I hope everyone is enjoying their first week of Summer (or Winter for my Southern Hemi Friends)!!
FYI, Today is not a normal horticulture post… I’m making a few changes on my island, yet again. If you’re not in the mood for a ‘sharing post’, please move on =-)
There are a few of you out there that had been followers of my old blog ‘Midwestern Plants’, which I religiously posted to daily for about 6 years. The pressure got to me. My mental health was not cooperating with daily life… I had a full time (+overtime) job and couldn’t keep with posting. It wasn’t ‘fun’ anymore. I snapped, stopped posting and fell out of the blogging life.
It was a serious blow to my psyche. One of my top favorite career choices was to be a writer. Of course, I mean make an income as a writer, not just be a passive blogger. Granted, I didn’t do a lot of promoting while @MP, however, I probably should have. But, the snap happened before I thought hard about it. I just removed the site and it was over. The band-aid had been ripped off. MP was no more.
I took about a year off from blogging, during that time my mental health had started to deteriorate. I became very angry. Angry at everything… everyone. I started seeing a psychologist. After a few sessions, she figured out that I wasn’t just depressed and had anxiety, I was ADHD. Well, that sure explained a few things!!
In short, I get bored very easily. When I feel there is nothing more to learn about a topic, I’m out. IF for some reason I try (or have) to continue with the topic after boredom has struck, I get agitated and angry. That’s the ADHD talkin’.
I had been at my last job for almost 8 years. That was a miracle for me. Although it was a great paying job, that was different every day, it wasn’t enough for me. During those 8 years, I had let my (ironically ADHD) boss that I wanted a to do more design and less office work… I got the, “You’re too good at what you do” speech. He did get me a part time assistant, however after 4 hires, I couldn’t find one that could keep-up for the crappy salary my company wanted to pay.
I was angry, pushing 110/150 blood pressure and crying constantly. I didn’t want to do anything, and nothing I did….
I quit my job last fall and never looked back.
During the off time, I cleaned my whole house out of clutter, washed carpets, walls, then painted, even got to the mending. It was grand!!! I even started doing little art projects to keep me occupied.
After I had a bit of ‘Me-Time’, I thought about what I could do for some income. I was so not ready to work for someone, deal with a daily drive, coworkers…..The clear choice was to create a landscape design business, as that was a no-brainer for me. Not exactly something new, however in a pinch…
Aaaaand, The Naturarian was born! Tada!
I got my website/blog going, advertising and BOOM! I was in business! AND back into blogging, albeit only 3X a week.
Things were going pretty well and a few designs were tossed my way. I had been monitoring my blood pressure, which was back down to my normal 75/105, I wasn’t as angry. Life was looking up a bit…
Welp. Sometimes when you get all of your balls in the air, even if you were successfully juggling them, one may fall…
In January, my feet started to hurt. Not just the ‘my feets are barkin’ kinda pain, I mean the ‘I can’t stand up’ kinda pain. I went to the podiatrist, where he told me that I was chosen by the feet gods to have every foot issue ever known. Go big or go home, Mom always said. The one that scared me the most was the arthritis. I made an appointment with a rheumatologist. Meanwhile, I started an anti-inflammatory diet, got million dollar orthotics and began doing daily, stretching exercises. For the most part, by the time I got into my rheumatologist, the only pain I had was the arthritis.
A few months & many tests later, my doctor diagnosed me with ankylosing spondylitis. Yes, this is mostly a disease of the spine but, my spine just doesn’t hurt yet, I’m told. I’m not sure how this disease will progress, however I know there’s no cure.
This was a big blow to me. I’m a young 51 and have not had any physical limitations before. I’m a huge hiker and love my ungroomed trails with tripy roots and slippery mud. I cried and threw temper tantrums that whole week. After my personal, pity party. I went out to a favorite hiking location to see what I was still capable of doing. The upside is, I can do the hike, I just can’t move the next day. Fair enough. I’m self employed 😉
In the end, I have to get over this and realize that this is life and when life zings lemons at you, you need to whip out your wood chipper and make… lemon ice (?)
I was very early to one of my rheumatology appointments and it was an exceptionally nice Spring day out, so I decided to follow the walk past the door of the doctors building. To my amazement, there was a Wellness Garden attached to the back of the building. What is a Wellness Garden, you ask? Well, in short:
A wellness garden is an outdoor space that has been specifically designed to meet the physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs of the people using the garden.
Wellness gardens can be found in a variety of settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living residences, continuing care retirement communities, out-patient cancer centers, hospice residences, and other related healthcare and residential environments.
The focus of the gardens is primarily on incorporating plants and friendly wildlife into the space. The settings can be designed to include active uses such as raised planters for horticultural therapy activities or programmed for passive uses such as quiet private sitting areas next to a small pond with a trickling waterfall. (via wellnessgarden.design)
First, I walked through the welcoming ramp up to the entrance. Not many plants had leafed out yet, however there were a few early Spring flowers smiling at me. Under a tree, I found a nice spot to sit, that looked out onto a small waterfall feature. I closed my eyes. I could feel the sun on my skin and hear the water splashing below. All of the birds were singing so happily above me. It was so relaxing. So serene. I could have just melted into that bench. That’s when it dawned on me…
Although I can still get around, my mobility will become worse sooner than my lifespan (assuming)!! Maybe I should hone my skills from regular landscaping to developing Wellness Gardens that are inclusive to every mobility degree. Genius level, IMO 😉
But, when one door opens, sometimes one needs to shut.
So here’s the bad news first. The Naturarian is going into hibernation at the end of the month. I like the name (although no one seems to be able to pronounce it ;-), so I’m not going to delete it. I don’t have the time to promote my new biz and keep writing here, tho.
The good news is that I am going to start blogging at my new ‘honed’ business of Wellness Garden Design. I won’t be posting as regularly however, if you go there now, I’ve written one post to give you an idea of what will be going on there. It’s not going to be a normal landscaping/plant kinda site like this one, but there will surely be some plants posts coming in the future. I know this new format may not be appealing to some of you, so I wish you well in your blogging futures if you chose not to follow me over there!
Whew, that was a long one. I just wanted to explain my situation because there have been blogs I’ve followed in the past that just end. Just stop. No explanation, whatsoever. I always assume that the person died and it makes me sad. 😉 I didn’t want anyone to be sad and thought I had croaked. Ha!! This is a happy ending!!!
Lastly, while I was on my blogging hiatus, I discovered Instagram. The irony… A platform that’s geared more towards photos that writing…. If you’d like to visit me there (you don’t need an account or app, this is a web link) CLICK HERE to visit!
Thank you & I wish you all the best.