Definition: having been beaten in a battle or other contest.
Let’s be honest… I bet you have started something completely new and exciting to you and you were beaming with joy when you finally were able to start. Most people take off like a rocket- a quick and sudden ignition, and then they lift off straight for the stars. Acceleration hits and you are speeding towards the heavens, and the sky is the limit; nothing can stop you. Suddenly you start to slow down and coast. Acceleration stops and most of the time, parts fall off. You eventually slow or change direction. It isn’t any surprise that most of the time that same excitement when we “launch” is then met with a feeling of defeat when things change, slow, or fall apart. That is how it is in my case at least.
Every evening after a long day, I would cook my family dinner and we would sit at our table in our home. We would pray, we would eat, and we would catch up on our day apart. After dishes were cleared, I grabbed my gear and trucked it out to the garden. Flash lights and mosquito spray were very much so needed. I would prune, tie tomato vines to stakes, harvest what was ready, and water if it hadn’t rained in a few days. This is what I just sarcastically named “The Midnight Gardeners Club” and it was the part of my crazy day I looked forward to the most!
It quickly became routine: Nightly checking on the seedlings, checking on the plants in the garden and watering. Looking for the dreaded pests like tomato horn worm and squash bugs (luckily, none of which were ever discovered this season, THANK GOD). It was down right therapeutic. I could just let go of frustrations and find serenity in that space among the frogs croaking and the crickets chirping their night time song. It was nice while it lasted. Soon after things really got rolling, the chickens got out and they destroyed my poor garden over and over. By the time I had found out how they kept getting loose, it was too late. Most of what I planted for spring had fallen victim to the chickens or the heat. The only thing growing anymore was my temper, the weeds, and the heat during the day.
Defeat was the only term that comes to mind. I felt like I wasn’t meant to be a gardener, that I had failed miserably and just throw in the towel. A few weeks prior to the nuclear explosion in my mind over losing the hard work I had put into this patch of dirt, I started listening to podcasts on my hour and twenty minute commute to work. I heard an avid gardener tell me that most novice gardeners experience this. Sometimes we bite off more than we can chew, and sometimes we don’t give ourselves some slack for meeting defeat. Podcast gardener also mentioned that most beginner gardeners quit after the first year. I didn’t like hearing that. Wow… That many people just gave up and said it was over for them? I cannot accept that as my story. My mistakes and my failure are lessons!
Happy to say that I am planning to scale back, and start again, but keep it simple this time! My garden is a jungle of weeds and grass. I am going to transform this into a beautiful space where I can grow some food for my family and where I can find some peace! I am going to post the progress along the way! Stay tuned!