This is the third Spring we’ve lived on Loudon Avenue. Our first taught me a gardening lesson: Our backyard is not conducive to gardening. Our second taught me that I am not a master container vegetable gardener. So, this Spring, I planted flowers only, sans one cherry tomato plant gifted to me. Mind you, I planted it all in pots.
Our backyard contains an abundant amount of gravel. Sure, we have ample grass. But dig a bit, and it’s gravel.gravel.gravel. Which is not salutary to gardening, in case you didn’t know. Our backyard also seems to have at one time been the home of some sort of garage which was either buried or it sunk through the years. We have dug up some interesting material. I recently came across a jawbone of a small animal. Perhaps our yard is also some archaeological hot spot no one knows about it. Doubtful…
Anyway, despite my desire to garden like the offspring of Martha Stewart and Wendell Berry, were they have gotten together in their younger years, I have come to the realization it is simply not going to happen. Yes, people frequently tell me we could create raised beds or haul in a bunch of dirt, or yada yada yada. But, we [as in my husband and I] do no have the resources to do such an undertaking, plus it’s difficult to access our backyard from the front [I’d explain but it would bore you]. I’m not keen on taking a backhoe through the house, so we will purchase the majority of our summer produce at the Lexington farmers markets.
There’s a part of me, and I’ll admit not a small part, that not so secretly wishes I had the ability to cultivate the majority of my backyard into a fruitful, lush vegetable garden. I am a vegetarian, after all. And I come from a line of people who successfully garden.
Gardening is only one of the areas in my life in which I struggle with perfectionism. Before you who know me personally begin to think,
You? The woman whose hair is constantly frizzy and seems to forget many of the minor details of everyday life? You are labeling yourself a perfectionist?
To you, I’d say, no. Mainly because I do not like labels [they’re dumb]. But I’d venture to say many of us are a closet variety of perfectionist, in that in our minds, our tired and often anxious brains, we lean towards the feeling that we should be perfect in many ways.
I recently wrote about obscurity. Along with giving up the longing for recognition, I’d also like to ditch perfectionism. Anna Watson Carl, whose life, if you check out her blog, The Yellow Table, looks pretty picture perfect, shares some honest thoughts in this entry:
Like Anna, I’d really like to embrace the decisions she listed out at the end of her entry. But, oh my gosh, it’s so difficult. The regrets, the guilt, the obligations imposed on oneself and by others….. I could go on. It is so hard to not tell myself I’m a mess barely struggling through.
But, that’s not true and I shouldn’t live like it is.
This is an excerpt from the Common Prayer entry for April 29:
There is a crack, a crack in everything : that’s how the light gets in.
Francis de Sales, a sixteenth-century bishop, said, “We often say that we are nothing, that we are misery itself and the refuse of the world, but we would be very sorry if anyone took us at our word or told others that we are really such as we say.”
Lord, we thank you for our brokenness because it makes us depend on you. Yet you are continually remaking us into a new creation. Keep us from false humilities and help us to reflect back to one another what it means to be created in your image. Amen.
And…… on that same day, [April 29] The Actual Pastor posted this on his blog:
The antidote to perfectionism is to regularly give ourselves a break and appreciate the beauty of our cracks and imperfections.
I’m going to enjoy the flowers I planted. And I’m going to enjoy shopping at the farmers markets. And I’m going to try [though it will be difficult] to appreciate the beauty of my cracks and imperfections.