Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tenacious Tip Tuesday - Be the Ants

Today was not a day I felt like doing anything much. Just coming back from a week-long vacation has done nothing for my ambition or attitude. Work seems more tedious, the people more annoying and the atmosphere more suffocating. By the time I got home, the only thing that sounded enticing was the couch.

Days like this make me want to give up on my renovations. Every time I look at my gardens, all I can see is what still needs to be done. The weeds continue to rampage unchecked. The groundhog still thumbs his little nose at us. The pond needs cleaning and the lilies never did get fertilized. It's enough to make anyone feel discouraged and it sure makes that couch look like nirvana.

Since I hurt my back this past spring, my darling, and long-suffering, spouse has taken it upon himself to load wheelbarrows with mulch for me whenever I need them. No matter what he's in the middle of, if he sees an empty wheelbarrow, he runs for the shovel, perhaps thinking I'll try it again myself if he doesn't. I tell him he needn't worry, I really did learn my lesson this time. He just rolls his eyes.

So I come home tonight, in my mood, and my Sweetie has the big wheelbarrow all loaded up and parked near the area I last cleared out and he has a big grin on his face. What could I do? I thanked him lavishly, changed my clothes and spent the evening spreading mulch.

When I started, I was just going through the motions. It seemed so little compared to the big picture. And, of course, the dandelions and oxalis had started to pop back up as we had some rain since my last foray into the weed patch.

A funny thought came to my head, though, while I was working. If you stood back a bit, it looked as though a black tide (the mulch) was sweeping through the garden. Much the way the weeds had swept through it when I was distracted by the new area. It sounds goofy, putting it down here, but it felt like I really was making headway, albeit slowly.

Did you ever read the short story "Leiningen versus the Ants" in high school? A really whacked out story about a plantation owner who tries to prevent army ants from destroying his land. I was feeling a little like the ants by the end of the evening. (I am gardener, hear me roar!)

So my tip tonight? Just do it. Every little bit helps, even if you don't see it at first.

Be the ants.


The Ebullient Gardener said...

I know the feeling of discouragement in the garden, you just have to take on a little at a time and not try to do it all at once! It helps a lot. It is a great thing that you have the help of your husband! As for my collage, I downloaded a program free on the internet called Picasa 3. It is a really neat program and there are lots of neat things you can do. I am still learning with it! Happy Gardening! Mindy

Indie said...

Ha, I remember reading that story back in high school! Great tip :)

Becky said...

We have definitely lost the upper hand in the garden this year. The couch calls loudly sometimes. Bravo for spreading your mulch! Bit by bit things improve and rubber tree plants get moved after all.

Sharie said...

Thanks, Mindy. My husband uses Picasa all the time and keeps trying to convince me to use it. I guess I'll give it a try. And, yes, he's a great guy - I couldn't get by without him!

Thanks, Indie - it seemed appropriate!

Hi, Becky - yes, the Call of the Couch is strong but slowly things are getting done. As long as I don't look at certain areas, I can almost convince myself I'm making progress! Thanks for the encouragement!

The Sage Butterfly said...

I have days like that where the garden tasks become too overwhelming or I feel beaten by too many failures. It can be very discouraging. The funny thing is if I keep going no matter what things always improve. Great and inspiring post!

NHGarden said...

So true! Sometimes when I don't feel like doing anything, I just go out in the yard, and before I know it I am weeding, trimming, etc.

Carolyn @ Carolyn's Shade Gardens said...

I always find that if I stop obsessing and start doing I feel better. It also helps to make a list and focus only on the top project until it's done.

Sharie said...

Thanks, all. Just getting out there and working usually does the trick to get me out of my funk, but the trick is getting me out there! ;)

Making lists is one of my favorite tricks, Carolyn. It is very satisfying, after a long day, to check off a bunch of stuff I've been meaning to do!