Tuesday, April 26, 2011

My garden--a metaphor for my life

It was a hot August day. A few years ago. 2007, I think. My 13'x9' garden was on crack. Two or three tomato trees threatened to take over the world, billions of borage blooms waterfalled this way and that. Squash plants, eggplants, peppers, beans, peas, cilantro, mint, garlic, marigolds, cosmos...and I'm not exaggerating when I say there were at least 20 more species I'm leaving out of the list.

But it was at this moment when I realized that my garden--my overflowing, overplanted, overcrowded garden--was a metaphor for my life.

In college my freshman year, I took classes in astronomy, genetics, nutrition, theatre, because I wanted to maybe be an actress...or astronomer...or geneticist...(or actress? really, Sarah?)... (As an interesting side note, I only took Spanish because I had to, but that's what I ended up majoring in.)

I've ALWAYS had way too many interests. Kind of like da Vinci, but less methodical and organized about giving each of my passions the proper space and time. (Oh, by the way, and da Vinci didn't have three kids to raise while building such a breadth and depth of knowledge.)

So anyway, back to the garden. I ended up cutting out a few superfluous extracurriculars (is that a redundancy?) in my life after that epiphany in front of my garden. The older I get, though, the more aware I am of my tendency to over-schedule, over-plan, and underestimate the time in which it'll take me to accomplish these things.

I'll probably always want to grow 75 things in a 13x9' garden, and I'll probably always gravitate towards making "Pecan-Encrusted Halibut with Tangy Pineapple-Mango Salsa" instead of boring ol' fish. But I've learned the hard way that growing a few things well is better than growing a lot of things kinda sorta crappy. And I've learned to embrace the slow cooker on the days I work and on swimming lesson nights. I bought a rotisserie chicken the other night instead of roasting it myself...that took a few deep breaths. I bought Molly's first day of school outfit for the first time this year instead of making it...don't think I didn't cry from the guilt.

I would definitely not make a good Mennonite or Quaker. Simplicity isn't my bag, baby. My cup runneth o'er with projects and activities and salsas and garnishes. Maybe you can relate? Maybe not. If you can handle my unnecessarily loquacious writing style and sometimes ridiculous syntax, you are welcome to explore oh the many ways in which I stay busy as (in random order and in varying degrees, except for the first two) a mom, wife, teacher, gardener, environmentalist, cloth diaperer, traveler, triathlete, writer, daughter, sister, aunt, volunteer, dreamer, friend...

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