These days, I spend most of my time in front of a computer.
I haven’t added up the hours (I don’t want to know), but most of my week is spent writing for school, writing for work, writing for my blog, reading blogs, procrastinating on Facebook or Twitter, and on and on and on.
To top it all off, our WiFi has a consistently inconsistent pattern of coming in and fading out, causing a few tantrums and meltdowns from yours truly. (It’s not pretty, let me tell you.)
This week, I’d had it. I was sick of the eye fatigue, the hunched shoulders and the guilt of ignoring my actual physical surroundings.
So I went outside and dug in the dirt.
Our one-bedroom apartment is small. It doesn’t have a dishwasher, the A/C unit groans from exhaustion and the plumbing is old. But for all its quirks, it’s a pretty sweet spot. And one of its best features? It comes with a 2×11-foot garden.
Actually, it originally came with a 2×11-foot mess of tangled weeds and overgrown succulents, but that all came up easily enough when I first tried my hand at urban gardening months ago. That attempt was noble, though it ultimately fell short. Soon, our garden began to wilt, the weeds grew back in and the flowers I’d planted died.
This week, that all changed. I bought a couple of shrubs, some soil and gardening gloves, sprayed on my sunscreen and got to work.
And you know what? It felt really good. I spent hours digging up all the landscape pebbles we’d spread out and properly weed-proofed the dirt below. I mixed the new soil with the old, dry and dusty soil. And, the most fun of all, I added some greenery.
When we found out our rent was going up at the beginning of the next lease, I momentarily lamented the work we’d put into a place we don’t even own. Why hang things on the wall? Why plant in what’s technically someone else’s garden? But the fact is, like a lot of people in my generation, I may never own a home, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t take ownership and pride in wherever I’m living. It’s important to nest, and it’s important to love where you live.
And I do. I love our tiny kitchen where John and I make kickass dinners every night. I love our bedroom with the pretty curtains and my “girly station,” I love our living room with party lights on the wall and funky rugs on the floor. And now, I love our garden.
Now that I have a garden to take care of for real this time, maybe I’ll spend a little less time staring at a screen.