When I booted up this blog a few weeks ago, I had a very romantic vision of following the progress of my to-be-planted orchard, using it as a kind of metaphor for my new life and career in Washington, and, of course, the beginning of my 40th decade. I still intend to do that, but everyday life intervenes, and well, I'm don't have the financial or energetic magic necessary to start this project in time for my 40th birthday (next Sunday). At first I felt a little embarrassed and miffed about it (it's the project manager and logistician in me), but then realized it was the perfect way to show myself and my friends that you just have to do what you can, and follow through with it as you can, and no need to beat yourself up or feel behind schedule. After pacing and flouncing around the house, I came to the following realizations:
1) It's just an orchard, after all. Get started, but do what you can. This is not my family's livelihood. Wait a year, watch all four seasons in your yard, and figure out what to expect before you invest your money and energy in this. It's a worthwhile project that you will enjoy for the rest of your life. Just do what you can, and plant older and bigger trees if you want to stay "on track"! That's wisdom happening, perhaps. Something I didn't have too much of ten years ago when I wanted and expected a bauble or exotic trip for my 30th birthday. Times have changed indeed.
2) We all have a useless pile of crap in our brains, and we have to get through it bit by bit in order to move forward. That junk pile out back is the real metaphor here. The future site of a beautiful apple orchard that will feed my family and friends, and bloom every spring, and bring more life to this little plot. That's awesome (even if I have to clear it, amend the soil, and build a tall deer fence first). But I have to stare at the junk pile, rotting in the driving winter rain, every day. The former owners left all of this shit behind: plastic bins, dead Christmas trees, useless waste. They probably stared at it for a year too, intending to haul it out and burn it, and now I have to look at it every day and it is impeding my will to start this. It reminds me of my own unkempt messes, tangible and in my brain. Totally worthy of procrastination but there has to be a Moment of Action. A few years ago I cleaned out my old car trunk, after 5 years of letting layers and layers of bad work, apartment, and relationship memories build up in it. And a lot of bad CDs, too. I had to clean it out in order to move out to WA. It was uncomfortable to see some of the stuff, but I just chucked it. I ignored it and threw it in the bin. All of the shit in this pile represents someone else's unfinished tasks, I inherited it, and it is all GOING AWAY BY FORCE. There's no room in their pile for my procrastination and old memories, either. Don't trip over the past, your own or someone else's, when you intend to move forward.
3) The light bulb went off in my head. I WILL ASK MY FRIENDS TO HELP ME AND GIVE THEM FOOD AND BEER! Because your best friends really do want to help you move forward. They're trying to do the same thing in their lives. And they want to eat your apples before they get too old to use their own teeth.