I’ve been at my daughter’s house for a week. She has 6 chickens, 3 dogs, 1 fish, a garden, a pool, and a batch of kombucha. All that need tending weekly, daily, or numerous times a day. When she left, I was left with a list of instructions that included mowing the grass which I halfway fucked up by not putting the clippings where I finally figured out they go, brewing tea for the kombucha, keeping the pool clean, feeding the stray cat, etc.
Needless to say, my daughter has her shit together way more than I ever have. She has three dogs. They smell good. Her house is clean. She’s organized. Seriously, she’s quite a successful adult in my eyes.
I was also tasked with planting the vegetable sprouts she had sitting on the kitchen counter after mother’s day.
As I had my hands in the dirt tonight, I remembered how much I loved having a garden the one or two times I’ve had one. And I wondered why I never follow through with gardening. I’ll be the first person to complain about someone having good intentions and no follow through. I never put myself in that category though because I try not to do that to other people. I do, however, do it to myself.
Every year, I say I’m going to plant a garden. I know when I should start. I even know where in my yard I would put it. I have a whole list of plans for my backyard that I never follow through with. I actually have a whole list of things in my life that I never follow through with.
When I tried to analyze what may be the reason, the first thing to pop into my mind is that I’m lazy. But I’ve worked pretty much my whole adult life. I went to college. Graduated. Raised three kids. So I quickly put out of my head that I’m lazy.
Then I thought, maybe I have ADD and I’m just easily distracted. But I had to put that out of my head because when it comes right down to it and I need to focus, I can do it. If I want to read a book, I can do that. If I want to meditate for three hours a day, I can do that. So it can’t be ADD.
I finally decided that it boiled down to one thing. I’m unmotivated as fuck. I lack motivation in a serious way. I dream of being a success at writing, but when it comes time to sit down and write the sequel, I find a million excuses not to do it. I want to be organized, so I spend an hour recreating Dan’s Calendar of Awesomeness in a spreadsheet for the rest of the year and then after a week, I don’t use it again. I plan a garden, I buy seeds, and then I find a thousand other things to do besides planting the garden and then the seeds sit for two years and every time I look at them I am reminded of my failure.
And then it all becomes clear- fear of failure…fear of commitment. My two driving forces. And by that, I mean the two forces that drive me in the opposite direction of where I should be going.
I don’t know why I have such a huge fear of both of them. I think I mentioned before that I have a total of 3 books, numerous poems, a children’s book and a handful of ideas floating around in my head that I’m scared to release out into the world, because if I do and nobody likes them, then I’ve spent all that time and failed. And I know I’m looking at it all the wrong way because there are not very many people who have committed the time to write as many things as I have and I know, of that, I should be proud. But I can’t for some reason. I think every writer and every poet is better than me, more organized, more disciplined and I have a very hard time getting it through my head that I could be up there with some of my favorites if I would just commit to it.
Which leads me to my second force. My fear of commitment. I realized tonight while my hands were in the dirt digging holes for the watermelons that the reason I tell myself I don’t want to do a garden this year is because it’s a lot of commitment. Garden’s take work and commitment. And if it’s not the work I’m scared of because I’ve done plenty of hard work, then it must be the commitment involved. Also, probably why I always run to date the damaged souls because I already know ahead of time they aren’t permanent. And then I can cry about it and blame them for being fucked up while ignoring the fact that I am deep down relieved that I didn’t have to commit or make any sacrifices or share my space or lose parts of myself.
I don’t know how to fix this part of me, but I guess admitting there’s a problem is the first step. Maybe the second step is a therapist, but I feel like I got here on my own, maybe I can work it out on my own too.