It is said that the effect of eating too much lettuce is ‘soporific.’
~ Beatrix Potter
I wonder if the same is true for spinach.
I imagine that most people reading my blog know Beatrix Potter and her tales of Peter Rabbit. In my idyllic world, I love Peter Rabbit. But in my world of sweat and labor, I loathe the little guy and all of his relatives. Yes, sometime between last night and this morning, I believe that my spinach was attacked by one or more rabbits. See photo below.
There are so many initial thoughts running through my head. The most vivid one is the male lead playing Thomas McGregor in this year’s Peter Rabbit movie. Throughout the movie he is frantically running around as he tries to save his garden from the rabbits and other animals. I do not want to be this person.
And presently, I am not. Currently, my situation is different. I refuse to let one little bunny incident steal the joy of my garden. Yes, my spinach has been decimated. I need to do some quick research to determine if these plants will keep producing or if I need to re-seed. But overall, spinach only represents four (4) square feet of my 500+ square feet of garden.
I have been searching for the appropriate words to express how much joy my garden is bringing me. In preparing my garden, I have labored long and hard for the past several weekends, and many evenings after work. I am physically tired. My body aches. But I am right back out there the next day, looking for growth in the right places, picking weeds from the wrong places, and planning my next steps. I know this first year requires much more effort to simply get things established. Subsequent years will also be work, but not as much as this year. Still, I love every minute.
Each day I tell Brad how much joy the garden is bringing me. This is important because I have certainly not been shy about expressing my unhappiness in the past. But the joy in and of itself is important to highlight. As I noted in the first blog post, this garden is a selfish endeavor. Sure, I work hard and find satisfaction in other things. In my profession, I certainly work hard and have a deep personal desire to be successful. In my marriage and in motherhood, I definitely work hard and very much want to know that I am doing a good job. But in my garden, all the work is directed towards my personal benefit. Yes, my family and friends will enjoy the fruits of my labor – quite literally. And I will be disappointed if the rabbits continue to consume my food before I do. Without a doubt, I will have this problem again, and many others. However, joy is the overriding emotion. Joy takes precedence over frustration. Joy outweighs exhaustion. Joy takes priority over disappointment. Joy prevails over the opinions of others. Joy trumps all.
My garden is a simple pleasure. My tagline says, “creating my own little patch of happiness in OKC.” Cultivating joy is part of creating happiness. And I refuse to let frustration, exhaustion, disappointment, or the opinions of others steal my joy.
I encourage you to do the same.