Apparently Sunday – not Saturday – is meant to be our day off from the AtoZ Challenge. Well I took my Saturday off. As a classic Type A I have a hard time missing a deadline but – also a Type A trait – I do like to do things my own way. 🙂
It’s a long weekend – yay! A perfect time to post about what I enjoy doing when I’m not completely geeking out as a hydroscientist. I’m a closet gardener. Not that I grow things in closets! 🙂 It’s just that I don’t have many colleagues who are into gardening, so it’s not something I talk about a lot or share with many people.
Gardening is a form of working meditation. Last week I was cleaning out the perennial beds in anticipation of spring, which is finally on its way, hurrah! Cutting back dead stems and rooting around in the fall leaves to discover green spring growth provided hours of thinking. About the garden itself: should I water since we barely had any snow this winter? Wonder if the plants I brought from the Coast and transplanted in October will survive? Hope the deer don’t eat all of my phlox? About my job: Should I be accomplishing more while on sabbatical? How will I attract more grad students? Maybe I should be inside writing that paper instead of outside gardening… About home things: the new puppy is so crazy, how are we going to deal with her? Can we get new blinds for the front window using reward points? What would be the best recipe to make in the new slow cooker?
By the time a few hours have gone by, I’ve solved the global food crisis, decided how I’d run the country if I was Prime Minister, and mentally picked my family’s birthday and Christmas presents. Best of all, I can look back and see the evidence of the work I’ve done – a tidy flower bed ready for spring’s lush bounty – so different from spending hours on a paper and having only a paragraph to show for it…
So next time you’re feeling blocked while writing a paper, analyzing a massive dataset, or just dealing with problem grad students – get out in the garden. Put your hands in the dirt. Watch a seedling grow into a delicate lettuce that makes it’s way into your dinner salad. For those of us used to delayed (and delayed again) gratification, gardening in comparison is like instant gratification. Concrete evidence that the work you put in generates more than that in fantastic outputs. Get gardening! 🙂