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Figuring the Balance Isn't Working So Well

16 years ago

I've been disabled with chronic pain along the abdomen's muscles since 1999, so I can't lean over for very long nor do anything strenuous without paying the price in more pain the following few days. On any given day, I can do physical activities for a total of three hours per day, and even then, need breaks about every 20 minutes for about 20 minutes. Add to that, it's just me and hubby, who is actually slightly more disabled then me. (I'm also allergic to just about every pollen, so have really picked a dumb hobby, but I just can't help it. LOL)

I used to attempt growing a few veggies occasionally, but got obsessed with gardening a few years ago. Thankfully, our "yard" is 16' X 16' and nothing but concrete, so I use containers for my garden, and have been busy collecting an assortment of odd things (a couple of old grills, an old red wagon bought at a flea market, and a child's picnic table bought by saving points for a year through one of those "Earn rewards by reading e-mail and visiting websites" places) to use as "plant stands" to raise the containers high enough that I don't have to lean over as long to water and deadhead every day. Now, not only does the garden include some tomato plants, but a few perennials, some succulents, a variety of herbs, a small rose bush, (which needs to be transplanted now) and I've sown a bunch of seeds a few weeks ago that are just waiting for the weather to be warm enough to be transplanted outside.

The problem? How can I keep gardening?

I have always been bad at estimating how long it will take me to do something. Had my own business before becoming disabled, and estimated how long a job would take, then doubled it to come up with a doable time period. I'm MUCH slower now, and have yet to figure out how to do this reasonably.

I tend to go through pure panic every year during May, and get so grumpy, because just doing basic housework takes so much time, it irks me that I have to keep putting off gardening, or squish in a little time, just because it HAS to be done NOW! (Planted a few mail-order plants today as it drizzled outside, because I didn't have time yesterday when they arrived, and they had about a tablespoon of dirt that they were shipped in!)

I could use some practical suggestions on how to garden and even enjoy it during planting season. No family near us. No kids. And, frankly, we had to give up most of our friends, simply because we aren't able to do much often, so there is no outside help available. With both of us disabled, we're living merely on disability, which puts us under the poverty line, even if our simple needs afford us such luxuries as Internet connection (which, in our case is both a luxury and a necessity, since this is where we learn about our health problems and,... connect with other people)and my garden. Also, no roses out yet to stop and smell, that picnic table is still in its box (and will need to be unloaded piece by piece, since the box is too heavy LOL), and I have no idea where all last year's compost will go (more like a globby mess with pine needles, old branches and twigs, and the &@$%# mint peaking through, even after covering it with 3 gallons of soil over the 3 gallons of yanked out mint roots from last summer) so the garden is merely a mess of containers stuck wherever they'll fit, until I can give them their permanent locations.

Seriously, how can I do this? Gotta garden, but I want to enjoy doing it, too.


PS Just in case this thread turns out like I hope -- a group effort of folks, who've gone through what I'm still working through, and have learned stuff they'd like to share -- hubby and I have figured out one thing this year! We can no longer go on vacation in the middle of April, since that's when I should be sowing seeds, and planning the garden. From now on, we vacation in the Fall! (Rates are cheaper, when kids need to be in schools.) Chances are good, not many others will find that a bright idea, but that's all I've learned, so far. LOL

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