April 2010

Growing up in Southern California in a single parent family, we did not have the time or the space to garden. My mom always kept our yard and house spruced with pretty potted flowers, but apart from the ubiquitous fruit trees, growing food was unheard of.

Several weeks ago, thanks to my husband’s adventurous fortitude, we planted some seeds and they continue to grow, some at lightning speeds, and some seemingly much slower than last year.

As my husband is the one working the long hours outside the home, watering all the little growing things has fallen to me. I hate being out in the plain view of my neighbors, who might yell at me for not picking up dog poop in our shared front yard fast enough, but I’m enjoying the garden time in spite of myself. I even find myself pulling weeds.

Heck, the Green Zebra, Purple Cherokees, and all number of others veggies aren’t the only things growing right now. I’m growing too!

I’ve always joked that my inertia is at rest. I’m certainly not much of a doer.

If it weren’t for my husband, who knows how long it would take to discover my love of growing fruits and veggies?

He’s been asking me daily where I think we should put the fennel, or the radicchio, or the Japanese eggplants, and Armenian cucumbers, not to mention all the tomatoes – six varieties! And every day, I answer, “I don’t know, babe.”

Because until today, when I found myself enjoying the watering and the weeding, Ididn’t realize how much gardening space we’ve lost to the path our neighbor is putting in.

But, now I look forward to getting out there with Tim and squeezing all these little guys in our limited space. Some will have to go in pots, I think.

I count myself lucky that I married such a patient and encouraging man. He doesn’t nag at me, but he gently urges me to help out with the gardening, and slowly, I become less afraid to do things I’ve never done before. I cannot wait until the fresh veggies are coming out our ears.

And, as I often do, I’ll quote the little girl on the Shake’N Bake commercial, “And I helped!”


One of the hallmarks of depression is supposedly low self-esteem. I would have told you during my years of clinical depression that my self-esteem was fine. I liked myself. I thought I was an inherently good person. I never did what I’d observed in a few others – verbally berate myself as stupid and worthless – I considered that to be pathetic behavior.

But looking back, I cannot deny that my self-confidence was nil. I felt petrified by my fear of uncertainty and incompetence. This fear prevented me from learning what steps to take to achieve in my endeavors and from knowing how to socialize with others. These qualities unfortunately lead to a downward, self-perpetuating spiral of depression. You feel terrible, you feel unable to do anything, you do nothing, you feel worse.

For me, turning thirty has been a welcome transformation in my life. I have a lot more confidence in myself, both in that I can take steps to minimize my ignorance about whatever activities I wish to take on, and also in that I care less what others think of me. One of the easiest ways to damage your self-image is to get caught up in shoulds. I should have a career, I should have children, I should volunteer, I should be able to keep a clean house, I should be able to throw fun dinner parties.

I’ve stopped listening to that inner voice that tells me I’m not successful enough by measurable standards. So I’m not good at having a career; nor am I good at domestic skills. Where does that leave me? It leaves me the compassionate, interesting person that I am! It leaves me here in the moment feeling gratitude for my miraculous, mundane life. I’m learning that it is enough just to be. And a thousand times better when you pair that being with a connection to those you love.

I love being married. I love being a daughter, a sister, a teacher, and a friend. I think I will love being a mother. I love connecting with others, something I wasn’t able to do when deeply depressed. This is what it is to be joyful. This gives me not only confidence, but faith that I will be successful in life whether or not I have physical markers to show for it.

At least, this is what I tell myself. : )


On Joy And Housewifery

April 22, 2010

I need a change. Further reflections on the title of my blog. Once you’ve been blogging for a good while, you can’t really change your blog’s name.
The current title just came to me one day when I was reflecting on how difficult it was for me to write on my original knitting blog, The Shaggy […]

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Tiny Seedlings Start To Sprout

April 10, 2010
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