I jokingly tell myself nowadays, “I’ve taken to Scooby Doo styled landscapes.” If you visit my garden, I’ll even say it out loud and it will be followed up by one of those half-hearted self-effacing nervous laughs one’s prone to when they’re ashamed of their mess.
Yeah, life happens. I know. I know.
And I’m overwhelmed by the mess—daily. But unlike other messes this one grows—and then grows some more—and it just keeps on growing.
You see houses like mine if you walk around enough and get to know your neighborhood. I can only speculate as to the causes of this kind of decline but clearly it can be anything from old age or an injury, to the addition of a small child or two, maybe even a divorce or depression.
Gardening clearly takes time, energy, and money. We don’t all have these luxuries and I’m afraid I took them for granted when they were more readily available to me. When I first began blogging and was very ill with autoimmune disfunction I was receiving financial support from my family and my days were my own. I read and ordered seeds. I tended to new plants. I worked when I could, but best of all, I was not a stressed out underemployed woman with chronic health issues using all of her energy to pay her own way in the world.
Oh how times have changed…
Yeah. That’s my house right now. I went through the illness, depression, divorce, depression and injury phases. [Sigh.] Sometimes I feel badly that my gardening ‘issues’ don’t appear in the glossy magazines with lust-worthy photos of beautiful gardens that I will never be able to afford. Clearly, I’m a great target audience—and I’ve done my fair share of feeling envious—but I’m a realist.
Despite having wanted to fix things up there’s neither been the available labor nor the money to pay for additional labor. Medical issues (aka life) really can put an end to gardening efforts in a flash.
I’ve been in denial about how bad it’s gotten around here, but I’m finally feeling a bit less overwhelmed. I can manage my physical energy better between work and home. My back is getting better post-surgery and I appear to be building more muscle. I’m committing to a second round of allergy shots to decrease swelling. Discovering I’m allergic to black pepper and all peppers has dramatically improved my breathing. (I had no idea how bad my breathing was before a few weeks ago and am relieved now.) To relieve stress—with the time I have—I either read, write, exercise, or cook. There’s still not a lot left over for gardening, but I’m committed to started seeds again this year.
I’m also committed to making improvements in my own life when I see areas that need help. If this round in the garden doesn’t work out in 2015, I’m likely going to need to focus more time on managing my health and this blog will end. Though this makes me kind of sad, on the other hand, I very much like to watch things grow.