In our first year in our home, Will planted a vegetable garden in our front yard. It was a glorious explosion of cherry tomatoes, snap peas, carrots, beets, salad greens, rosemary, sage, chives and more. But then we had another baby, and like so many other hobbies, work on the garden took a back seat to shushing, rocking and cooing.
We had hoped to reclaim the garden this year, but we were humbled by the invasion of weeds that took over our garden. Every time he went outside, Will grumbled about the garden and threatened to nix the whole thing. Then one day, he did.
I loved our garden, weeds and all, and never failed to believe in our power to redeem it. He grumbled, I hoped. Finally, one day Will came home and announced the gardeners were coming next Tuesday to grass over our garden. I was opposed at first, but conceded because I could tell it was important to Will. Once the work was done, however, I was shocked to find how much I like it. The emerald grass sets off the purple lavender bordering the walk and makes our other remaining plants really stand out. Clearing the riotous random growth makes our garden look more intentional and peaceful.
I don’t like to admit defeat, but I am forced to admit that sometimes life becomes jumbled with too many commitments. Sometimes it’s better to just grass it over.
I have often seen the metaphor in gardening and blogging. I have felt very guilty that Tenth to the Fraser has been such a sadly neglected patch of the Internet these past few months, and I’ve been at a loss of what to do about it. I keep meaning to return to it and help it thrive again, but if I’m honest with myself, right now it isn’t the priority it once was.
Life is full of surprises. These past few months have been personally tumultuous (in a good, ‘this is helping me grow’ kind of way). I’m in a very different place than I was when Will and I launched this blog. My attention is elsewhere, and it’s become obvious.
Much good has come of these changes: more time with my two young children, more time out and about enjoying the sun in the community I love, and a newly rekindled interest in long-abandoned hobbies like playing piano, sewing, cooking and reading actual paper books. Unhappily, all this personal growth has come at the expense of other interests, most visibly in the neglect of this blog.
This post is partly an apology for that neglect and partly an appeal for help to decide what to do next. Tenth to the Fraser is more than just my blog. I feel like it “belongs” to the community too. Given that, I’d like to hear from you before I decide what to do.
I’m sure those of you who noticed how long it’s been since I’ve blogged here have been wondering what’s been going on. I’m sorry for abandoning you all so suddenly. As you know, Tenth to the Fraser is my hobby, not my job. Other commitments have demanded priority, and I’ve had to put blogging on the backburner.
In the personal tempest during which I was rethinking my work situation and mourning the bummer summer that rained out Summerfest, I made the decision to simplify my commitments and bid adieu to full-time work in favour of working from home as an independent consultant. That business has taken off more quickly than I expected (yay!) but the unexpected result is that I have had to put aside blogging these past months in order to focus my much-reduced time at the computer on billable hours. Surprisingly to me, I really like having less time at the computer and more time in the world. Before I knew it, my brief hiatus ‘while I figured things out’ stretched longer and longer. I can’t ignore any more that I have to change how I’m going about things.
I have been wrestling with what to do with Tenth to the Fraser. I remain passionate about life in New Westminster, and I love the parallel online communities on Twitter and Facebook that have emerged along with the blog. And yet, the inner need that drove me to launch this site has been met. I was motivated to start blogging because I felt lost and disconnected in New Westminster, and I longed for a more meaningful life in my community. Thanks to the people I have met and the opportunities I have received through blogging, I have received all that in spades. Paradoxically, now that I do feel connected and involved in my community, I don’t feel as strong an urge to write about it.
Realistically, I don’t see myself having much time to blog for at least the next month or two. I’ve got two vacations to plan (& enjoy!), a number of big project deliverables to complete and a ton of miscellaneous projects that I’ve been putting off doing for far too long. On the other hand, it’s possible that once my son’s back in school and these big projects are handed off that I’ll have more time and mental energy to invest here. I might feel very differently a few months from now than I do right now.
I’m sorry for rambling on so. Thanks to those of you who have indulged me and read to the end. If you have any words of advice or encouragement I’d appreciate hearing it!