When you get divorced, in many ways you find yourself digging holes a lot. You’ve got your financial holes,
emotional holes, career holes. Honestly, they may as well just hand you a shovel as a parting gift when you leave the courthouse.
There are days, sometimes weeks, when it can all become a bit too much. Especially during those periods where for whatever reason you don’t get enough sleep. On days like that trying to find the salt & pepper shakers can put you over the edge. And the holes just seem to get bigger and bigger with no end in sight.
Sometimes it helps to have a simple activity that gives your soul pause. Could be exercise, writing, painting, anything really. Just something to get your mind off of it all and give you a chance to breathe. This week I discovered an old stand by that helped clear my head and helped me feel like I accomplished something. And of all things, it started with digging a hole.
A quick history lesson. I grew up on a dairy farm and always loved planting things and watching them grow. I think I inherited a part of my father’s farmer gene. I’ve been attempting my entire life to find a way to make something grow. Haven’t always had the best fertilizer though. Or perhaps sometimes I’ve had too much. Not
sure really. But getting away from the metaphor, I really do love the smell of fresh dirt. Love to get my hands dirty. There’s something so raw and uncomplicated about the process. And then to see something grow from your efforts. Just does a mind and spirit good.
I’d been thinking for some time that the back yard needed some help and so it was that I put the kids in the car and we headed to Home Depot. We got some mulch and a bunch of perennials and went to town. Kind of cool too because it became an activity that the kids and I could do together. They weren’t all 100 percent into it, but they got to do about as much as they wanted to and honestly, it just felt good to dig and fill some holes.
That first flower led to a second and a third and before I knew it we’d planted a nice little garden. And in the process we managed to update the back yard and bring it back to life. At the risk of getting all philosophical on
you, there was something about improving the condition of the property and making it look better that gave me a sense of progress. That’s important when you feel like you’re slipping in other parts of your life which often happens when you’re digging out of a divorce. When you’re responsible for every aspect of the home, a lot of things can slip through the cracks. It’s easy to say, “oh hell, I’ll get to it next week.” But then suddenly it’s six months later and all you see is a growing list of things that need work and a house that’s nothing more than a place where you’re surviving than a home where you’re flourishing.
Sometimes you just need to roll up your sleeves and break new ground. Funny how one little flower can spawn
a sense of accomplishment and encourage you to do more. Something about the basic nature of digging in dirt. Such a simple task. You sweat a little. Get some aggression out. Get out of closed in spaces. Fresh air. Sun. It’s so basic and yet in its simplicity has the ability to eliminate such complex worries.
Maybe it’s the act of pulling up the weeds that are cluttering up your garden. Pulling them up and getting them out of the way so they stop choking out the things you want to have grow. You clear some areas and plant some fresh seedlings. Give em’ a little love and water. Watch them grow. Kind of gives you the sense that maybe that concept would translate well into your life. Clear some weeds and vines. Plant some new seeds. Watch em’ grow. Worth a shot don’t you think? So what are you waiting for. Go grab a shovel and start digging. You never know what treasure you might find buried in your back yard, not the least of which might be a little peace of mind.