La Piece de Resistance

Or should I have titled this post The “Peace” of Resistance, as amazingly, humans pretend to be in a peaceful state while resisting what life has to offer. Spouting out the old refrain “I am happy, I am happy, I am happy” all the while resisting change and motion for fear of shaking their worlds. I only know this, because it is true for me.

About three months ago I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. With my week-long rest in hospital, and then three following weeks where I had extra support from friends and family, I started to re-negotiate my life’s priorities. I was offered up this moment in time where I could try, at least, to evaluate my life from a new vantage point; from the couch, with my feet up. Being a single mom of three young souls, this was entirely new to me, at least at this stage in my life.

As I mused about my life, and watched the wax-wing birds swoop in and out of my big ol’ mountain ash tree, one of the things that was potentially on the chopping block was my gardening business, as it seemed overwhelming to me. I had filled every last moment of spare time with gardening in other people’s gardens, and this left my general living space chaotic, to say the least. I had this great peaceful escape, and yet my dishes were stacked to the ceiling. I was avoiding my own work, to pursue work in other people’s lives.

So, I thought that perhaps this summer it was time to sell the client list and change gears as there didn’t seem to be any way to avoid working so hard, and yet still not earn enough. I hummed and hawed, and made promises to myself that I would call all my clients soon to tell them I wouldn’t be available this year, but this idea didn’t last for long.

Life tends to have other plans, and ways of redirecting the course, with or without one’s permission. Plans that don’t seem to be one’s own. Plans that one may try to push aside, as one knows what one wants, and it is not what is being presented by the universe. I am stubbornly certain sometimes that I am right. I was at the point, as I lay on the couch watching sparkles of sunlight fill the room, that I wanted more money, and less work.

“Ha!” my sister touted “That’s what everyone wants Chels”. But I can be determined, even when things don’t seem logical, so I sung myself this chorus as I drifted off to sleep.

In early spring I was at a coffee shop with a dear friend, and he introduced me to another friend of his; Chelsea #2. As Chelsea and I started talking she expressed a great desire to learn more about gardening, and I asked her how serious her desire was. Over the course of this “interview” we determined to be the answer to the other person’s dreams, so we exchanged numbers.

Almost in parallel to this occurrence, I started reading a book called You2 (otherwise put; You Squared). The premise being that each human being can only reasonably expect so much in life; one can only work so hard, earn so much money, have so much “success”, etc. So, let us be unreasonable. Let us not expect what seems logical, and let us stretch our wings and take ourselves beyond this box we call logic. New ways of thinking (or in this case not-so-new) have always inspired me. I have failed to believe that 1+1 has to equal 2. Not every time anyway. That would make life too simple, too predictable, and life is clearly not any of the above.

So, I decided to “Square” myself, and quite literally, this is what I did. I employed Chelsea #2. So now gardens were being maintained 4 days/week, 2 of which were being done while I was hanging with my kids, or tidying my own space. Bills were being paid while I took my kids out for a bike ride, or walked them to school. My chorus of “Earn more, work less” was becoming a reality.

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