too. It’s a little blog voyeurism. Of course, I only launched this blog in September 2018. Given the short four months this blog was operating, here is a quick post summarizing the 2018 farmstand culture blog superlatives.
Most viewed post of the year
Hummm…maybe I should save the “most viewed!” reveal for last, but I chose to tell you first. Which must mean that there’s some even more interesting superlatives later in this post.
I was surprised by the post with the most views. Are you? What surprised me is that it doesn’t start with “how to” or a number (e.g. 5 best…). And it’s not explicitly about farm stands or natural living or gardening…even though that is mentioned. It’s not even a post suitable for an obvious Pin ad like a DIY sugar scrub would be.
Given that this post was so popular I can only conclude that you all correctly figured me out. I am a nauseatingly well-adjusted, happy and content person, and I should be sharing more about my thought process with you.
Do likes even matter? If you use WordPress, you can just scroll through 50 posts per minute, liking them without reading more that just the titles. It could seriously be some bizarre argument, and you might accidentally “like” it because the title mentions kittens. And who doesn’t like kittens? So cute and soft.
For the record, none of my posts are about bizarre stuff like that, and all of my titles are reflective of the content of my posts.
And with 68 likes (actually as of 1/9/19 cause I didn’t look on New Years Day) and counting…
Ok, it’s not really a superlative any post wants to be awarded, but it’s still interesting. One of the concepts I had when I was inspired to start blogging was to encourage and challenge you to be more mindful when shopping at farm stands by trying to rank your top 5 items. I have a whole series on this blog showing you my farmstand5’s.
My sad little post with the least attention, receiving the fewest views and comments in 2018 with a grand total of four views was…
If you follow me on Instagram, maybe you noticed about two months ago I started writing mini-blog posts as comments with my Instagram pics. I was stuck on the down slide of the follow-unfollow game, watching my follower count slip every week. So with nothing to lose, I started doing what I do well, accompanying my mediocre photography with interesting commentary.
I’m a big fan of the “tell-me-something-I-don’t-know” approach and that helped stabilize my follower count. It also helped me get 245 impressions on this photo of half of a flock of turkeys in my backyard accompanied by the absolutely fascinating story of how Connecticut repopulated the wild turkeys the colonists had eradicated.
Highest impressions on a Pinterest pin
Oh Pinterest gave me the greatest thrill one morning last October when I had my first pin get 19,000+ views and dozens of clicks through to my post on Swedish Dishcloths. That was my first pin to get thrilling, but it was not my most popular pin of 2018. False start.
The honor of being my most popular pin in 2018, with 20,851 impressions, 22 clicks and 11 saves in three days…because I only posted it on December 29 was…
Hey, at least I’m not kidding myself. I know this quiet little post hasn’t received a ton of attention and won’t be my claim to fame. It’s just one I really enjoyed writing. It’s one I return to on occasion to make me smile. I had the idea for this post before I started the blog. It was one of the posts I knew I was destined to write.
All of the other posts mentioned here are your favorites from 2018. This was mine:
Thank you for sharing this journey through the 2018 farmstand culture blog superlatives with me! Have a great day today. Oh and, did I miss any posts you think should deserve an honorable mention? Go ahead, let me know in the comments.
Do you tend to make choices that differ from the “norm”? It makes your search purpose harder. I have to come clean with all of you…
in that, I have this habit of choosing the road less traveled. Well, that’s one way to put it.
There’s this guy at work who always edits my commentaries with “just say what you mean, Tiffany”, which is…that I pretty much consistently choose to do things differently, and in the process, I make things harder on myself.
Do I thrive on that? Guess that’s one interpretation. Any psyche majors reading this? That deserves a smiley face emoji.
Say what you mean
My choices often stand out from the crowd. Like…my major wasn’t business > wasn’t finance > it was Real Estate Finance.
And, back when I was in grad school, I went for an interview for a summer internship. Oh, I should explain about the importance of the SUMMER INTERNSHIP to MBA candidates.
Securing a fabulous summer internship is the goal for an MBA student during her or his first year of studies. When you are getting your MBA, you and your peers spend a lot of time talking about your internship goals, timing and dreams. If you land the right internship, you can plot your career course and earning potential.
Back on topic: once while I was at an interview for a summer internship, my potential employer left a printout of the interview schedule down on a table in front of me then left the room. I saw that I was the only one interviewing for a research internship. Sounds like evidence of the road less traveled, at least it was more than a decade ago when I was in grad school.
Things worked out well for me. Oh, no, I didn’t actually get that job. Yeah, I was surprised, too. But, a good friend did, and I ended up with an internship in NYC. Which was great, because I got “living in a big city” out of my system when I was young and have enjoyed my retreat back to the Connecticut countryside ever since. Like really enjoyed it, like I have homestead envy.
What happened to make me question my approach now?
Considering the big picture…I’m probably questioning my approach right now because I’m facing a life transition as I finish doctoral classes, wrap up my dissertation and think about “what’s next”.
But, then again, it’s really a reflective time for all of us, isn’t it? The year is ending. We are all making plans for a new year, new phases of life, and thinking about purpose.
