Earlier this week I was frantically scurrying around my yard with a plastic Virginia Tech cup full of garlic cloves. I was frantic because that garlic was supposed to be in the ground by Columbus Day. I don't even remember where I heard that from anymore, but in my head it's gospel. As I was searching for a clear spot for the garlic it occurred to me the entire garden should really be clear by now. Those green tomatoes are not ever going to turn red. The peppers probably won't either. The pumpkins are out so even though the vines are still a nice green they can go. All I have is space. So in that moment I realized gardening season was officially over, and yet, as I was out there looking for a place to plant something new it was also already starting again.
The reason Columbus Day came and went without the spark of recognition that the garlic needed a fall burial is because I have recently kicked up my work schedule. Times they are a changin' and this former stay at home mom has bills to pay. During this past month I have taken over the reigns of the checkbook so as to better acquaint myself with our household's financial situation. With that little dab of perspective, I was hit squarely in the stomach with the realization that once my income started factoring in to the budget there is no going back. My stay at home mom days are officially over. Our baby is two and he is the last of my litter so the jig is up. Being able to produce milk can no longer be called upon to necessitate my staying near my young. I have been replaced with a herd of cattle a few towns over and my husband is more than happy to send me out the door with the promise to hold down the fort in my absence.
So for the first time in over seven years I'm again asking the question, "what in the heck am I going to do when I grow up?" (Darn you, suffragists!) It is all fine and good to cruise along on autopilot when there are babies to tend to, but now things like 'upward momentum' and 'retirement planning' have weaseled their way into my consciousness again. I'm not going to lie, it's uncomfortable. But, it is a fresh new adventure. I've moved from being a mom with a part time job back into the land of career women and this month has marked the start of game on.
Together, my garden and I have moved into a new phase of the life cycle and bearing fruit is not the end of the story for either of us. I will no longer be producing offspring but luckily, unlike my spent plants, my usefulness extends beyond being turned into compost. Whereas the tomato mothers have to depend on their children to carry on their work, this mother doesn't yet have that luxury. Not that I'd want it, mind you. I much prefer waking up to an alarm each morning to the alternative. Not to mention, child labor laws in this country preclude me from having my seven year old daughter bring home the bacon, unless of course I can get her singing or acting. No luck yet.
So the garlic is in, I have a shiny new job with which to pay some bills, and I'm sure eventually time management won't be such an overwhelming concept. I'm just hoping to move from frantic to plain old busy.
I like to throw things.