This week, Jonesy and I went and did a final garden cleanup. As we wrapped our second year of food gardening, I was thinking about how glad I am that we have started down this path, even if it’s been very small attempts, and even if I haven’t followed through on it as well as I would have liked. I guess I would call myself flexitarian (for funny definitions of this word, go here), and love food and cooking, so the thought of growing my own food is really exciting. Last year I convinced him to let me get a few potted herbs. We had some success, but also learned what not to do (let your herbs get to flower). This year I stepped it up to a community garden plot. I was skeptical when I planted the seeds, so the first time harvesting real food was practically magical. And it turns out I actually love the hard work of weeding and caring for plants. What I didn’t eat straight off the vine made it home where it was put in salads and on pizzas, and turned into lemon and limeades. I’m hooked! I only wish that I had prepared more and made more time for it this summer (several plants didn’t amount to anything because it was the wrong season for them and I had to abandon the garden due to time in August). So now I know what my goals for next year are.
Sometimes it’s overwhelming the number of things I want to do and see and learn in this lifetime. I used to have a bad habit of putting off some of the things I wanted most because I wanted them to be absolutely perfect whenever I started them. I mentioned this about photography, and it was also true of gardening, and of entrepreneurship. Seeing as I have embarked on all of these things this year, I’m happy to report that I now realize how silly it is to ‘wait to start’ things you’re really passionate about.
As Malcolm Gladwell explains in Outliers, the media would have us believe that some people are just ‘destined for stardom’ because they were born with an unusual level of talent and got discovered. But in reality, it is usually a particular set of circumstances and thousands of hours of practice that lead up to that ‘overnight success’. That is a very encouraging thing to consider, and applies to everything from career decisions to what hobbies to pursue.
On a personal level, the things that I consider myself to be good at, that I have pursued to some level of success, generally have these 4 things in common:
And it seems to me that they happen in that order. We discover something that really resonates with us, and/or, that we seem to have a talent for. This may be positively reinforced in various ways, until we end up becoming really passionate about it. At that point, we know it will take a LOT of time and effort to become successful at it, but we already have everything we need. Having 1, 2, and 3 truly are enough to drive you through the difficulties of #4.
So, why doesn't everyone just invest the time in doing what they love?
These are some of the common roadblocks:
And if you think about it, all of these things can be changed by investing more time. Resources can be found. Self-doubt is overcome by action and success. And guidance and support can be sought out. So, there we are. Back to the original model. I’ve used this model a lot this year to both pursue and rule out activities, and it’s provided a lot of clarity and comfort about those decisions, where otherwise, there would have been little.
In my original Finding the Time post, I said that I was trying to organize and slow down my overly packed schedule. In the 6 weeks since, I have developed a plan for doing just that, and I am mid-implementation now.
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Hello, there! My name is Nikki Jones and this is a place for me to write about my travels, my urban homesteading adventures, and whatever else my little heart desires at a given moment. Like many personal-blog bloggers, there are times I write daily and long streteches I'm not inspired to write at all. And that's ok! At any rate, I'm glad you're here.