Thursday, May 1, 2008

gardening or meditation?

today was a perfect day..one of those days where....right in the middle of the day..i realized how happy and grateful i am to be "retired." why the quotes? retired is a funny word to describe my life. remember in one of my first posts i told you that after 25 years in corporate life i decided to take early, early retirement? i smile because it is not as if i get retirement benefits..i was too young to qualify when i stopped working. but my husband and i invested, saved and realized that we had enough to live on..now we certainly are not rich..but we just did not require more "stuff" and would rather be together than keep working to climb the corporate ladder..we just could not see the pay-off for us..and for our life. the funny thing is i am now starting my own very small business..just cause i want to...but this is totally different. for one thing..i am the boss..can i tell you how cool it is to say that? no one but no one can tell me what i should be doing..what i should be thinking...how i should behave..etc. all the "coaching" and "performance reviews" corporate life brings..yuck! and i can set the vision and mission and product assortment exactly the way i see it in my mind.."my brand"...now, on the other hand..my company is based in my kitchen...i have not yet opened the on-line store so no revenue..and i have no "people" so i do it all myself..but i am having a ball. i plan to write about starting a small business in another post..wow! what an education. how many of you work from home..or have started your own small business? what works for you? what doesn't?

but today's post is about taking the time to appreciate simply being at home..living life. i have been working hard the past month operating in "start up" mode for the business. ..but i am able to go to the gym in the middle of the day 3-4 times per week to ensure i take a break...i am able to cook dinner every night. now i love cooking so this is really cool..if you do not enjoy cooking this may not sound so wonderful...i can have a meeting with my business partner, (my husband, peter), in my pajamas drinking coffee, and i can take mose for walks throughout the day..he is the company's director of security so they are business walks :).. today i decided to take the afternoon and work in the garden. my roses needed pruning, it was 75 degrees and i said.."what the heck"..that was the whole point of retiring..finally being able to do what i wanted to do..when i wanted to do it. our farmhouse has a small rose garden in the front of the house and a few rose bushes spread around the side and back. there are 25 total..not a ton..but for a girl that lived in a san francisco flat for 15 years without a yard..it is enough. spring in napa can be tricky..there are always a few really warm days in january and february, so the roses are pretty well leafed out in march. march and april have a number of rainy days, a number of foggy days, some warm to hot days and cool..sometimes freezing nights. so the roses sometimes get really whacked out (love my gardening term?) they start blooming early..and frequently develop black spot and rust...o.k...if you do not garden i know i am probably losing you with this post..but hang with me for just a bit...back to the roses...
so, to avoid the rose diseases, it is important to keep them pruned enough to allow sunlight to hit all the leaves..at least this works for me. i noticed this morning that they were a bit overgrown and needed pruning and decided this afternoon was a perfect opportunity. i started pruning, mose sat next to me and moved each time i moved to a different bush..and before i realized it..4 hours had passed. you know what, i felt fantastic..relaxed, pleasantly tired, and really happy. i had been concentrating on the pruning..ensuring each cut was the correct cut..and just kinda zoned out. the roses looked great, i had come up with a number of ideas for the business, and i felt really good. i realized that this was one of the first times i had experienced gardening without a predetermined time frame. prior to retiring my life looked like this.... leave napa early monday morning and drive to my office in san francisco. stay in the city, away from my family, monday-wednesday night, work thursday until really late and then drive back to napa... work from napa on friday. this happened on the rare weeks that i did not fly out on monday morning on a business trip and return friday night. that meant that something like gardening had to be completed on the weekends..along with everything else..so i always was on a schedule..even on the weekends. i enjoyed gardening, but felt the pressure to "just get it done". today..no pressure.. i only finished half the roses but..no worries..i can finish tomorrow..or saturday..or whenever i want. i have never, ever been able to live this way. it just felt right to acknowledge how grateful i am for being able to enjoy everyday things like cooking, gardening, exercise, walking the dog..living a real life... and to commit even more to ensuring there is adequate time in my life to give back..and give thanks..for my life, my family, my friends, my faith...

what are you grateful for?
best,
napa farmhouse 1885™
"live a green life of style™"
oh..and if you have tips for organic rose care ..please share.....

















11 comments:

brobrobro said...

Hey Farm Girl:

I am a huge fan of working from home base. But not everyone can do that. When I started my own practice I had a run down cottage out back that I slowly fixed up for an office. The location allowed me to take Laura to dance class and Luke to soccer and baseball practice and games, lunch at home was great. I highly recommend the new coporate life style you are defining.

I did a bout of getting bigger, getting a "real office", but then wised up and returned to home base. Watch it you may eventually feel a need to get a "real office" some day.

Laura had a real office once, she is a mural painter. But then she wised up and is working from her home.

Her current challenge is that she wants to move to northern California and her clients are in So Cal. She has chosed to be a one painter shop, she no longer advertises, it seems she just realizes that she has only two months of work out a head of her and she gets a call for more work. I beleive she is recognizing with clients calling her, there is value to her business, question is how to realize that value. Hire and train someone, sell the business? it will be interesting to see how she resolves her opportunity.

Keep up the good blog!

Jillian said...

I think you are a wise woman to be able to count your blessings and appreciate what you have. Good job!

pumpkin seed said...

well, over the past couple of days I have had an eye opening experience that has made me more grateful for the time I have to spend with my daughter. Some health issues came up that suggest that it may be very dangerous or even impossible for me to have another baby. Since finding that out I treasure every single second that I have with my two year old daughter because I know I may not have this experience again. I have always cherished her and the time I spent with her but now it seems all the more precious. Thanks for giving the opportunity to reflect on the good things in life!
http://pumpkinseed-unscripted.blogspot.com/

Maggie said...

I am grateful for my husband Dan, my 2 children Jack and Candance, and my extended family.

Mountain Dan said...

I am grateful for my children, and the time that life has allowed me to spend with them.

Jennifer said...

I am grateful for my family, my friends, my church and my home. Thank you for your blog. I really reading it each week.

Susan said...

I started my own business 15 years ago. I had no idea what I was doing, I just plunged in, made a million mistakes, tried to laugh and learn from them and all these years later am still here. I wish you the best of luck. I think small businesses are the heart of business in this country and I aways encourage others to follow their dreams. Please give us the details of what you are doing, when you will be up and running and how you are feeling along the way. (You make me laugh)
Thank you and I really enjoy your blog.

Samantha said...

I have sooo much to be thankful for everyday, so I am choosing something simple...a good beefsteak tomato sandwich, on my homemade wheat bread...light salt extra pepper and real mayo! eating it on a rainy day while watching an oldie but goodie on TCM! ahhhhh....

Rose said...

There is much in life I'm grateful for. I am so grateful for being able to voice my feelings! I'm grateful for my family, and for all that God has given me.

beth said...

I spent yesterday with my entire family. This included my grandmother, my mother and my daughter, along with everyone else. I am grateful for my mother and for being a mother. I am grateful for my family.

Tim said...
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