A few weeks back, I decided to take a short break to spend time with my family and do other things. It’s been a full-on year in my professional and personal life, so some time to recharge was needed. I’ve had two significant changes to my job, lost two people in my extended family, and welcomed new members to the family, not to mention the usual ups and downs of life.
Breaks are important. They create space for creativity and perspective and restore energy levels. It is easy to get into the daily grind with your head down getting through task lists, and a break can give you a chance to raise your head to assess where you are about where you aim to be.
Over the past few years, I have become increasingly aware of how strategic gardening and horticulture can be. Planning and taking coordinated action are essential to achieve one’s goals. It can take years to see the fruits of your labour, especially if you are working on a budget. It is too easy to get caught up with tasks that maintain what you already have and miss opportunities to take a step closer to your goal.
I have also found learning horticulture both energising and overwhelming. At work, we are taught about stages of learning called the Conscious Competence Learning Model. In this model, someone learning a new skill goes through different levels of awareness of their competence. One of the most challenging moments of moving from incompetence to competence is when you become aware of how little you know. In this stage (consciously incompetent), you know enough to know how little you know. I have to say I have entered this stage in my horticultural learning journey.
It can be pretty unnerving to realise the vastness of unknown knowledge and skills. Many people give up at this stage, but during my break, I have come to embrace it and allow it to fuel my interest and challenge myself to fill gaps; after all, I started my YouTube Channel and this blog to share my learning journey, both the good and the bad, not to be the expert.
The break has given me a bit of respite and to regain some energy and motivation. After several days of DIY, my break has also given me a lovely lounge looking out into my garden and time to enjoy and appreciate what I have and dream of what to do next season.