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I’ve said on several occasions that one of the best parts of our new place is the ability to always keep busy and learn something new. Since college (I hated school until then) I’ve always enjoyed learning. An instrument, a new hobby, even the detailed history of a town or event. Now I have the space and opportunity to remodel kitchens, fix old barns, repair cars, do electrical work, learn about firearms, etc. This sounds well and good, but I’m actually terribly unfocused.

I don’t play video games anymore but when I did, I remember having the strategy in a number of RPG titles to work on a particular skill set or attribute at a time. Master agility, then improve endurance, etc. This method of perfection did not follow me into my real life. I start a project with much enthusiasm and then struggle to complete it. Often it’s more difficult than I planned, less exciting than I imagined, or gets in the way of other existing hobbies.

I get amped about the garden, but then three weeks later I’m devoting all my time to fixing the truck or building a better chainsaw. There were times this past summer when every building had a half-complete project in it, weeds got out of control and despite our constant effort, the to-do list grew much faster than we could lop items off of it. The worst thing was that we undertook many tasks just because we thought they sounded like a good challenge. And usually they were – much greater than we expected them to be.

I’m not sure this post has a lesson. Just a thought to accept that life is short, time and money are limited and perfection takes practice and patience. Spread yourself too thin, and you’ll end up exhausted and unfulfilled. My main goal as spring approaches (I don’t know why I’m saying that since the temperature reached a high of 1 yesterday) is to give the garden far more attention. It was the passion that brought me out to the country and it was sorely neglected (by me) last year. Thank god my wife nurtured it while I “found myself” getting lost down one new avenue of exploration after another.

As I worked to become a jack of all trades in a few short months, I failed to notice I’ve far from mastered the one I’ve been working on for years.


But as the seasons are coming upon us, I can’t wait… Now I just need to finish rebuilding the Subaru engine and drop it back in the car, fix the ceiling in the horse barn, and oh so much more before the frost deadline so I can have the spring to devote to the garden!