Monthly Archives: June 2014
I am still — STILL!! — working on converting an area approximately 21′ x 45′ from invasive, hard-to-kill Bermuda grass lawn into a vegetable garden. It has occurred to me, time and again, why raised beds are so popular. They’re a heckuva lot easier! However, I’m looking for long-term sustainability as well as decreasing water use, and to those ends, a sunken bed is the way to go in the desert. I already know that water drains off our property toward the to-be-garden corner. It takes less water to hydrate sunken beds, water doesn’t evaporate as quickly, and the soil temp stays cooler when the top of the garden bed is at or below ground-level.
But, Lordy! is it ever hard work.
A couple of weeks ago, on my blog Facebook page, I posted:
Crap. I have just discovered that a giant section of our yard (about 15′ x 40′) is actually a stinkin’ CONCRETE SLAB, which was covered by about 4″ layer of dirt mixed with -1/4″ (“quarter minus”) granite gravel, which was topped with another 4″ or so of sod. A section of this takes up about a THIRD of my planned garden, right in the middle. This is going to take a jack hammer or a backhoe to remedy. Can you feel my disappointment? Ugh. Such a setback.
My friend Erin commented:
I love that you say “jackhammer or backhoe” instead of “smaller garden.” That’s the Karen I know and love!
This gave me much pause for thought.
She is totally right: Downsizing due to difficulty was not an option. This is mostly because, if I’m going to do this, it’s probably my ONE chance! At least, it’s my one chance right now. And, I want to do it right, if I’m going to do it at all — a maxim that was repeated ad nauseum during my childhood. Secondly, if there is a giant chunk of concrete just below the surface of our yard, it probably shouldn’t just stay there; it would only cause further difficulty down the line, and eventually need to be removed, anyway. So, why not remove it now?
Note: The bad news is, it’s still not removed. The good news is that it is only a footer — about 18″ wide, a good, solid two feet deep, and about eight feet long. More good news: My husband has taken on removal of the concrete footer as his own personal mission. More bad news: this mission is subject to myriad other missions, currently being tackled by my husband.
But, back to my “pause for thought”:
It occurs to me that I typically bite off more than I can chew. As a matter of course, I take on projects that are too big for myself. I dream and plan into existence opportunities that end up being WAY more complex and time-consuming than I had envisioned.
At first, I started to chastise myself for this.
But, upon further reflection, I’ve decided that I like this God-given part of my personality, and here’s why:
I get loads more accomplished by biting off more than I can chew, than I would if I took life in reasonable mouthfuls.
I find that, as I’m in the throes of panic, feeling overwhelmed at all that’s on my plate, any number of things happen:
- I am compelled to study, research, and learn, to fill in the gaps of my knowledge.
- I am compelled to the feet of Jesus for His comfort, wisdom, and guidance.
- I am compelled to lean on my husband (and in increasing measure, my sons who are young men).
- I am compelled to ask the Body of Christ — my local church — for help.
I don’t think that anyone would see a problem with the first item on my list. For items #2-4, I must note that this is a good thing for me, as I tend to too much independence. I believe that God created us to function interdependently, within our families, our communities, our churches… We need each other. I contribute my strength and abilities, you contribute yours, and we both end up further down the road, than had we been alone.
I could add a number of other benefits to the list above:
- Hard work is good for you — body and soul.
- Being productive is good for everyone around you.
- Being able to genuinely and completely rest after a job well-done is a glorious feeling.
I’m sure there are more. Feel free to share your own ideas in the comments, if you’d like!!
So, go ahead: Bite off more than you can chew. Sure, you’ll have moments of feeling overwhelmed, moments of panic. But you’ll do more, go further, and just plain ol’ bear more fruit than if you live a more reasonable life.