Being partly unemployed doesn’t suit me well. When I was busy I always wanted to have nothing to do, and now it’s just the opposite. I think it’s got a lot to do with the fact that when I was “finished” at work, there was always still a list of things that needed to be done. Now when I am finished teaching online for the day, I have maybe fifteen minutes worth of work to do to be prepared for the next day. This leaves me with many hours in the day and on the weekend during which I find myself pretty bored.
There are many things I like to do that make me feel great and happy. The problem with these things is that they almost all cost lots of money. I love to go out to eat. I love to shop. I love to get a mani/pedi. The need for a hobby that would keep me interested and busy was beginning to feel more and more important. I’ve tried things in the past, as simple as coloring or doing a puzzle, to as complex (for me) as knitting/crocheting and painting. Here’s what it’s all about: I needed to find my bliss, as they say. Since it is summer and I no longer live in a climate which thinks that summer lasts three weeks, I thought, “Gardening!”
There is a lot of garden space in my new yard. There are no fewer than seven specific garden-type areas, not including the plants and flowers surrounding the stumps of former trees which are pretty and colorful. Most of these garden areas are becoming overgrown and overwhelmed by a plant called hosta. Do you know hosta? I hate it. It’s sort of jungle like and heavy and thick with large leaves. It’s poisonous to dogs who chew on the leaves and it is not fragrant. There are two particular flower gardens in my back yard so overgrown with this stuff that I have been embarrassed by the appearance of the yard and worry that people will think we are lazy. Husband hates it too, and he really wants a vegetable garden. We know it’s late in the year and we know it’s a lot of work, but we made the decision to just go for it and dig up the hosta. We go at it with gusto.
Picture it. There I am, this overweight and out of shape forty year old with a garden weasel, a shovel, a garden rake, shears, gloves, and determination. Husband and I take turns going after this hosta for hours. At one point, we break off a stainless steel claw on the brand new garden tool and go to exchange it for a new one. We get back to work. While we are out there working harder than I remember doing in a long time, Daughter frequently checks in. Sometimes she rakes, sometimes she offers drinks. She mostly plays. The dogs run around and say hello and bring us balls and take naps in the shade. The cat finds a new place to perch and watch. Still we work.
Sweaty doesn’t begin to describe us. Sore. Stiff. Tired. These words have become meaningless by 6:35 pm. But we did it. We cleared our patch.
When I look at the area we worked so hard on all day today, I see not the hours of labor but the amount we accomplished. I see what we still have to do, and I know that Husband will not be able to help much anymore because he works for the next many days, but I love what I see. There’s a measurable and clear result. Tomorrow I will continue. I have many other things to do tomorrow, but I know that I will be interested in this garden patch the most of all. I know I will think about it when I’m doing other chores.
Have I found my bliss? I don’t know. Maybe, maybe not. For today, I found something that has excited me. I’ve found today’s bliss, and maybe that’s enough.