Hobbies. Kind of.

I'm trying out Plinky this week, because I just noticed that it's been two full weeks eleven days (I can’t count, hurp derp) since I updated. I'm sort of butting heads with writer's block right now, so I figured I'd let someone else come up with topics and I'd just ramble on and add some pictures. Uh, enjoy!

I don't really ever de-stress, as it were. I do a few things seasonally to shut my brain down for a while, but I've never been any good at relaxing.

During spring and summer, of course, I garden. I garden pretty much unceasingly, dawn to dusk, even though there's not all that much to actually do in my few pots or the garden box. Sometimes, "gardening" looks a lot like "sitting on a chair outside, sipping a soda and gazing at the plants." I grow mainly tomatoes, because the smell and feel of them triggers a sort of sense memory of happiness — my great-grandmother grew tons of tomatoes, and I spent entire summers in her back yard, with nothing to do but be a kid. (I also grow them because they taste good, of course.) I guess I really shut my brain down by sniffing and fondling a few plants each summer, but I call it gardening in order to come across as slightly sane.

In fall and winter it's harder. I cook often in the cooler months, and I enjoy it enough to edit a food blog and talk kitchen tools and herbs for hours, but it's not really a de-stressor. It's a distraction, maybe, and sometimes it's a comfort — but really it's a way to pass the time and nourish my family until the sun gets stronger and the leaves turn green. It's a way to feel competent, too; I'm so often overwhelmed by raising a kid and keeping a house and paying the bills that it's nice to have one normal thing I can manage. But it's not particularly relaxing.

The closest I come to relaxing in the house is when I read. I read pretty much all the time (all the time that I'm not actively raising the kid or washing the dishes, anyway), and I figured out years ago that it's a defense mechanism. I read things online, I read library books, I read newspapers, I read magazine clippings. I read cereal boxes and shampoo bottles and the packaging from Connor's toys. I read like breathing, and between that and my garden I do all right. Even if I don't ever actually relax.

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4 Responses to Hobbies. Kind of.

  1. Adri says:

    I love growing tomatoes for precisely the same reason. I can’t believe it took me so long to discover container gardening. My tomatoes are the highlight of my entire summer.

  2. Adri says:

    … hmmm, I just reread that and realized how pathetic it sounded. But it’s pretty much true.

    If it makes it any less pathetic, it’s not just the tomatoes themselves that are the highlight of my entire summer. It’s also sitting right next to them and burying my face in the leaves and breathing tomato-plant smell. And having tomato-plant smell all over my hands, preferably before work/school, so I can sit there smelling myself and daydreaming and not pay any attention all day.

  3. Anne says:

    I would read more, if not for the, you know, baby situation. What I LOVE is that he is pretty keen on his scrunchy books, including the very cool one you sent him, and seems to enjoy being read a story (and adores being read M’s poetry).

    As a kid and teenager and yound adult, I hid in books. They saved me. I still need to carry reading material (usually the Guardian and Observer magazines at the moment because I don’t get enough time during the day to get into a story) or I feel like I’ve forgotten my arms. One day, Matteo and I will head into Starbucks together (I know, I know, but they are the most baby-friendly coffee chain in London) and both read a book. Can’t wait til he’s 1 so he can have a babycino ;) Although, I can wait til he’s 1 also, as 6 and a bit months is awesome.

  4. Anne says:

    young adult even. though I’m sure I was yound at some stage.

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