During the pandemic, I heard someone say, “Every day is Blursday, because every day feels like the same day.” As I consider the landscape of Green Hope Farm Flower Essences at the end of this year, I feel like 2022 was morphed with 2020 and 2021 not so much as the same day but as an almost a continuous experience of constant change and adaptation for all of us here and everywhere.
When everything shut down in March of 2020, I found myself alone in the office doing all the jobs that five or sixth people usually did. I vastly overestimated my ability to do everything and dove into marathon days and nights in the office with misplaced confidence. By May I had a bad kidney infection that would not quit.
I always think of kidneys as being about feeling supported. Like so many, I found myself in a situation in which those who wanted to help me were tied up with their own challenges. The staff goddesses with grade school children found themselves home teaching school. There was no day care for the younger mothers so they too were home. I would have drafted the always helpful Jim, but he found himself running sixth grade from the kitchen table via one Zoom meeting after another. In retrospect that worked about as well as he expected. He is not sure his students learned anything except that they could go to the bathroom while on Zoom and enjoy the idea that they were sitting on the toilet while also in class.
After a couple months, we figured out shifts for Green Hope Farm staff to return to work. Vicki and Jen bubbled together and came in during the days. I worked at night. Lizzie bottled at odd hours when her kids were asleep. When summer staff goddess, Anna, chose not to attend college via Zoom in the fall of 2020 and took the year off, she came onboard and worked a full year with us. That was a fantastic help as Sam still couldn’t return to us. After about a year we were all back in the office with masks on.
The upheaval changed things here. I had run the business by staying a part of everything. Basically, I had a finger in every pie. For thirty years I spent my week days in the office and did the gardening in the early morning and on the weekends. One of the reasons why I didn’t ask myself if I could do five people’s jobs in March of 2020 is because I had always done too much. I felt so grateful to be working with Divinity, the Angels and Elementals that I was happy to do everything all the time. Not that they expected this of me. It was my idea to do too much.
When I got the kidney infection, I got the message that I had to do less. As we came back together, I knew it was time for me to let go of various responsibilities into the hands of the capable, trustworthy, sassy and lovable group of women who were here ready to take up the reins. I didn’t let go very gracefully. Frankly, it was disorienting to do less. One thing that really helped was specific inner guidance about what I WAS NOT supposed to do in the office. Being told “No! You don’t need to go into the office. The staff can do it.” over and over and over again helped me let go and settle in to a more humane schedule. Somedays though, it was very hard to follow my “nonmarching orders.” I really liked all the office jobs of visiting with people on email, writing notes on invoices and packing and decorating packages.
With more free time, I began to garden during the day when I fresh and energized. It was bliss to be able to keep going with a garden task when I wanted to versus having to stop until the next weekend. The guidance I received clarified my jobs as designing the gardens, planting the gardens, tending the gardens and of course, making the Flower Essences. The writing was also important. And now I had the time to think about the blog more and ponder long and hard what I wanted to write about. I could get really fired up about a topic!
I loved that I could rise at dawn and stay in the gardens as long as I wanted. I loved that I was still visiting with all of you via the blog. So many of you have been connected with us for decades. You are beloveds to me, and I think of you and your animals so often.
I kept one office job of making all our red shiso tincture, because I wanted some ongoing connection to the life of the office. Most days, I briefly visit the staff to check red shiso inventory, to catch up and to admire the enormous piles of outgoing orders. Order fulfillment is their ship to steer, and they are doing a fantastic job. When the staff goddesses took charge of this, they began to innovate. This has been wonderful. They represent different generations and that is so helpful to the ongoing life of the business. They also enjoy technology in a way foreign to me and love to explore new options for everything. This year, for example, they found a mail program that everyone likes better than Pitney Bowes. It’s called Pirate Ship. After too many years of beating our head against the walls with Pitney Bowes, everyone enjoys the sass as well as ease of using a company called Pirate Ship.
As I consider 2023, I know we will continue to incorporate the innovations of the younger generations of staff goddesses, and I am grateful for all the ways they are helping me go with the flow. I am also glad that there is still room for me to write long meandering blogs for those who still like to read something longer than a meme. In this way, I so look forward to continuing to connect with you in 2023.