Yes, the title phrase has become a cutesy kitschy self-affirmation. That doesn’t automatically mean it has no merit. I try to use it as a reminder that life, and circumstances, are rarely perfect and that no matter what is going on in my life, I just need to do what needs doing.
When we bought this house in the Fall of 2000, we moved from a rental property where we had lived for seven years. I left behind a fairly large garden plot (20’ x 50’) with, by then, excellent soil, several compost piles that were cooking with gusto, a prolific Pixwell Gooseberry bush, a huge Black Mulberry tree, and a completely fenced yard that kept the boys safe. The boys left behind a large (8’ x 14’) sand box, it was supposed to be the base for a brick patio area that never happened, and the ability to charge out either door of the house and get to their stuff no matter where outside they left it. My husband left behind a detached, oversized two-car garage that was nearly the square footage of the house. I am still not sure who missed most what they left behind.
I no longer remember why we didn’t put in a garden that first year. Maybe we wanted to enjoy a back yard that actually grew grass across all of it instead of just in patches. Maybe we weren’t interested in starting a plot from scratch again. Maybe I was still too busy making the inside of the house into our home. Regardless, it didn’t happen.
For years after our move, I let events in our life and possible plans of moving keep me in the mindset of waiting. I kept waiting to put in a garden, waiting to plant fruit bushes/canes/trees, waiting to get chickens, waiting to buy certain pieces of equipment (canners, dehydrator, tent, sleeping bags, etc). Waiting for our financial situation to improve, waiting to be “where” we wanted to be, waiting for work demands to ease up, waiting to be in better health, waiting for a bolt from the heavens. I’m still not sure WHAT I was waiting for but I do know I got real good at coming up with excuses.
That’s the thing, isn’t it? The more you rationalize and make excuses for not doing something, the easier it becomes.
Well, me and mine are no longer waiting. Several years ago, we went to put in a garden plot and ended up building large raised beds, but not by choice. This year we added a small raised bed and built a coop/run for 10 Barred Rock hens. Last week I was able to purchase a large 2-burner propane camp stove to make canning easier and have an alternate cooking source. Yes, I have successes AND failures; some of each have been spectacular. We still have hopes, dreams, and plans to move to a location with acreage, but I am no longer letting the fact that we aren’t there yet stop us. If possible, I will dig things up and take them with us. If not, they will stay in place and give the new owners a head start. Who knows, maybe some of it will help sell our house when the time comes.
Maybe I should only look at “Bloom where you are planted” when all I need is a gentle reminder and the Theodore Roosevelt quote “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” for when I need a kick in the rear.
What are you doing to improve your self-reliance? Or are you still waiting? Comments welcome.