|A photo from last summer, but with an entire summer off coming up due to leaving my job, I can't wait to spend time with the garden, and the dogs. After 27 years of working at one job, a bit of time to engage with the garden is just what I need.|
Flash forward nearly 28 years, and here I am. A great ride. Exciting, always challenging, and really - I wouldn't have stayed so long if it wasn't interesting and stimulating.
I know that my position and career confused many people. "why is this guy writing a gardening blog when he also worked in the corporate world?" The confusion came both ways as well. It wasn't exactly an advantage, and my identity was muddled because of it. At work, my colleagues thought it was novel as well -- I often would say something like "oh, and I keep bees and raise show dogs," Until someone blurted out "did he tell you that he grows sweet peas and was in Martha Stewart last month!". Now, I can be a 'one-trick-pony'.
|Tuberous nasturtiums bloom in the greenhouse in March - now I can watch them open, day-to-day in the warm, spring sunshine - rather than checking on them for an hour or so, every weekend.|
I have some time now to think about next steps. A year or so off to regroup, to address all of the cliche terms like "this is a new chapter" or "this is the first day of the rest of your life.". I'm OK, and fortunate to have some savings and a cushion to land on - at least for a while. I do wake up in the middle of the night worrying if I might lose the house next year, or not be able to pay the heat on the greenhouse, but I will cross those bridges when I get there. I have so many ideas, and so many things that I want to do now, that I kind-of feel confident that something will take off.
This is my transition week then. I need to buy a new laptop at the Apple Store this weekend, and then set up a new blogging studio - new software, new Adobe Photoshop and a new photo storage system. So bear with me as I upgrade digitally. By late next week, I should be a better and more efficient blogging machine - I am so excited.
Go on - say it--- My garden here? It's is going to look soooooooo incredible this year!
Those of us who keep corporate positions know that this is always an inevitable reality. In some ways, I found similarities with fellow garden blogger Margaret Roach and her career path. Not that I was a big VP at a publishing company, but close. As a principal at Hasbro, I had great demands of both time and talent. I never minded that, but I wouldn't be honest if I didn't admit that there were times when I wished that I could have been working on something personal. The day-to-day excitement can be invigorating for a creative but also a little exhausting. Mostly, it was the time demands that got to me. I always felt stretched and pressured, finding it challenging to fit both my lives into one, single life.
If you read Margaret's book about transitioning from a big, corporate job to life in the country, then you know exactly of what I am referring to here, and in the end, it was this escape that I sometimes dreamed about at night.
I was looking for Margaret's book all weekend ( I think I lost it). I wanted to re-read her chapters about transitioning, as part of me doesn't quite know what to do with myself (don;t worry - I'll figure it out!). My copy of 'And I Shall Have Some Peace There" must have been loaned to a friend, so I'll order a new one.
|I build my greenhouse after boarding a flight on 9'11 to Boston made me realize that some things are more important than a job and making money.|
So-- here is the strange thing - I noticed a peculiar fact while searching for Margaret's book in my book cases - there are many garden writers who began their garden writing career during this life-transition stages. I suppose it makes sense. Wayne Winterrowd and both of the Beekman Boys come to mind. The end of a job often means the opening of a new career. Getting laid off may be the best thing that ever happened to me, who knows.
For now? I am setting up new computers - and guess what? I am heading off to the Philadelphia Flower Show Friday and Saturday - a show which I could never make time to attend.
Join me as I grow with plants, this next year. Who knows what will be next?