The Corporate Refugee Transformation
It was 1995 and my biggest concern was the next suit sale at Dillards and choosing the socially acceptable, suitable for bragging, day care for my little ones. My nails were covered in fire engine red acrylics and at last count, there were over 72 pair of shoes in the closet. I knew that because the closet was overflowing and new shoe shelving had to be purchased. We had purchased our “estate” on acreage and were busy supervising contractors and tradesmen to renovate it to an adobe worthy of a spread in Country Living. Ah, life was good – or so I thought.
For years I teetered on medium height heels between business meetings, playing the corporate politic game and day care pickups. I kept my overnighter packed and in the office corner for those unexpected rushes for a corporate crisis intervention in the other part of the state. Our weekends were busy consuming all things Disney and the idea of my husband performing even a small repair was banished in favor of calling a professional. Definitely faster and with less damage.
When I first left corporate America in favor of being my own boss, I would go back for a weekly ladies’ lunch and stay in tune with all the office gossip. The lunches became less frequent as I found my comfort zone in having my own business and getting down and dirty with the land – and finding that the latest gossip didn’t matter in my corner of the world. It was a gradual transition. First came the horses in 1998, then the goats came to win our hearts and add in a smattering of chickens and a few rabbits and the hobby farm was born. We were all horrified by 9/11 and in the fallout, lives were changed of people who weren’t anywhere near New York City, nor that knew any of the victims, including us. After my husband was laid off and my right of way business was running out of work, unconsciously I found myself stocking the farm until the revelation of “we’re going to be farmers” hit us like a hitter swinging a bat with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth.
Not one of those $300 suits fit today but a few of the favorites are still hanging in the closet “just in case”. My body has changed and what breast feeding kids didn’t ruin, gravity finished and being president of the “clean your plate club” made sure it came in ample supply. Today I look down at dirty feet, ragged finger nails and get that hint of eau de buck that comes about every fall drifting in through the window closest to the buck pen. Ah, so comforting! I attend every blood drive just to get that new t-shirt and I get great thrills in scoring that new (to me) pair of jeans or dehydrator at the Wednesday 50% off Seniors Day at the Salvation Army thrift store. Somehow over those years I became a senior, imagine that?
My shoe wardrobe now consists of two good pair of knee high boots, a few pair of rubber clogs (you can bleach the cooties out when they start to smell), one pair of lace up dress shoes – no heels, I would never be able to balance – and the obligatory pair of sneakers. I prefer new hoses, filters and inflations for the milking machine in favor of any shopping spree at Saks (price wise it is about the same) and sometimes I catch the folks in line behind me at the grocery store sniffing that eau de buck on my clothes and gasping for air. I can tear down the tractor or build a chicken pen that would make any craftsman proud. And about those corporate power lunches, I would rather sit with a peanut butter and jelly and share it with any of my four leggers and be adored by the ones who really matter!