In a class last weekend, we had a long discussion on exploring purpose. The theme of the day’s lesson was: What is a professor’s purpose? But, you don’t have to be studying to be a professor for this to resonate. Insert any other role you fill into that question.
I guess that discussion stayed with me.
Hearing more about what was on my classmates’ minds about their purpose, how your purpose changes, how we all go through phases when we think more or less about it. The quiet time after the holidays – as the new year is starting – is a pretty reflective time for most people. Possibly, it’s a time when we think more about purpose.
What’s on your mind as we approach a new year?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not wishing this year to end. I try never to wish time away. It’s too precious. Doesn’t mean I don’t plan for the future though.
What are your personal goals for the new year? My biggest goal for the new year is to recommit.
For the past three years, my attention has been split between too many things. In the new year, I want to be more deeply involved in my kids’ sports and clubs. I want to be that mama who’s coordinating snacks and singing songs with them in the car on the way to practice. In the new year, I want to follow through on more dinner plans with my husband. We thought we would never slow down, even after having kids, but we did. Forget that. Let’s keep that in the past-tense. We should reconnect over a quiet date night a little more often. And, then there’s my career. In order to go back to school part-time, I had to carve some time out from building my career, and in the new year, I want to devote a little more energy to my work.
Bonus thought: Guess what? For the gardeners among us, the dawn of a new year means we get to start planning a new layout, choosing new seed varieties, and feeling Spring fever again soon. Holy cow, I get Spring fever like crazy after the turn of the year. Seedlings, here we go again.
Ok, and the blog?
Of course, this blog. It’s been an amazing start. Thank you for being a critical part of it! You are reading this, and I am appreciating you for it. I hope something resonates in your search for purpose.
I’m committed to bringing you new articles, new perspectives and the play-by-play of the construction of a new window garden in the new year!
At the time I’m writing this post, I have 35 draft posts in the works. My blogging platform does me the kindness of showing me that number, at the top of my screen, every time I open my dashboard.
Oh wow, I guess I have a choice. Those 35 outstanding, half-written, partially-researched, mini-works of blog art could weigh on my shoulders like 35 bricks…OR, I can think of them as 35 bricks in a walkway, a path we can lay and follow in the new year. One of those choices is a lot more appealing than the other. It’s the same thing, just reframed. Like, black cats on your brick walkway could just be adorable kittens who want to play. No bad luck required.
How about your blog?
Do you have a blog? Please leave a link to it or a recent article in the comment section. We’d love to see your labor of love and support you in the new year!
I know it’s not always easy. There are days when things seem to be moving in slow motion, and it’s frustrating.
At least you can always feel welcome to retreat to this community to share your ideas and be supported. I’m happy to help you find ways to reframe the frustration and look forward to the virtual conversations we’ll have as we all begin a new year.
You might think I am about to tell you just to redefine weeding in your mind, and it will take the work out of it. I’m not.
Weeding is hard.
It’s hard for me. It’s hard for you. It’s hard for professional landscapers and farmers. People have been murdered over weeds. Weeding is reality, and it can get overwhelming quickly.
But for the everyday gardener, reframing weeding as winning is really about the habits successful people develop.
One of my coworkers went through a phase where he listened to a lot of podcasts about successful people and what a typical day was like for them. He asked me a question I have heard before, “Do you meditate?” I told him I don’t.
He thought for a second then asked me how I start my day.
I get my tea, round up the kids and go to the garden. He asked what I do in the garden. Pull weeds, mostly. HA! That’s it. He said successful people start their day with a “win”.
Weeding is my win.
I really appreciate someone pointing that out to me. It inspires me to share that thought with you. Oh and true confessions, I haven’t always been perfect, but I pretty much crave going to the garden to pull at least one little weed or straighten up one tilting plant every day.
My actual win today is clipping all of my chives before they go to seed. It took about five minutes. I learned my lesson with this one last year.
It makes me curious. If you think about your morning, do you start your day with a win? What is your win? PG-rated, of course.
My hair stylist once asked me, “You’re always so calm and have such a good outlook on things. Do you meditate?”
Ah, I don’t. I just aspire to, like a lot of other things. Add it to the list. It’s is not to say that I don’t have other hobbies that might offer similar benefits.
I responded, “I don’t, but I pray…and I visit my garden almost every morning.”
It’s true. I wake up thinking about the garden.
And my husband. Husband first, then the garden.
When the weather cooperates, I wait for my kids to get up and ask them if they want to go to the garden with me. The kids and I really look forward to our mornings together in that peaceful, sweet-smelling space.
I brew myself tea while the little ones search for their boots.
We look for new sprouts. We assess damage from storms and critters. We push stakes back into the ground and fix the nets on the berry bushes.
I handle most of the weeding myself.
Not everyone views pulling weeds as a calming activity. Most people view weeding as back-breaking work that seems manageable one day but gets out of control fast.
Most people have a point.
Weeding is all of those things. I just chose to reframe it. Instead of being overwhelmed by the chore, over the years I learned to redefine weeding for myself.