“It’s not work, it’s gardening” – Unknown
I didn’t think I would ever say this, but as an introvert I am not thrilled that the world is opening back up. I’m not a fan of large crowds, noise, or anything fast paced. This made me a perfect gardener. Gardening is slow, calculated, and in my case planned. I figure out what I want to plant in the winter and purchase seeds after New Years. I sit with my catalogs and create little maps of my garden so I know everything will have a home. I start my seedlings indoors when there is still snow on the ground and begin looking at cold frame placement. When it’s time for the seedlings to go outside the decision on pot size and soil amendments is decided. I put a lot of work into going outside to move slow.
There are days when I can sit in my garden for hours. I will prune something or pick something, but normally I’m just watering and sitting. Yes I enjoy the harvest, but in truth I enjoy the process. For some reason I love knowing that most of this garden is out of my control. As a perfectionist you would think I would hate this, but I don’t. I’ve accepted that nature will do what nature does. Last year it was severe thunder storms that knocked the greenhouses over three times. This year the cicadas had me hiding in my house. So why has gardening began to lose some of its luster for me?
I’m tired. Now that the world is open if you are invited somewhere you have to go. People believe that since you’ve been trapped in the house you are dying to see them. Guess what? I’m not. Now that the world has opened up I believe I should be attending things I missed out on due to the pandemic. The truth is I didn’t really miss them. During the pandemic I felt like I had all the time in the world. I would be in the garden, working in the yard, and planning all these vacations that I wanted to take. Now these vacations are here and I’m thinking “who’s going to watch my garden?” Should I not be worrying about this?
I’m also traveling more for work and working on larger projects since the pandemic is over. Again this creates time away from the garden. Let me clearly state that this is 100% a first world problem. I am not changing any lives with my garden outside of mine and the people I give veggies too. The garden does provide a level of sanity that I would like to maintain, but outside of that it’s a luxury that I know I have. The garden is my mini sanctuary that just happens to have corn and green beans. The garden is something that I created, maintain, and benefit from with the help of Mother Nature.
I don’t normally experience garden burnout this early, but coming out of the pandemic something is different. I don’t feel like I should spend as much time there. I feel like I should be doing other things. I should be hanging out with people, working out, cooking, cleaning, or anything other than just sitting in the garden. I can’t really explain the feelings but figured I would share them in case someone else was going through this.
I typically would classify this as just feeling “off.” I just feel “off” regarding my garden this year. I love gardening and everything that goes into it, but recently the love has turned into a like. I want to love my garden again. I want to appreciate all the wonders and the beautiful colors it holds. The marigold and lavender make me smile each time I enter.
I told a co-worker the other day you need to fake it. I need to fake my happiness in my garden until I get that feeling back. Until I get that love back. The garden has not changed, I have. I have to remember why I fell in love in the first place. I have to simply appreciate the garden for what it is.