(That's me, in the middle)
What I did on my week-long funemployment vacation: made casseroles in the middle of the day, almost finished some unfinished knit projects, spun yarn from the roving stash, started seedlings, got a pretty good head start on spring cleaning.
And I worried, lots.
And I worried, lots.
On bright side, my skin looks great! Work stress always shows up in my skin, but no work = no work stress. Weirdly, unemployment stress doesn't seem to count. Who knew?
I think I know what I want to do next. Michigan State University offers a 2-year certificate in sustainable agriculture.
But yeah, I'm worried. I'm worried that a 2-year certificate (that's as much as the state will help pay for) is not going to be enough education, even though I already have a (now useless) Masters of Science in my former field. I've looked online at job listings in the emerging urban ag field- most of the interesting jobs seem to require 4-year undergrad degrees. I already did the 4-year thing a long time ago. Besides, I just finished paying off my student debt last year, and the thought of a brand new pile of indentured servitude at age 40 completely fills me with dread. It's called trickle-down economics these days, but it used to be called Feudalism. But I digress.
I also worry I'm too old for a second career in such a physically demanding field; I have really terrible knees and a bad neck. Small women are surely at a disadvantage in a field that requires physical strength. I can lift about 40 pounds if you need me to move it somewhere, but it's a struggle. I fear I'll be eating extra strength Tylenol for breakfast, lunch and dinner the rest of my working life.
I'm attending an organic food and farming conference this weekend in Lansing, called MOFFA. Maybe I'll find some answers soon, or at least a better idea of what I'm getting into.
And then there's the small matter of land. I was telling the wife of my favorite farmer about my possible new career path on Saturday at the farmer's market; I told her that my dream job was to become the head gardener for a local and seasonal restaurant. And she plainly (and kindly) asked, "And you'll grow the food, where?" It was rather startling to hear, but was a point well taken. Her one little question is all I've thought about all weekend. After all, I come from a long line of lifelong, landless apartment dwellers with no money. So I'll be a landless, itinerant peasant gardener with permanent knee and neck pain, hooray! Think my new field comes with a good dental plan?