• Leigh Roach

Labor Day at the Lake Should be the Law!


I am going to start by saying, I work my butt off. If I inherited one thing from my parents, it was my work ethic. My friends and co-workers call me the "grinder" because I can crank out work like nobody's business. In fact, I thrive on it. I have a brain that toils 24/7 and the only way to get all that "stuff" out is to infuse it into my job. Which is good that I own my own business and now Kentucky Taste Buds because there is so much to do. From sales, to product, to service and invoices, my entrepreneurial spirit serves my workhorse mentality well. Or is it the other way around? Who knows?

Now, let's be clear. This is not braggart moment. I do take pride in my career and admire my ability to travail but it poses several problems in my life. Here are a top few.

1. Relationships - No one wants to talk business 24/7 (except me, that is) nor do people like it when your work interferes with their time. I know I don't.

2. Health - There is such a thing as working too hard. I have seen the effects. Lack of sleep, gained weight, crankiness, social isolation... the list goes on and on.

4. Spirituality - There have been tons of times I have sacrificed church to hit a deadline or reconcile my general ledger, all in the "spirit" of getting ahead. But it never seems to work. I never get ahead. And then I feel distant in my relationship with God and trust me, that's not good for anyone. But it's hard to find balance sometimes.

5. Relaxation - I can promise you, there is not one person on the face of this planet who would call me a calm and laid back person. I have no ability to dial it back sometimes. People recommend I do yoga and frankly I laugh out loud. I did it once. It was the longest 3600 seconds of my life. I'd rather watch paint dry. At least that will inspire my creative juices.

Which brings me to the point of this article. Most of you who follow us, know by now that I'm really not the outdoorsy type. The activities I enjoy for the most part, are ones where I am entertained. Watching a sports competition, dancing to great music, visiting an art museum, are all ways for my mind to be inspired. I like to be inspired - it sparks my creativity. No lie, I sat in church a few years ago, and while listening to the band play an amazing gospel, I got distracted and found myself studying the set design. I noticed two beams forming a shadow on the floor which became revelation for a logo I ultimately designed. This is how my mind operates people. It never stops.

Every labor day I can remember for the last 10 years, I have worked. Not because I had to, but because I wanted to. But this Labor Day was different. I was worn out. I have been going non-stop for months so I happily accepted an invitation to go boating on beautiful Lake Cumberland. And let me tell you, it was something. Outside of it being potentially the most beautiful day of the year, it was also surprisingly calm and serene. Everyone had packed their bags and headed home after a long weekend and we pretty much had the lake to ourselves.

WOW!!!

I can't adequately explain how it felt yesterday. For four hours, we sat back on a spacious pontoon boat, zipped across the glass-like lake and I swear it was so gorgeous, I even saw diamonds. Although there were the occasional "oooo's" and "ahhh's", we barely spoke. We simply took in the view and felt the wind across our faces. We then drove up to a small nook where we saw two beautiful waterfalls and a staircase calling our name. We ascended the rustic steps to find an old, rustic 1912 mill, still in operation. There were bubbling brooks, lizards and butterflies and a beautiful landscape of purple and amber wildflowers. It was absolutely breathtaking. We discovered this location was called Mills Springs located in Monticello, KY.

After our little hike, we climbed back into the boat and downed scrumptious pimento cheese sandwiches with, my fav, Dorito's and yogurt bars. Yum. It was simple fare for a simple day. We saw families side by side on sandy beaches with their SUV hatches up, music washing out over the water while kids jumped and splashed. They were soooo happy. It's hard to find that kind of happy these days.

I thought to myself in that moment, "Why didn't I do these things with my daughter growing up?" Yes, we didn't own a boat, but an inter-tube is cheap. Why didn't we pack a cooler, pick up a few floats, stash away a pair of hiking boots and head to one of 44 Kentucky's beautiful lakes? Then I remembered why... I was working. At best, our weekend entertainment consists of $50 at the movies where for two hours we sit and watch a large screen play some sort of fairy tale for us to escape. I love movies, don't get me wrong, but there is no connection. No commune with nature. No engagement with one another.

Sitting there on that boat, taking it all in, I thought to myself, "Going to the lake on Labor Day should be the law." It reminds us what is real. The insight I gained was worth far more than any sale I ever closed. I am becoming a lake lover. It's one of the few places I am discovering will make me relax. It's my personal "yoga". It's my hope to one day own a pontoon so I can do this more often. Btw, I will barter services for a new boat - just saying! (See, always working! :)) Guys and gals, visit our state's amazing parks and lakes. Do it before your kids get too old or you become so engrossed with work that you forget how to live. That is definitely what has happened to me. But I am learning thanks to Kentucky Taste Buds. And while it may be hard to teach an old dog how new tricks, I've always fancied myself more CAT-like. (I thought you all might like that one, #BBN).

Next Labor Day - go to the lake. Trust me. You too, will want it to become law. And then you can help me start my petition.

#LakeCumberland #MillSprings #Monticello #LaborDay