Liam reaches across the table to take Sophie’s hand. “Happy?” he asks.

“Happy, scared, excited, worried. I’m a lot of things right now!”

“Don’t worry. We have a plan, remember?”

Sophie relaxes and smiles. “Yes, and we’re creative, imaginative people!” She repeats their well-worn mantra. “We can do this.”

Sometimes she thinks they must be crazy, leaving their coveted jobs to become self-sufficient. But she really doesn’t want to wait thirty more years to live the life she loves. Now’s the time.

“This afternoon I’ll plow that sunny section for our vegetable garden. Let’s pick out what we want to plant. I’ll learn how to cook them all!” He opens a color catalogue with bright red tomatoes, green peas, yellow peppers, blueberries, strawberries … the pictures are like an art gallery.

“Be sure and include herbs.” Sophie remembers her mother’s window garden and the delicious smells coming from the kitchen of her childhood. “Basil, oregano, parsley,” she begins.

“Now that we have the thyme,” jokes her husband. She rolls her eyes but can’t help laughing. She changes the subject.

“I got an email from Dan early this morning. He wants me to write articles about our new life. Off the Grid Magazine is paying nicely, he says. But I’d rather write fiction, I told him. No problem, he said, OTG loves fiction too, especially flash fiction. So I have an idea for a story.” Her words tumble over each other, and she’s almost breathless with enthusiasm.

“Can you tell me about it?”

“I don’t want to give it away, but it involves bees.”

“Ah, bees. I forgot to put that on our list. I can build beehives and learn the art of beekeeping! That is definitely off the grid.”

Sophie eats the last of her avocado toast and heads toward her tiny sunlit office. She kisses Liam on the forehead. “Enjoy your plowing! I’ll read you my story tonight, at least the rough draft.”

And thus the first week of their Great Resignation begins.

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
11 months ago

I am happy that they have finally made the right decision: to live the lives they want; to plant vegetables in the garden and write. And also making beehives, is so much fun and exciting. I can feel the pleasure but, there are doubts if they will be able to live simply in the way they want. But I know they can do it. Good job. I can feel every emotion in your story, Julie. I am wishing them a La Dolce Vita. 

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Julie Harris
11 months ago

You’re welcome, Julie. You are so sweet, Julie and yes, wild honey is my favorite.

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Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
11 months ago

Thank you, Julie, for giving us a peek into what Sophie’s and Liam’s first week after The Great Resignation looked like. It’s a joy to see their enthusiasm and how close they seem to be to each other in their decision and focus as they are starting a new and different life together.
Your picture with seed packages is a great illustration of the variety of their plans and ideas, but the photo can also be seen as a symbol for the mixed bag of feelings that Sophie is carrying. It would be strange if that bag hadn’t contained a lot of fear and worries as well as feelings of joy, freedom and expectations.
One of many uplifting things in this story is to see how they support each other and remind each other of their great mantra, “We can do this.”
Without knowing exactly how close to your own life this story is, it’s exciting to imagine that you took a decision like this, leaving a well paid job for an uncertain and different life. It makes me happy to see that it worked out and that Sophie/Julie didn’t regret the decision.

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