Saturday, July 30, 2011

what a mess

In the garden beginning, I read a billion books. Well, not really a billion, but a lot. Many of them said the same things about gardening and several had completely different ideas. I realized it was sort of like reading books on parenting. At the end of the day, you have a whole lot of head knowledge and then you really just have to follow your heart.

The one idea on which most garden books agree is to start small.

This is not really my way of doing things. I am more of a "go big or go home"---"all or nothing" kind of girl. I don't really half-ass things. I don't see the reason for not giving a project your all. So, in keeping with my personality, I did 10 garden beds instead of 1 or 2.

Gardening didn't seem overwhelming when the dirt was all freshly tilled, dark and earthy gently holding the precious starts and seeds. The rain did the watering. The sun eventually cooperated and came out to warm the soil, coaxing the tiny tendrils to take root. We had our first harvests and many since. The garden's proved to be successful with herbs, lettuce, snap peas, and much more. We've dealt with pesky squirrels,  birds and weeds. But, it's been manageable...

Until now.

Okay, it's been a busy couple of weeks around here. We've had house guests, birthdays, camping excursions, and music festivals to attend. We've had fun. But, the garden has become a mess and I'm beginning to understand the wisdom in starting small. I'm overwhelmed, not just with the garden but with the house and life, too.

The weeds are coming up faster than anything, busting through newspaper and straw, jumping borders. They appear to be invincible. The front porch is dusty and in great need of a deep cleaning. The dining room is full of our camping gear that's yet to be put away from last weekend which means we've been forced to take to eating on the porch in less than satisfactory conditions. The back porch is a mess of garden stuff, camp chairs, recycling and shoes. We'll be bottling beer tomorrow so the kitchen is covered in bombers awaiting sterilization. The living room is crowded with stacks of library books, games, newspapers, and electronics. The entry cubbies are overflowing with shoes, scarves, and random things that don't belong there. A stack of mail and magazines a mile high is waiting to be sorted and read. Skateboards have become door stops and hula hoops line the walls. The front door screen is in shreds literally. The office is a disaster. Someone opened the pencil sharpener last week and left a pile of pencil shavings right in front of my chair. They are still there. The bathroom, that we all five share, is in desperate need of cleaning. The kids rooms are a mess of clean stacks of clothes and dirty clothes leaping out of laundry baskets. Beds are obviously left unmade. Cobwebs shimmer in the sunlight. My backpack from last weekend still sits on our bedroom floor, unpacked. Our laundry basket and chair have disappeared under a mountain of clothes. And, I have a cold and stuffy nose.

Instead of coming home yesterday from our volunteer gig to get stuff done while the kids were away, I grabbed a box of tissue, turned on the a/c in the bedroom full blast and shut the door. I tried to read but fell sound asleep instead. Today, we should have been up early, busy bringing order to our home but instead we slept in to a most embarrassing hour. Watering the garden and making breakfast lunch wore me out and I've been sitting on the couch wrapped up in blankets and blogs for hours.

I'm paralyzed by the mess. I need to go to the zoo concert tonight to clear my head of it's cold and clutter.

Tomorrow, I'll make order of the mess, pull weeds, do laundry, organize, and clean.

Procrastination is the downside of my "all or nothing" attitude. The other downside is the ideas don't ever stop---in the back of my mind I'm toying with the idea of building a platform bed and painting my oldest daughter's room while she's away at camp next week. Ahhh, sweet distraction!

We'll see what gets done tomorrow. And I can tell you now that nothing is getting done today.

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