The Greenhouse

The Greenhouse here, it is quite a big operation for a very small town.

The Greenhouse

So, each spring, when all of the new plantings come rolling in truck after truck, the call goes out for help.

Spring plugs.

Spring plugs.

“How did you end up out here or even know about this place?”

The question was asked of me, as I was working alongside several women last week, all have been with the Greenhouse some 20+ years.  They’ve all essentially, been with the place since it opened and they were surprised I even knew about it, given I told them I had only moved to the area recently.

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I told them the Cowboy had taken me out to the Greenhouse last spring to introduce me to the owners (friends but also customers of his), to reassure me there are amenities in South Dakota that I also enjoyed back home (which I was worried about, and I thoroughly enjoy gardening), and to give me the opportunity to dig in the dirt around his place and get a few new things planted.

I loved the place.  And apparently the owners noticed, as we left with a two cartloads of plants, flowers and vegetables for the garden.

“Don’t expect me to water any of this,” the Cowboy said as we loaded everything into the back of the truck.

“I don’t,” I responded, adding, “But that just means I’ll have to come back for more….”

A year later, I am back.  There will be plants going home with me again in the near future. But for now, I’m helping plant, prune, water, hang .. whatever is needed while I also work to get my own business on its feet.  Even then, I may still hope for and love a few hours at the Greenhouse when I can get them.

……………

I know of a few friends who think I’ve lost my marbles.  Working at a greenhouse?  I know of at least one other person who feels I should not necessarily go back to exactly what I was doing before, but something along those lines that would have me earning the same paycheck because, well .. just because that’s what this person expects me to do.

I decided long ago, it shouldn’t matter necessarily what others expect of me.  Unfortunately I’m not always great at sticking to that theory, and sometimes you just can’t.  Like when you do have a job, a boss, customers, a family at home .. all those things do need to be considered.  Because they are part of your team.  But outside that circle, well ..

Let us not try to be the best or worst for others, but let us make every effort to be the best for ourselves.” – Marcus Garvey

I, right now, am feeling really good spending time at the greenhouse.

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It’s almost like that sabbatical I have heard so many others, mainly higher education professionals, physicians and clergy, talk about and take.  A time and place that offers you the freedom to just be.  To think.  To regroup.  To dream big or ponder all the problems of the world and how you might help solve them.  All the things I have been hoping to find time again to do.  Digging in the dirt the past few weeks has allowed me to dig a little deeper into my soul and really start churning up what I’m made of and better think about/define what it is that makes me tick.  What will make me grow.

Working at the Greenhouse has also reminded me of a few other things I now realize were lacking in my former career and day to day ..

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Finding inspiration.

When is the last time you thought outside the daily grind?  Got up and asked yourself if you are happy doing what you do?

Asked yourself, “What inspires me?”

I have a feeling most people don’t ever ask that of themselves, because if they did, that might mean they would have to do something about it.  And most likely it would be life changing.  That, is a scary thought for some.

My brother, among others if I had to guess, believes I am a bit nuts I’m quite certain because of all this.  Because I have been asking myself this question for years.  (Not if I’m nuts.  Inspired).  I still am asking, in fact and perhaps have lived my life and career a bit more this way than he feels is healthy.  He would never leave his job.  He never has.  There’s too much security in staying that far outweighs any other issue that might exist.  But I’ve always told myself in regard to career, that if heading off to whatever is helping pay the bills doesn’t inspire me, it’s time to move on.

I came to this conclusion among other reasons, after watching my most awesome parents who I just love to pieces work and work and work and work and work for years in jobs they appreciated but didn’t necessarily love.  And then shortly after they both retired and were to ride off into the sunset and do some really cool things, my mother was diagnosed with cancer and passed away.

Life is too short to not find inspiration in the things you do everyday.  Personal or professional.

I’d recommend asking yourself.   Like now.  Before the years have passed you by and you wished perhaps you had done things differently.  In the meantime, I’m a big fan of Penelope Trunk and have had the chance to know her even a little bit.an interesting read on the topic (agree with it or not):    http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2012/08/27/how-to-find-inspiration-at-work/

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At the moment, I’m inspired by working with a former colleague on a new webpage for the business I have decided to start.  Even if it’s a small business on the side of something else.  But I’m pretty sure, if I work hard at all on this, it will turn into something wonderful.  (This is despite the fact I just spent another half hour looking at the latest job postings.  I’ve been told by an old friend and career coach to never stop looking.  It’s good to keep your options open.)

It’s not a micro-brewery.  Not yet anyway.  That’s a dream for a few years down the road.  Not a coffee roasting facility either.  I had been thinking, how can I go wrong with two of the things I love most.  #Buylocal is the trend (so is the hashtag, sorry had to use it) and there are few local breweries or coffee roasters that I can tell throughout in South Dakota.  Like, anywhere.  And I miss good, local, on tap, cold hearty beers as well as rockstar coffee shops with locally roasted beans every mile or so.  We’ve talked about opening a boutique and looked at properties in the area for a storefront.  I’ve dabbled in some design and woodwork.  We met with friends who were encouraging us to look at a screen printing business due to another idea I have.  It’s been a couple months of throwing it all on the table and in the midst of it looking at what else still might be out there.

While logistics of any and all of it are getting worked out, the Cowboy said to me recently, “Remember the greenhouse I took you to last year to pick out some flowers?  I got a call from the owners today.”  (They are friends and the family, shoeing clients.)

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“She wants to know if you might like to help with spring planting,” he adds.  “They could use some help.”