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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Forty ..

I feel like I am supposed to have some sort of epiphany about life that I can tell you all about, because I’m now 40.

But ..

I pretty much don’t.

And I am slowly realizing .. perhaps that is why I’ve been in kind of a funk the past few days, despite the fact it was my birthday and everyone around me seemed so excited to help me celebrate.

I think I’m feeling like I should be making more of it, because, after all, it’s 40.

You know, the new 29 or whatever everyone kept saying out of kindness or .. probably not being sure what else to say to make me feel like I’m not getting that old.

Don’t get me wrong.

I am humbled and grateful for what this year was an outpouring of wonderful reminders of how many incredible people are in my life…

The comments, compliments, cakes, cupcakes, well wishes, phone calls, wall posts (what did we ever do before Facebook reminders?), surprises, the party .. flowers, chocolate, a quick dinner with an old friend, and a night with my daughter (spent sitting in a meeting we would have been fine to skip)….

There have been so many reminders of how blessed I am in this life.  I love and genuinely appreciate all of it.

But why when someone, anyone turns 40, or 50 or 60 .. does the world seem to think its more important than say 43.  Just curious.  Marketing scheme?  Can someone explain to me the significance….

I do believe now .. all the hype made me feel all the more like I should have been making a huge deal of the day, myself (when I don’t do birthdays).  The actual day.  And that I wasn’t doing a very good job of it.  Because I somehow need to really grasp what turning 40 means, that I’m supposed to be in this great place in my life and know what life is all about and the best is yet to come .. well, because I’m 40.  We have to party.  This is a big one.  You go girl.  It’s your time.  Time to conquer the world.  Don’t you get it?  You don’t want a big party? .. You must not get it.  That kind of thing.

What’s funny is .. I think I do get it.

That’s just a lot of pressure to put on one day.  And I genuinely feel every single day is worth celebrating.  Especially now.  I am in a great place in life.  Sure, I wish some things were different.  Or easier.  But at 40, I feel I am totally starting over.  With some life experience under my belt to do it better this time.

Is that what 40 is supposed to be?  I don’t know but I guess in those terms,  maybe it is the new 29.

It actually is a very cool time in life for most, I believe.  At least that’s what people who are there and have been there are telling me.  But the entirety of it .. you know, the whole year.  Not just a day.  The turning 40 thing is one of the reasons I decided to start blogging this year.  To keep track of all the awesome, beautiful changes happening.  And my thoughts on it all.

Perhaps in writing I just came to the epiphany I needed to.

Regardless.

I am still stealing moments this week amongst all the chaos of a beautiful, whirlwind, emotional few days leading up to my birthday and got back to what I like to do in the privacy of my own special day each year:

– Thank the woman who chose to give birth to me, because she easily could have chosen not to.  And for that fact, I am eternally grateful.

– Thank the family who wanted and could raise a child, and picked me.

– Hug my daughter.

– Tell those closest to me that I love them and thank them for being a part of my life always.

– Treat myself to some chocolate.  Good coffee.  And a great beer.

– And .. garden.

It may have been digging in the dirt on my little patio last night in the dark and potting a few plants and seeds I’ve wanted to get started.  But I fit it in.  A wonderful way to chill out in the final hours of a great day.   Time for myself, to think about the seeds I’ve already planted in life and what I hope grows out of another wonderful year.