For the first time in a long time, my calendar is not full of races. Late last year, I made the decision to slow down and to focus less on training and more on regular life. It’s now March. I’m still active. I’m running or doing body pump at the YMCA most days, but I’m not obsessively training. I’m not taking an hour or two or more out of each day to get a workout in. I’m not spending all day Saturday on my bike. In fact, I haven’t been on my bike since Ironman Wisconsin! It’s been nice. I like how this feels.
I’m spending more time working, volunteering, reading, and writing. My weekends are largely open now such that Dave and I can be fairly free-form about how we spend that time. Some weekends we end up going from one thing to another, but many weekends, we end up having big chunks of time at home. It’s actually really lovely. We’ve been cooking more, cleaning more, and preparing for some home projects together.
The coolest thing we’re doing right now is this three-part vegetable gardening class that Dave found. We’re learning about soil, water, composting, and designs of gardens and rainwater collection systems. I’ve never really thought about how different rainwater is from tap water or how soil is – or should be – “alive.” I’m learning so much, and it’s prompting me to look at our space at home to figure out what we can do.
In the class, they talk about making sure that gardening doesn’t feel like a chore. They suggest have a mailbox in the garden where you can store your garden journal, basic tools, gloves and anything else that will make it more likely that you’ll actually and easily spend time in the garden. They also suggest have a regular time of day where you go the garden to see what’s happening.
I’m trying to imagine what it would feel like to have garden time each morning. Could I really build a life that allows for half an hour of time with coffee in the outdoors doing a little weeding, watering, and observing? That sounds decadent – very different from getting up at 5 a.m. to hurry out the door for my morning workout.
But I like the idea. I really like the idea. So that’s the new vision.
Dave has designated me the “implementer” of our garden. I’m giving myself the next few months to learn and plan with the intention of building our infrastructure over the summer and starting a fall garden. In the meantime, we’re starting to compost and figure out what a small rainwater collection system might look like in our backyard.
I’m excited. Gardening is one of those things I’ve always wanted to do – like reading the Sunday paper over coffee – but never really thought possible for myself. But garden time feels right for where we are right now.