life, lately

June 14, 2013 |  Category:   life the biz

jpark_tulipflower

School is winding down for the kids, and with it comes a long string of end of the year performances, good bye gatherings and that bittersweet feeling that another year has ended. The girls are both happy and sad that there are less than 2 weeks of school – happy because they’re looking forward to a few weeks of camp, outings to the pool and the beach, and our trip out west. But sad too because they’ll miss their teachers and friends. I feel the same way. Summer vacation holds a different kind of rhythm in our neighborhood. The mornings don’t bustle quite as much like our usual daily walks to school alongside throngs of other neighbors headed the same direction. It’s not uncommon to miss our neighbors and friends the entire summer. Schedules are different; people are away; the days feel slower.

 

So we’re halfway through the year already. Despite my better judgement, it’s hard for me not to assess the year so far. What I have learned in the last 2 months, however, is that it is indeed possible for me to be content with a less than busy work schedule and remain calm through transitions (though admittedly, there have been times when I have had to work really hard at it). I have also learned that despite whatever decisions I have made, remaining open to opportunities can bring forth some unexpected new things. I think back to this “Life, lately” post I wrote back in March when my schedule was very different than it has been recently. Funny to read back on that post because I guess I *have* learned not to worry so much in my free time and just enjoy life.
 
But the thing is…there really is no free time when you’re running a business while raising a family, is there? And that’s where I’ve had to learn to change my perspective and count all the things that I do for the business as “work” even though I don’t invoice for my time. I have been working and I have been busy the last 2 months, and what I have seen manifest is something that we knew all along. If I spend more time on the business, we make more sales. There was a moment this week when I felt an overwhelming gratitude for our customers, especially those who have supported us from the very beginning and continue to order from us 5 years later. Thank you so much for helping us live out this dream.
 
ps. We found these flowers on the ground at the base of a tree on Governors Island the other week. The identifying plaque on the tree simply said “tulip tree”. We have never seen a tulip tree before!

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  • Peter June 14, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    I can’t believe we’re already half way in now.

    I don’t know if I’m in the minority here because I see a lot of people writing about this idea too, but I don’t know if I believe in the concept of “Work/Life” balance anymore.

    I get what the argument that one shouldn’t overwork. Or that other train of thought where if “You do what you love you’ll never work a day in your life.” But it seems like so much fluff to me.

    Since forming, shaping and getting a grasp of my work and what I want my career to be, I’ve let go of the idea that you shouldn’t feel like you’re working. Work is stressful (because there’s a lot a stake. Your reputation. Your income. etc). And I’ve learned to really enjoy the feeling when my work is done. When I can relax. When I can celebrate. I guess what I’m saying is, I enjoy the contrast of “work time” and “life time”.

    Congrats on your continued success!

    • Jenna June 14, 2013 at 10:08 pm

      You always write such thoughtful comments. Thanks Peter. I don’t really buy into the “You do what you love you’ll never work a day in your life” thing either, actually. Doing the work that you love in a lot, if not all instances, doesn’t always pay the bills.
      I’m not sure that my post today was really about work/life balance either, though I suppose it could be interpreted that way. It was more about staying fluid and open to any and all opportunities, and also about staying calm through the slow periods. I like to work and I’m most happiest when I’m busy and juggling too many things. The last 2 months have been a good lesson in maintaining that feeling, despite the fact that I have been less busy than I’m normally comfortable with.

  • Rachel June 15, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    As summer begins and I start to see graduation and last-day-of-school posts on Facebook, it makes me nostalgic for when summer break was still a “thing” in my life. I’m now an adult, but I don’t have kids, so the whole year kind of runs together in one big clump, without many transitions (especially now that I live in LA, where there are basically no seasons). I can still feel a shift in peoples’ mindsets as summer rolls around, but it’s just not the same. I used to work at a summer camp, and I have been missing that like CRAZY for the past few weeks. The smell of the lake, the kids laughing, the pure freedom of the season…the different phases of life each come with their own joys and nostalgia, I suppose. Maybe someday when I have kids, I’ll look back on this phase of my life and miss it as well, who knows =]

    • Jenna June 15, 2013 at 2:40 pm

      I know what you mean Rachel! This distinct end of the year feeling is very much something that I have felt again only when I became a parent. It’s bittersweet because emotions tend to run high and you realize how fast the kids are growing up…

  • diamondkelt June 17, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    We have a tulip tree in our backyard and the flowers are so pretty when they do open up finally, but they don’t seem to be very long lived.

    I can’t believe you’ve been around for ONLY 5 years. Seems like I’ve been buying those lavender cookies forever now. Enjoy the summer because the crazzzzzy Holiday schedule is right around the corner!

    • Jenna June 17, 2013 at 10:25 pm

      I know. Sometimes it feels like forever since at this point, we’re one of the “older” small food businesses in Brooklyn ever since the scene blew up a few years ago.

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