The Plate is full

I would like to say that July is my least favorite month of the year. Background: My husband is in the National Guard Reserves. The first time around he started after he graduated high school and left in 2013. He left because it just did not give him any meaning and it did not benefit him aside from helping pay for some of his college. He never got promoted for all the time he was there.

He re-enlisted in late 2019 for Officer Candidate School because he got his Bachelor’s Degree and that made him eligible. He thought to give it a second try because thought being an officer would be more beneficial for his civilian career. Answer: After two years (plus many more before), he concluded it’s not really benefitting him like he thought. Each month he does his once-a-month weekend drill and each drill he asks himself, “what am I doing here?” I remind him that there was a time he believed in all the advancement opportunities that came with being an officer…but one can’t predict the future. At the time he was with a small engineering firm and he thought it was beneficial to make some side cash at the time (along with professional development opportunities) through the reserves. I understand the mindset. But a few months later — right before started OCS — he landed a job with a prestigious engineering firm with a significant pay raise and found all the things he hoped to find at OCS in a civilian job (i.e. a supportive boss, professional development opportunities). Oh, the irony.

So back to why July is my least favorite month. Every year they have to go on a month-long training. Since he’s re-enlisted, it’s been getting very hard. Back in 2020, I was pregnant and it gets very hot in the summer. I spent a lot of time at home relying heavily on PostMates and Instacart because I did not want to get COVID while pregnant. In July 2021, Lana had a very bad cold. My parents insisted I stay with them so they can care for her while I went to work. I kept that stay short as I can since it was a very long commute. I wouldn’t have minded taking PTO for a few days to stay home with Lana, I could have used that opportunity to work on the house. Keeping and maintaining a blog kept me sane because I get to write to my heart’s content.

This July, I am just over it. He’s looking to quit which I wholeheartedly support because why stick with something it no longer gives you meaning. The best way I can describe this July is that it feels like a month full of canceled plans and I have to chaotically figure it out. I can’t go meet my friends at the gym because there’s no childcare at the gym. I can’t drive up 20 miles to my parent’s house to drive down to go to the gym for an hour. If I did not quit my old job, I would have used my PTO to go on a two-week vacation elsewhere with Lana. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job a lot. It’s just that the downside of any new job is gaining PTO again.

I really try to make the most of July, but it does require quite a bit of mental gymnastics. Figuring stuff out (while fighting a cold) has been eating a lot of my time. I may not be able to do my daily morning walks with my dogs, but we go on longer walks on Fridays and weekends to different neighborhoods. After many days of research, I finally found a gym that has childcare. I told my husband that I will no longer say “yes” to everything. Instead, I should step back and question if this will disrupt/complicate my life. I’m not saying I don’t want to be helpful or challenged or think, etc. If I can’t fit time for basic things, what makes me want to add other things to my plate?

Things I am loving lately:

Keeping ice cream in our office kitchen freezer. It’s been such a morale booster in our office since summers are our slow weeks at work. I’ve been liking the horchata ice cream at Trader Joe’s.

The neighborhood no-buy group on Facebook. This has been a great to great rid of stuff you don’t need and meet your neighbors. I’ve been using no-buy as an environmentally friendly way to get work clothes. The new job had a dressier dress code than my previous jobs. Instead of buying a new wardrobe, I thought to look into the no-buy group. I’ve been gifting away cardboard boxes. We’ve kept a stack folded and it’s just hanging in our living room. And I’ve been gifting away Lana’s baby clothes.

…actually, I had a neighbor would was about to pick up Lana’s newborn to 3-month-old baby clothes. We agreed on a time to pick it up and she did not show up. I learned she had a medical emergency as she has a high-risk, late-term pregnancy. She was on her way to pick up the clothes, but then she fell and ended up going to the hospital. I dropped off the clothes at her place the following day when she returned home. I had no idea she was in such a vulnerable place.

This week’s botanical garden walk:

Tag: Weekend Coffee Share

3 thoughts on “The Plate is full”

  1. Hi Julie, as usual, your plate sounds full – much like (it seems) your husband’s plate. My bet is that you’re both fundamentally wise and will navigate your busy and significant lives, keeping it all meaningful and even affordable. You two will prosper because you recognized when things aren’t going where you want and ask the right questions. Hang in there.

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