How I Achieve Work-Life Balance Through Gardening

How I Achieve Work-Life Balance Through Gardening

By Kim Burroughs

There has been a lot of emphasis over the last few years on the phrase work-life balance.  Saying those words is a lot easier than actually having balance.  Some of you may have hobbies or things you enjoy doing when you are not at work.  It may be hiking, biking, spending time with your kids/grandkids, reading, sewing, gardening, cooking, golfing, traveling, etc.  I have found that you have to allocate time to your hobbies because it is so easy to go home and sit in front of the TV. Before you know it, two hours have gone by.

While I do have a lot of hobbies, there are several that are my main focus and that I love doing.  Some of these are based on the calendar or climate.  While I love to hike, I don’t do much hiking during the June – August time period because it’s just too hot.  Those are some of the big months for gardening, which I really enjoy.

Gardening can be almost a year-round hobby.  Even though I only have five raised beds for my vegetables, I start planning in early January.  This means planning which vegetables I want to plant for the upcoming season and ordering seeds.  When late February rolls around, I start some of the vegetable seeds inside my house in growing trays.  This would include onion, broccoli, cauliflower, tomato and pepper seeds.  Some of these new seedlings, such as broccoli, cauliflower and onion, can be transplanted outside as early as mid to late March, and sugar snap peas and lettuce should be planted directly in the garden in March.

Of course, by the time March rolls around, tax season is off and running at a fast pace, so I try to set aside time on Sunday afternoons after church for gardening and getting my house in order for the upcoming week.  I don’t know about you, but if my house is messy, unorganized, and no meal planning has been done on the weekend, I am all out of sorts.  Because I know how I am, house cleaning, laundry, and meal planning (in my head) are done over the weekend, in addition to getting some extra rest. Depending on the weather, I will spend some time outdoors.  I also try to squeeze some sewing/quilting time in.  I will add a note that my husband helps so much during tax season, which is a blessing.

By the time tax season is over, gardening is in full swing.  In addition to the vegetables mentioned above, I plant green beans, cucumbers, squash, zucchini, garlic, and sweet potatoes.

Now you may think this sounds so easy to do, but I promise you there are almost daily things to do to keep your garden growing.  There is watering, weeding, picking produce, watching out for bugs that may need to be treated, fertilizing, more weed pulling, more produce picking, canning or freezing the produce, giving away produce, etc.  Did I mention weed pulling?  There are issues that come up, such as too much rain, too much wind, and those 90+ degree days that wreak havoc after a week of such high temperatures.

By the time our fall tax season comes around, the summer garden is wrapping up.  But hold on, I probably need to plant some fall crops such as lettuce, green beans and kale.  And don’t forget about planting garlic for the following summer.  Oh wait, I need to water because now we are in a drought situation, and of course there are still more weeds to pull.

It’s also time to be a vendor at some local craft shows and get ready for the Kernersville Arts & Crafts Christmas Store, so I need to get busy to make some more sewn and quilted items.

Wow, with all of this craziness, that phrase work-life balance may need to be changed to life-work balance.  Sometimes coming to work puts my life in balance.  There will always be great people to work with at BRC, and there will always be tax returns, extensions, engagement letters, meetings, and software upgrades, but there is such a comfort in working at a firm that encourages work-life balance.  I better go now. I need to pull more weeds, and I need to do some sewing!