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  • Christy@Gnarly Oak Acres

Hurry Up and Wait

I feel like a kid at Christmas. The big dinner is finally over as people push away from the table, stuffed and happy. And now it should be gift-opening time - except the adults keep telling us we have to wait until dishes are done. Isn't that why we have a dog? I mean, come on! The time is so close and the anticipation is almost unbearable at times... but just a bit longer.

I know I'm not the only one who feels this way. Just last week I had dinner with a friend who is passionate about gardening, and she had the same excitement in her voice as we chatted about things to come this growing season. This time of year, I'm tracking the melting of snow and the lengthening of days. I crave the dirt under my nails and the sweet smell of green (yes, green has a smell). You would think that the waiting gets easier year after year, but I think it actually gets a bit worse. However, with age, comes wisdom, and I have certainly learned the hard way - rushing life is no way to live.

I mean this in more ways than one. Let's start with one of the loves of my life... vegetables. Every type of vegetable and its seed has a timeline, and this is one case where rules aren't meant to be broken. For each vegetable, a formula must be followed in an attempt to start, transplant, harden, and sow at just the right moment. Starting too early (or too late for that matter), can result in many forms of weakness; root-bound, bolting, buttoning, too many leaves, too few leaves, short plants, leggy plants, diseased plants, and the list keeps going. If a plant is damaged, it may never recover to be as healthy as it can be or it could even die (if you don't know how I feel about dying plants, you need to read my "Thinning Carrots" post). Trying to time it all is one of the things I enjoy most about growing, but then add Minnesota weather on top of it all (predictably unpredictable) and it can become down right frustrating too. Hopefully you see now, rushing vegetables just isn't worth it no matter how giddy I am to grow.

Now of course, you've probably guessed the second "rushing" I'm going to dive into is life. We, as parents, children, friends, Americans, wear a lot of hats in a day and that leads to a very fast-paced existence. For a chronic busy body like myself, that pace can get pretty fast before I break. But just like a plant that has been rushed, I feel it (and look it!) when the pace has reached Usain Bolt speed, and I can't seem to keep up. It makes me feel weak, empty, and run-down; I know a refocus on the here and now is needed stat.

I received an awesome piece of advice the day before my wedding (I can't remember who it was, so if you are that person, thank you!). They told me that throughout my wedding day, I should take a minute here and there to sit down and just look around. I did and it was brilliant. The things I saw and heard during those sitting spells are the most vivid memories I have from that day. Since then, I've tried to apply that approach to my life and every time I do, it feeds me, making me into a stronger, more blessed, joyful person. And now you know that if you see me sitting on a park bench somewhere with a vacant expression, I haven't fully lost my marbles (yet!), I'm simply taking in the moment. And by all means, come join me on my park bench!

Life doesn't always allow us to sit down, I know mine doesn't (and truthfully, I'm most happy when I'm on my feet), but even as I'm moving, I can look around. I have worked to design my own "growing formula" and what it needs for me to function as a healthy, happy, and growing person. What do you think needs to be part of your growing formula?


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