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Wednesday, May 24, 2006


I'm weeding as fast as I can

This morning I didn’t have my cursed Godforsaken meeting at 7:30 a.m., and for that I was happy. Until I dropped Maggie of at the in-laws and realized that I had forgot to tell them, and they had been up since 7:00 waiting for us, and had already had breakfast, which they usually have with Maggie. I have been late twice this week, and my father-in-law has been late for two coffee meetings because he wanted to wait to see his granddaughter before leaving.

Can you say G-U-I-L-T??

Yeah, I am an asshole.

Well, actually I am not. I am not an asshole at all (Thank you therapy… two years of hard work and I can definitively say I am NOT an asshole). I am doing the best I can. I am simply WAY too optimistic about what I can and can’t accomplish in one day. Or a week. Or a month for that matter. It might be time to get real about my limitations. And the fact that I have limitations does not mean that I am an asshole.

We have three large garden beds in our backyard. One of them is enormous, and in past years I have grown corn in it. That particular garden bed becomes the bane of my existence every year. My battles with this garden bed have been epic. It starts out hard a rock, requires tilling, which requires the rental of a machine, and then proceeds to overgrow itself with weeds to a ridiculous degree. I mean ASININE. I work full time, and try to get out to weed in the evenings while mosquitoes feast on my flesh. One rainy weekend can throw my plans totally out of whack. Every year, I have a weed-pulling episode where I maniacally rip out everything I can see in a manic frenzy until I exhaust myself. Then I realize that I have only pulled approximately 10% of the weeds, and that garden bed chuckles, and then gives me the finger.

Last night I pitched a fit because all the manure and peat moss I bought Saturday morning was still sitting in bags in the garage. Meanwhile, the brief window of opportunity I have to plant was rapidly ticking by. I broke under the pressure. I huffed and puffed and was all “I’lldoitmyselfthankyouverymuch stupidfreakinggarden Idon’thaveasparemomenttomyself Ican’tcarryathoughtinmyhead poor poor me” until Jim finally got out the wheelbarrow and begrudgingly helped me plant some tomatoes.

The large garden bed stared at me as though saying “You wanna piece of me?” and I realized that the answer is no. I do not want a piece of that garden bed. Gardening is supposed to be enjoyable. Not a frantic crazed desperate rush to get things in the ground so they can grow before the cruel winter frost kills them all. I have been racing around like some crazed half assed Martha Stewart freak, who simply MUST grow their own corn. You know what? You can buy corn at the store for about ten cents an ear every August. Money well spent, as far as I’m concerned.

This morning on my way to work, I began to berate myself for forgetting to call my in-laws last night after I got home from work, played with Maggie, planted tomatoes, made dinner, gave the kitchen a half-assed cleanup job, and bathed Maggie, put her to bed and indulged myself with a little American Idol before falling asleep on the couch.

I absolutely regret forgetting to tell my in-laws that I didn’t have a meeting which caused them to wait around for an hour. I will make sure it doesn’t happen again.

I did something different this time. Instead of immediately going to that place in my head where I mercilessly berate myself for being stupid and forgetful and ungrateful and selfish, I realized that I am simply doing too much. When I do to much, I neglect details like remembering to call my in-laws to tell them that I don’t have a meeting.

So the big garden is out. In fact, I think I need to do a little more pruning of my social and professional obligations. I want to enjoy my summer. I want to enjoy my garden. I want to buy my corn at the store. Instead of seeing my forgetfulness as a sign of my own incompetence, I will see it as a warning that I am doing too much, and something has to give. I do not want to be perfect. I want to be happy. I want to be realistic, and most importantly, I want to be kind to myself. I am glad this therapy thing is actually starting to work.


Blogger Muriel said...

Be kind to yourself indeed! Enjoy the summer! Enjoy store-bought corn! :) It's so easy to be hard on ourselves. After years of therapy and happy pills every day, I finally am learning to not be so hard on myself. (Although it doesn't always work!)

10:22 AM  
Blogger EverydaySuperGoddess said...

Three words: Minneapolis Farmer's Market.

I'll meet you there Saturday morning.

10:32 AM  
Blogger Kellie said...

Coming out of lurkdom.... Hi! I have heard that if you till too deep (more than about 4 inches, you actually encourage the weeds to be fruitful and multiply. Maybe that'll help? But yeah, I totally agree that store bought corn is WAY easier. However, you can't beat home grown tomatoes.

10:40 AM  
Anonymous mothergoosemouse said...

Yay for you! It truly made me happy to read this post. You are being kind to yourself.

11:02 AM  
Blogger Jerri Ann said...

You know what, you are so right and it is important to quit thinking that because you are woman and the mommy, you can do it ALL. It makes you tired, rundown and incapable of doing anything good! Good for you!

11:51 AM  
Anonymous roo said...

It's so hard to choose your battles sometimes-- especially (and I know this from experience) when you want to do everything perfectly, all by yourself. It's even worse when you feel like a failure for not being superhuman.

You are so smart to choose your priorities. I hope I can learn to do the same.

9:19 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Good for you for not going to the shit place in your brain and realizing you are just busy. That is maturity.

10:47 PM  
Blogger Catizhere said...

Amen to store bought corn.
'I do the same thing every spring, poring over seed packets and pretty, pretty flowers. I have killed 2 flats of pansies 'cause once I bring them home, I never get around to actually planting them.

Maybe during my maternity leavwe I can start a nice container garden....

1:32 PM  

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