“We do not have to improve ourselves; we just have to let go of what blocks our heart.” — Jack Kornfield
It’s been awhile since my last post. Just over a month, in fact. I didn’t mean to be away so long, but something happened – spring! I’m afraid things have been a bit frantic around here as a result, but we’ve waited so long for warm weather, and all the activity that comes with that: plant sales, seed swaps, neighborhood potlucks, weeding, planting, pest control, watering, pruning, fencing, and mowing. K and I practically fall into bed every night, exhausted but feeling accomplished.
My decluttering efforts have continued, spilling over into my digital life. After reading numerous articles on the subject – including a lot of Cal Newport – I’ve heavily culled my Pinterest boards and YouTube playlists. I deleted the flickr account I’ve had for the last twelve years. I deleted the tumblr and Instagram accounts I never used anyway. I deleted the Facebook app from my phone and, for awhile, the Messenger app. (I decided to restore Messenger on my phone because my husband and son often use it to communicate with me, and each other.) I haven’t decided yet whether to entirely delete my Facebook account, but I have pared down my friends list, removed personal data, and severely curtailed my presence there.
It appears that a number of websites are tweaking their privacy statements, and when they do so, they often send out emails to notify their users. This has reminded me of accounts I’d entirely forgotten setting up. So I’ve deleted those accounts, too.
I am a big fan of achieving “inbox zero” every day. I only check my personal email account once a day at most, and when I do, I immediately delete three quarters of new mail. Unwanted emails from businesses? Instead of hitting the Trash button, I take a moment to unsubscribe. Of what remains, I might archive a couple of things. Only one or two emails actually require any action on my part.
I’m not only decluttering my stuff, but my habits. I want to read more books, take better care of my health, spend more time foraging, and create a vegetable garden that will yield more than a couple of spotty tomatoes and a handful of green beans. To do that, I need to free up some time outside of my full-time job. So I’ve completely sworn off volunteering for the next year, and am curtailing the amount of time I spend on social media or watching programs online.
I no longer get up in the morning and immediately log onto my computer to check my email and social media accounts (which often puts me in a bad mood even before I arrive at work). Instead, I savor my coffee, cuddle our aging cats, read, and do yoga stretches. Instead of binge-watching my favorite programs online in the evenings, I allow myself just one episode per night, make myself a nice cup of tea, and make it a special event. (Okay, mostly – there was a teeny little setback upon discovering Call the Midwife on Netflix….)
And all of this means that, now that spring/summer is finally here, I have time to spend in my garden.
Starting bottom left and working clockwise: sochan (cut-leaf coneflower), sunchokes, okra, dill, society garlic, bush beans, tomatillos, ground cherries, pole beans, bee balm, bloody dock, red kuri squash, comfrey, rhubarb, and nasturtiums. Bonus: I’m seeing a lot of lambsquarters (think of it as wild spinach) seedlings popping up in the loam I put down. I may also have spotted a volunteer tomato and an onion or two. I love surprises like that!
We’ve also been out foraging, mostly nettles, ramps, milkweed shoots, and pokeweed. Spring mushrooms are popping, too: morels, dryads saddle, oyster, and fairy ring mushrooms, mostly. The sochan is getting bigger, and we’re still experimenting with it – it’s a traditional (but now largely forgotten) green eaten by the Cherokee.
So that’s about it. I feel like this post is kind of all over the place, but I didn’t want to put it off any longer. Hoping to not take so long in between posts in the future. I keep telling myself it’s okay to do shorter posts. I just get so caught up in doing stuff that it’s hard sometimes to sit down and write about it.