Aimlessly Navigating: Barely treading water

Fall is upon us, with it comes much needed rest and recuperation.

Alyssa Sobotka HEADSHOT

I’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed lately.

For the past several months, I feel like I’ve been aimlessly bouncing around between work, play and somewhere in between the two all in the grand scheme to “enjoy” the ever-anticipated summer months in the great north.

I’ve enjoyed twice-weekly sand volleyball matches and traveling south each week to Ashton, Iowa to cheer on my boyfriend’s slow-pitch softball team. Many weekends were well spent on Lake Okoboji. Although late in the season, I even managed to get several golf games under my belt in an effort to improve with plans to hit the greens more next season.

While I wouldn’t trade my favorite summer activities for anything, it’s required some serious time management.

Where am I going to find time to mow the lawn? The weeds in the garden are getting out of control, and it desperately needs watering. Am I going to accomplish that after work and before volleyball or before work or after softball? What are you going to make for dinner? Oh, and the sink is full of dishes and the laundry hamper is overflowing, as well.


That’s just a snapshot of what my brain’s been like since early June.

It’s a hectic, totally self-inflicted lifestyle that can be attributed to the cycle of the seasonal changes.

Spring is always such a welcome sight. The sun seems to shine more, and color returns to our little section of earth. I love it. But it also lights an overambitious fire underneath me, which brings me full circle to where I am today.

Thanks to the late planting season, the garden is at its peak. It’s a beautiful, self-satisfactory kind of sight, but it also means I need to carve out time for salsa and spaghetti sauce. And anyone who has experienced canning knows it requires more than a two-hour window.

I took time off work recently and hauled my entire sweet corn patch to Nebraska, where we rallied the troops at my grandma’s farmhouse to prep it for the freezer like we once did when I was just a little tyke. We managed to get more than 60 two-cup portioned bags to share between family and enjoy all winter.

The garden has also caused a never-before-seen sight in my refrigerator, as every brim is full of plastic grocery bags wrapped with anything and everything: zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, peppers. I’ve found myself staring inside my fridge hoping the puzzle would solve itself and result in a meal on my plate, sans the planning and prep. Who has time for that?

If the last few weeks are any indication, this will all be changing soon. Fall is certainly upon us, which means the need to mow has significantly slowed down, the garden is on its last leg and it’s time to clean up the yard tools and put them away in the garden shed where, like myself, will rest and recuperate until next spring when the cycle will repeat.

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