Tuesday, April 12, 2011

One Small Step

On Saturday I worked for an hour in my little flower garden. This is significant because I didn't get all the work done in an hour. I actually closed the gate, put away the tools and walked back up to the house without finishing the job. Contrary to what you may think, I was proud of myself. I had finally learned a little lesson I've been trying to learn for a very long time.

Every spring I put on my old tennis shoes, walk down to the garage and get out my little store of gardening tools. I have one fenced-in flower garden (the deer seem to be of the mistaken opinion that I plant flowers to give their diet a little variety from their usual fare)by the garage, a small one under the oak trees and a little bed along the front of the house. Armed with tools, gloves, bucket and kneeling pad I open the gate and begin.

The ground is littered with the oak leaves that have drifted down over the past couple of weeks. The plants need trimming and weeds need pulling. It is a job that takes a lot longer than an hour, but I am always determined to get it done in one session. It's the way I tend to do things. I just want to finish what I begin - now!

I begin with great care, pulling every weed and cleaning up every leaf. As the minutes and hours pass the quality of my work begins to suffer. My back aches and that silly hip just won't give me any peace, but I am determined to get the job done.

When I am finished, it all looks good, but I know that there are hidden roots that I was too weary to dig up and the trimming got rather sloppy. I ache all over (I do exercise, honest. But I seem to use muscles I didn't even know were there when I'm bent over or on my knees for hours.). All I want is a long soak in a tub full of hot water and fragrant bubbles.

This year I decided to put into practice what I've been trying so hard to learn - self-control. Surely a few one hour sessions of working in the garden would be far more sensible and productive than my usual method.

It wasn't easy. When the hour was up, I kept thinking "just one more load of leaves." But I made myself close the gate.

It was good. I wasn't sore; the garden looked pretty good - a nice start; I had done a thorough job. In a few days, I'll do some more until it is all neat and tidy.

I've been praying for help in balancing the different areas of my life. This felt like one little step in the right direction. Now about blogging....

I wonder....how do you balance blogging? Do you set limits? What about reading and commenting? I know this is one area that I must work on. Eager to hear your thoughts.