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Gardening – Pleasure or Chore

My garden is both a source of enjoyment and a great disappointment and frustration. I have one acre of land which, apart from the house, needs mowing, weeding, trimming, raking, spraying and watering.

Several years ago, when I only worked a few days a week, I managed to keep on top of most of it but now that I am nearly full time in work outside the home I hardly get outside at all, let alone be able to keep it under control.

This has often caused an overwhelming feeling of failure and helplessness. There just isn’t enough hours in the day to manage my house, organise my family, let alone maintain my garden. I do not want a prize “Open Garden” type garden, just one where you don’t have to fear what might be lurking amongst the weeds, where you can find the path among the bushes and you don’t need a snorkel to get through the lawn.

Even if I got outside I would be overwhelmed with where to start and no matter which patch I worked on, there were ten others getting bigger somewhere else.

I used to enjoy my garden but then it just seemed a source of sadness, that is, until I changed my perspective.

The reality is, I have a large garden and I can’t do it all because I am only one person and no matter how hard I try I am not superwoman.

But I can focus on small tasks and enjoy the warmth of the sun, the songs of the birds and the coolness of the breeze while I work. I can enjoy what I can do and leave the rest till next time, whenever that may be. I was letting the size of the problem rob me from the enjoyment of what I could do.

So today I have lifted paving, pruned some bushes and carted sand, did I finish? No, but there is satisfaction in knowing I have started and I am one step closer to crossing another job off my to-do list.

How often do we put off even starting a task because it seems too big or too hard. Well, they say Rome wasn’t built in a day and a house is built one brick at a time. Take courage, do what you can and the rest will get done in time; otherwise you will discover it can be done without after all.

 C S Lewis wrote “… do not let your nerves and emotions lead you into thinking your predicament more abnormal than it really is.”

 (2 January 2011)

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