First of all, I’m sorry if you’ve worried while I’ve been away from here for the last several months. I got into a cycle where the longer I stayed away from the blog and didn’t post, the easier it was to simply ignore it. There also wasn’t much to write about that was different to my usual gardening maintenance chores that I’ve done in previous years. I didn’t want to end up repeating the same stuff about:
- Clearing the patio
- Putting the large terracotta pots into the shed
- Packing the greenhouse with plants to protect
- Bringing the Strelitzia inside
- Dismantling the patio pot collection
All of which all boils down to “winter preparation”. It hardly makes for gripping reading.
After the previous post where we just broke ground on the new (and largest) border, I did no further work in the garden apart from the absolute minimum maintenance. At one point I actually questioned and began regretting over why I decided to garden so intensively, with large borders still to make, other borders crammed with weeds and plants that need attention and just the general yearly-repeating work that it all needs to look passable.
We’re now in 2020 and so I can say that “last year” was not great in many areas. Without going into details, shortly after the previous post, various events forced the full glare of my attention directly onto the things that were causing me stress, anxiety and illness and I found I could no longer ignore them and indeed did not want to ignore them anymore.
The result was that in the New Year I changed to a new role that will be less stressful. I also changed to working part time. This will free up a huge amount of time for me to focus more on the things outside work that I enjoy, such as baking, gardening, gaming and perhaps even re-learning the piano. I can see this working as a positive feedback cycle that will leave me with more time, less stress and more enthusiasm about being in the office as well as being outside.
It’s only the second week of this new arrangement and it’s strange. I’m writing this on a Monday afternoon, a time when I would normally be beavering away in the office. My brain hasn’t quite absorbed the change and while the kitchen is immaculate, the washing is all done, along with the ironing, the house is tidied; there’s a feeling of limbo that comes from having a “time vacuum”, when suddenly there are an extra two and a half days to fill with whatever you want. It’s the “whatever you want” part that is taking time process. Needless to say that some of this was spent outside and I’ve already made a good start on the winter clean-up.
I’m cautiously optimistic this year that with the major re-balancing of the way I spend my time, I will enjoy all the things I do much more. It’s already started with a return to the garden and the beginning of the winter clear-up, which is the subtle shift from preparing the garden for winter, to preparing the garden for the coming growing season.
For once in what seems like a long time, I’m looking forward to what’s coming ahead, as opposed to dreading it.