June, I’m Home!

First an apology, I grossly underestimated the demands of June. A veg fest, a bar mitzvah, a graduation, a graduation party, a surprise birthday party, a concert, a gala…you get the idea. I had thought I would have no problem juggling everything and doing it all perfectly and on time.

Turns out that I am not a superwoman, I had pretty much convinced myself that I was, given that when I was a restaurant owner and executive chef and dishwasher I got more done in a day than I now accomplish in a week. What I neglected to take into account was that my body and my mind and my soul have slowed down to accommodate the new pace of my life. I couldn’t simply pull the rip cord and wind up my energizer bunny mode again. More importantly, I just didn’t want to. Spurts of great endurance over the last few weeks have been punctuated with equally strenuous exhaustion.

I struggled. I felt like my body was on the wrong end of a baseball bat. I felt guilty for not being able to do it all and yet at the same time I just wanted to climb into my snuggly bed and sleep for ten hours at a stretch before I had to get up and do it all over again the next day. Either sleep or drink a bottle of wine. Sometimes both, you all know me, who am I kidding?

So for the first time in a very long time, I did not keep self imposed deadlines. I was supposed to post recipes. I didn’t. I was supposed to return phone calls. I didn’t. I owed three guest blog posts. I didn’t do a single one. I was supposed to send my health coaching client’s documents and they got nothing.

Many years ago, my first ‘big girl’ catering company was called, “June, I’m Home!” A cute amalgamation of the two things I do best: cook and nourish the people I care for. I look back several decades later at the fresh faced and eager twenty year old me who was unrealistically aiming for the perfection of being a surrogate idealized wife. I was going to cook my clients healthy and well and make them happy too. I optimistically drew up menus a week at a time based on the global eco fusion I loved, and with a healthful and wholesome twist that was the precursor of my later career. I enthusiastically ‘coached’ my clients much the same way I am now with one important distinction: I assumed that my enthusiasms were theirs and I didn’t take into account the path that led each one of them to my table. I had tunnel vision based on my own idealism, without understanding the uniquely circuitous journey that led each one of them to me.  I was always so surprised when they didn’t do what I told them to and cited reasons like, “too busy,” “too tired,” or “too many commitments.” Secretly I thought that they lacked will power and discipline. If they prioritized their health and exercise regimen then all their problems would magically disappear. Right? I really was that horrible.

So this month I learned a very important lesson for the first time.

Sometimes I will not eat all my vegetable servings in a day. Sometimes I don’t even want to eat whole grains, all I want is white flour preferably in the form of two foot baguette. Sometimes I will go to bed with a whole bag of cashew cookies and eat the entire bag. Sometimes I will be so tired of being too busy that I will watch back to back episodes of House of Cards when I have multiple writing projects due. Sometimes I will not work out for days on end for no other reason than ‘I don’t feel like it.’ Sometimes I won’t be a June Cleaver and Wonder Woman amalgamation. Sometimes I will fail at every single one of the things I set out to do.

Sometimes it is ok to be simply Gretchen.

So, happy June to all of you that figured that out years ago, I’m finally home.

5 Responses

  1. It is absolutely okay to be “just” Gretchen without the cape and bullet repelling cuffs. Thank you for reminding us all of the that.

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