I didn’t cruise the Alaskan coast or go on African safari or even explore the fjords of Norway – all aspirations of my youth. I suspect, in fact, that those “bucket” dreams shall be sensibly set aside for another lifetime.
But to answer the many queries I have received – “Are you all right? I haven’t seen any posts on Snowbird!” – I am still comfortably happy here on Mt. Faith, watching the garden grow, bed by bed, collaborating with what will hopefully be the final stages of inside tweeking and re-furbishing, all the while juggling and struggling to manage my all too many hats.
Those who know me well understand that I suffer from a disease that forces me to raise my hand too easily while enthusiastically proclaiming – “I can do that! That would be fun!” And if I experienced a bad bout of this peculiar illness last summer, I relapsed with an even more virile strain this year.
Somehow, I found myself president of the Otter Tail County Master Gardeners of Minnesota – a hand raising I must have done in my sleep, for I can’t really recall the circumstances. Fortunately, the premise of the organization is based on “service to one’s community” so I am backed up by an amazing cadre of horticultural public servants. And then there was the accidental incident (someone in command falling by the wayside) in which I found myself hugely responsible for pulling together the Lake Region Writers Network annual conference which, at this very moment, is breathtakingly imminent I might add. Not to mention – program committee for Underwood Unitarian Church, facilitator for UU Covenant meeting, and eager participant in the Fergus Falls Writers Group. And yet to my credit, I have sat on my hands every single time that the garden club president cried out for volunteers. Sorry, Lisa. If it’s any comfort, I experienced wracking guilt each and every time.
That’s a lot, you might think. And you would be right. But I haven’t yet mentioned the one major, all-consuming endeavor of the summer. The Fergus Falls Farmers Market.
I’ve struggled through the procreation and subsequent adolescence of the market for three years and often wondered what in the world Lynn and I were thinking that day we decided that someone needed to start a farmers market and it might as well be us. Last summer, as it expanded, and this summer as it grew even more, I often lamented the time which drained me of the ability to sit down and write. Well, write anything else after I’d written the weekly newsletter.
If I’m honest, I’ve done a lot of inner whining and self-pitying. Well, some outer. Actually, a lot of outer. Ask my husband.
The first hint of a reckoning occurred when I considered what it would mean to birth a child, even one of those menopausal, Oops, Surprise! Pregnancies, followed up by decrying that I “hadn’t realized that this kid would be so much trouble, need constant care and nurturing and publicizing and directing and organizing and rules and I have a life and what was I thinking! I couldn’t very well just put it out on the street and hope that someone took pity and took over.” Could I?
The second reckoning occurred when locals began to tell me how much they loved the market and “thank you so much Lynn and Diane for doing this for the community.” And the third reckoning occurred just a few weeks ago when I paused for a moment in a hectic, making-it-happen Saturday morning, paused and looked down the row and surprised myself with the energy, animation, and happy hustle and bustle all about. I had been so busy organizing and directing and publicizing and creating rules, that I had forgotten to breathe and celebrate.
Once I did, my priorities subtly shifted so that I no longer felt I had to choose either/or. With some adjustment there was no reason that I could not include both in my life. And more importantly, I realized that I might sit at my computer the day long and type my stories, and feel the artistic satisfaction, and even get a bravo or two now and then, but what Lynn and I began had evolved into something much bigger than we originally envisioned and, lots more bravos or not, it was good.
So I am determined to adjust the work somehow, create space for both, hustle and bustle, and definitely make time to celebrate.
Celebrate with me –