I realized when I posted on here Wednesday it had been exactly a month (Sept. 20th – Oct. 20th) since I last shared any stories on here. As much as I love taking breaks and encourage others to do so when they need it, I didn’t plan on not posting for a month. Life has just been that delightfully busy.
So today is really a low-key life update. First up: work.
I’ve been at my job two months now. I was brought on as a contract-to-hire role to help with a substantial project my company is doing with one of the states out west. The deadline for this project is coming up soon, and we’re all feeling the crunch to get what we need to done.
I’ve had on several different hats in the past month and am learning a ton about the role. Amazingly enough, in spite of the deadlines and evolving learning curves, I’m still very relaxed and enjoying myself. I got so used to the stress at OldJob that a part of me wondered if accepting a position with a competitor was a good idea. Turns out no company in the same industry is alike, and I am where I need to be.
A few Fridays ago one of the department leaders sent us an email, where she thanked us for working so hard during unprecedented times (the massive project and pandemic) and encouraged us to take the breaks we’re entitled to and leave on time. It may sound minor or goofy, but being at a company that recognizes the importance of avoiding burnout and encourages employees to take care of themselves is huge. American work culture, generally speaking, endorses being on the grind and work being #1 way too much. And then we all wonder why we’re self-medicating with booze, food and untreated depression.
I refuse to work any more hours than I need to (barring emergencies), and being someplace that recognizes the need to take care of mental well-being is a blessing.
Secondly: Amish Country with my mom.
Back on Oct. 9th, Mom and I took an overnight trip to Amish Country. She had never been there before and I wanted to take her up, as well as get out of Columbus for a bit. I’ve been wanting to go to a petting zoo like crazy, and missed the animals at Hershberger Farm.
Driving up route 62 was fun. We passed by a horse and buggy with an Amish family on board. The matriarch was a red-faced, rough looking woman who was going to town on a can of Pringles. I’ve never seen that before and it was so delightfully jarring that Mom and I lost it. There was a lot of shenanigans on the drive up and it felt good to laugh.
Fall came to Northeastern Ohio before it came to Columbus or Mom’s neck if the woods (southwestern Ohio.) Seeing the golds, oranges and reds springing up from the hills was incredible. Mom was shocked that this was even a part of Ohio.
Our first stop was to Hershberger Farm and Bakery. I fell in love with the farm when I went last year, and told Mom how the petting zoo is one of the largest and nicest ones I’ve been to. We went into the store first and found some items for stocking stuffers, and wandered around the bakery for a bit.
Then it was time to go see the animals. My favorite are the goats, although this year the goats were tied with the cows. I fell in love with the calves, and Mom was surprised to fall in love with the little pigs. “They act just like Buddy,” she said, referring to their dog. “Do you think they’d notice if I took one home and Buddy got a brother?”
After petting and taking pictures of – and petting again – all of the animals, our second stop was Guggisberg Cheese Factory. We bought some cheese for our snack and walked the grounds while eating. Guggisberg is known the original baby Swiss cheese. Normally I think Swiss cheese is flavorless, but Guggisberg makes theirs so rich and creamy. Thankfully the Giant Eagle carries Guggisberg – I’d make the drive if I had to, it’s that good.
The rest of our Saturday included a trip to Sugarcreek to see the world’s largest cuckoo clock, getting Amish fudge, trying to find a restaurant that didn’t have an hour wait, ultimately settling for pizza and then going to bed early.
Before we left on Sunday morning I showed Mom the Inn at Honey Run. She sent my ex and me there in January 2020, and I wanted to finally show her the beauty of the inn and the grounds. What was a cool first time for her felt like a homecoming for me, as though I were returning to a piece of myself and my soul. The hills, the colors and the baa-ing from the sheep reminded me that there’s more to my life and soul than the hustle and grind of my life in the city.
Our return trip home included a stop at Ohio’s longest covered bridge overlooking the Mohican River, as well as Mom passing some campers and us laughing at all kinds of goofy stuff, as we always do when we’re together.
That road trip was a wonderful pause before the excitement of the marathon and the rest of October. Since then, it’s been delightful fracas. My folks are coming out this weekend after I get done working, and Sunday is a planned trip to Mohican State Park. Then I have some more hiking trips I want to squeeze in before the Indy Monumental Marathon.
Speaking of Indy Monumental, I just got an informational email I need to check. So I’ll leave you all on that note.
Yours in reading and running,