I went to my happy place today.
After the random late frost last week, all of my vegetable seedlings died. (The eeney weeney magnolia survived though thanks to my 10 PM wall building, though, so that’s good.) I think I literally had one onion, one tomato, and one potato plant left out of the 30 or so I started and planted. It was horrible. Despite me covering them, they just didn’t make it.
So I went to Lowe’s this morning, bought a bunch of vegetable plants (surprisingly, I bought just as many as I needed even though I wasn’t keeping track. I figured I’d wing it in terms of planting if I had to). I also picked up some herbs, a blueberry bush, a raspberry bush, and a new rhodo. Then I got to come home and spend two hours playing in the dirt. Everything is planted and watered. Now we wait.
I discovered last year that I really like gardening. I like getting my hands dirty. I like the process of figuring out what to plant, finding one that fits where I want it to go, the process of planting and nurturing it, to watch it grow, get flowers, produce food. Despite the pain in the ass some can be, I even like tending to the garden and pulling weeds and pruning. I like coming home from work and seeing the weigelas in bloom, or the balloon flowers starting to grow, or smelling the catmint when I get out of the car. These are all things that soothe me, make me feel grounded and re-centered.
I’m lucky – I have a few things that help me do this. Crocheting, baking, working out, reading, hell, even planning everything out in my planner give me this feeling.
I think we all need to have a few things that help us center ourselves. It’s important for our mental health and well being. We can’t just be constantly go go go go go. We need to have hobbies. Even if it’s just playing a video game (although, my husband tends to get annoyed while playing so I’m not entirely sure how this is supposed to be relaxing).
Anyway, normally while I’m doing these things I’ll listen to music. I’ll sing along, and if I’m outside gardening or in the kitchen baking, I’ll dance. The neighbors probably think I’m a lunatic. But I let it all out. I let me be me for a short time. I’ve come to find that those times are an important part of my day or week. They help me decompress.
My mental health always seems to be better when I’m able to do these things.