Small Life, Slow Life: It took a fire.

You might have heard that fires are raging through Southern California again. While they aren’t close to us this time, the wind blew all of the smoke and ash here, and, long story short, both C’s gym and my store have been closed for two days due to poor air quality. And it’s not like we’re being babies about it; the air has truly been dangerous to breathe. My staff went home in the morning yesterday after all coming down with headaches and having trouble breathing. Although the air quality was much improved today, I didn’t want to take the risk.

What this resulted in was C and I having two full days with V. Because we are both bosses and prefer to spend as much time with her as possible, we only have help three days a week. The rest of the time, one of us is with her so that the other one can be working. The most connection we get is about 20-30 minutes at night before C has to go to bed. Gyms keep early hours, and he gets up at 4:40am every day!

Which ultimately causes C and I to have very little time together. Certainly not full days.

I am never thankful for something that is bad leading to something good. Ever. In fact, I’ve spent the last few days furious that we are once again dealing with these horrible fires, with nothing having been done since I was a child growing up here to stop them from happening every single fall season. It gets hot, and then super windy, and then a power line goes down, or a fuse box sparks, and then we’re here again.

I know the current system is more complicated than I can understand. But what I really don’t understand is why, every time I ask about how something works, it always comes back to money and profits, at the core of every issue. Profits are first. And second. And third.

Yes, to change our current structure of power lines would cost billions. And every single year, these fires also cost billions. But still, nothing is done. PG&E filed for bankruptcy and gave its executive team millions of dollars in bonus. What?! Oh, and neglected the cutting back of brush and trimming the trees that are all part of preventing these fires during this season.

Isn’t there a better way?

So, that was a long-winded way of saying that I got to have two full days with my family. And while I never would have wished fires to cause such a thing, I did savor every single moment.

Yesterday we truly drove as far away as we could and ended up at one of our favorite places that happened to also have safe breathing air.

V kept being so happy and saying “Mommy doesn’t have to work. Daddy doesn’t have to work!”

Today we went to check on lululemon in the morning. There was ash on the clothes and the air was pretty smoky. We turned the AC and fans on and are hopeful it will be safe to work in tomorrow. I kept seeing all the other businesses open and was second-guessing my decision to stay closed today. But after just over an hour in the store, I had a bad headache and just wanted to get out of there. I didn’t want to expose my team to that.

So we drove and ended up at Underwood Farms, where we got married, and my mom and sister were able to meet us there too. It was such a spontaneous decision (the kind we never get to make anymore), and V was so delighted. I felt so grateful to have had two special days with my family!

When you’re married with kids and full time jobs, it’s so important to carve out time where you can. Hopefully it doesn’t always take a fire to make it happen!

6 thoughts on “Small Life, Slow Life: It took a fire.

  1. Happy Thanksgiving Jen..it’s been a while since I’ve been on the site, I’m back because it’s always my healing place. I’m happy you’re family is healthy with all the fires and I can’t believe how big V is getting. Thanks for all your inspiration!

      • I’m sorry to hear about your family. My brother passed away this time last year and it changes the atmosphere around the holidays now. We’ve had to adjust to a new normal but there is still a void. You and your family are in my prayers.

        • I’m so sorry that you have also felt this pain. 😔 I know I will eventually adjust to this, but right now it feels insurmountable. The benefit is that I’m very familiar with grief; it saddles up like an old friend now. I know its peaks and valleys. Thinking of you. Thank you for reaching out.

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