A couple of summers a go, my partner and I arranged our work schedules so that we could attend free outdoor concerts during the week and on the weekends.
It was his idea. He loves music. I do too, but I never thought of arranging my schedule to follow the music like my deadhead friends did in the past.
It was a scary idea for me. My whole working life, work was the priority and I scheduled my life around its center.
My partner was asking me to put our time together, our summer first. And work last.
How was I going to pay my bills. Be an upstanding citizen. Be productive. Be worthy. If work was not the priority.
My partner proposed a part time work schedule with a perimeter of certain hours and days off.
I argued and gave him every excuse in the book of how it wouldn't work. There was no boss or job that would accept that kind of schedule.
Fine. He said. I could go with him on some summer activities and he would leave me in the dust on others. If I preferred work instead of a summer of fun, my choice.
I thought about it. I didn't want to be left behind. I wanted a summer of fun too.
I dialed back my spending, cutting my spending to the bone. I went to my boss with a proposed work schedule change. Because I was a good worker and it was retail, he honored my request. I went in with the knowing that I might have to quit to make my summer happen and get creative about work. Luckily this time around, I didn't have to.
Putting my relationship and my summer first was revelatory for me.
That summer, two summers ago as we drove the backroads heading to our free music, the heat, windows rolled down, the scent of ripe grape vines, dust, and the aroma of bay leaves from the creeks running below. Our picnic cooler filled with homemade sandwiches, sliced fresh fruit, chips, a bottle of wine or beer, most of the time cold bottled water. I would feel the hot air rush in blowing my hair back as I gazed across the pastures and up into the mountains.
At the concerts, we set up our chairs. Leaning back, listening to the music together, feeling the beat and the sun on my face, I found my summer.
One of our favorites was seeing Samantha Fish play in the small town of Cloverdale, Ca. Just north of us in Sonoma County. Here she is💜