The history of harvest celebrations offers varied and debatable timelines. The word “harvest,” if you want to get word nerdy about it (which I, Whitney, absolutely and always do), comes from the Anglo-Saxon haerfest (“autumn”) or the Old High German herbist. It’s a season of rejoicing. It’s a season of “I planted this seed, and now it’s this fully-formed, real thing that sustains people and probably made me money!” It’s the season of “Wow, look at this beautiful, independent entity I created out of basically nothing!”
Whether it’s an idea that became a service, a launch that turned into a really big deal, or a project that evolved into an ongoing relationship, you probably planted some major seeds this year.
And that is worth considering. It’s worth brushing your shoulder off, probably. You made moves, and now you get to appreciate them.
Some farmers believe the “corn mother” spirit lives in the last sheaf of grain they bring in, and they beat that grain to the ground as part of their celebration. You don’t have to beat anything to the ground to celebrate all you’ve reaped from the seeds you sowed earlier this year.
It’s Q4, after all, which usually doesn’t mean much to me in a front-of-mind sense, but with the return of the rain, TV shows that basically beg for a butt-dent on the couch and hashtag soup season, it’s given me a little space to pause and consider my own harvest celebration.
If I were to design the perfect ways to show gratitude for my harvests this year, I’d first pause to go through my work from the past 10 months and acknowledge how much I really did accomplish. So many of us keep pressing our foot on the gas — and with good reason — that we don’t take the time to give ourselves a hearty pat on the back.
A few years ago, I started taking myself on an annual business retreat to make a point of pausing, finding inspiration and setting goals. I usually go somewhere close. For the past four years, it’s been one of the islands. This year, I’ll be in Olympia the second weekend of December. I can’t wait!
But, back to the more immediate harvest celebration.
Next, I’d take myself out — or call a friend — to meet for coffee and hug and/or high-five over all of our accomplishments so far. We work-from-homers need our community, and I’m so grateful to have found that in Emilie. We like to meet for bubbles and oysters at Salt & Iron in Edmonds when we can.
After that, I’d schedule myself some time to (as I lovingly refer to it based on a funny conversation with my mom, who traveled a ton for work when I was young) “decompose.” An acupuncture session with Carleigh at Iris Wellness, a massage at Green Leaf Massage Therapy, a stack of face masks from H Mart, a new-to-me library book, and a tea to try from either Steepologie or the Made In Washington stores right across from each other at Alderwood Mall.
(Side note: If you’re interested in steeping whole-leaf teas, get this steeper. It’ll change your life.)
Then, I’d go to Double DD Meats in Mountlake Terrace and grab some “canoes” (marrow bones) for my husband to smoke on our Big Green Egg (AquaQuip in Lynnwood sells them), a loaf from The Cottage, Community Bakery in Perrinville, and munch at home in one of my sweatsuits, eyes closed, feeling perfectly and lightly decadent. It’s indulgent, but you know what? I’ve worked hard. I’ve earned it. All of it.
And, as you might have noticed, none of the above required much effort from me.
Now that I’ve written this all out, I’ve decided I need to actualize on it all, especially since my stomach is telling me it’s on my level.
Have you celebrated your harvest yet? Join me!
— By Emilie Given and Whitney Popa
Emilie Given is a virtual assistant agency owner in Lynnwood, and Whitney Popa is a writer and communications consultant in Edmonds. They write this column together to share work-from-home ideas. They love where they live and are grateful the virtual world allows them to achieve more work/life harmony. They also co-host a weekly podcast where they share their entrepreneurship journeys while learning about those of others. You can learn more about Emilie here and more about Whitney here.