Planting a garden.

by eltomboy

I’ve discovered that I make false stress for myself. I think coming from a high stress family and always working in high stress jobs, I have found it necessary to make situations extremely more stressful than needed. And when a situation isn’t stressful, I feel like I’m doing something wrong, or there needs to be a problem, I have such a hard time just going with the flow.

For example, I planted my garden this weekend. Well, let’s be clear, I didn’t, my aunts did. I have always planted a garden with my dad and brother and boy is it stressful. Exceedingly so. Everything has to be PERFECT, rows need to be exact, watering is a science, where you plant things is of the utmost importance, there is no easy way to do it. If it is not difficult, it is not right. I grew up like that. With everything. So, you have to understand that this is my normal.

Back to my aunts planting my garden… It’s not perfect. It’s far from perfect, but it works. Lettuce is planted all scattered around the tomatoes, green bean rows are planted every which direction, and zucchini, I think they planted a million, I don’t even like zucchini that much. I asked a million questions as they were planting… “What should I do about the weeds? Why are you planting so haphazardly? How much am I supposed to water? What if nothing grows? What if bugs come? What if I totally fuck it all up????”

And their answers for everything were so simple. “Don’t worry about the weeds, pull the ones you see and just keep an eye on them. It’s not the end of the world. We are planting “french” style, no need to plant like a math problem. Water as much as you think, if the plants look thirsty, you’ll know. If nothing grows, oh well, it was still fun planting together right? If bugs come, just let the plant go, no need to go crazy, bugs need food too. If you fuck it all up, oh well, we can try again next year.”

I have never, ever, ever in my life had such comfort. Suddenly this garden, that I avoided like the plague because all I could hear in my heads were the words of doubt coming from my dad and brother, disappeared. The stress was gone. No need to worry about criticism, or mistakes or disappointing anyone. I had built up a false stress and lived by it, I fueled it and believed in it.

I will see how this garden goes, but beyond that, I am beyond happy that I have learned this very valuable lesson. It’s strange how just planting a garden with your aunts can turn into so much more.

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