A confession

I am sure I have written before about my short attention span. About how I flit from thing to thing, getting utterly absorbed in it before getting bored and moving on. In the pre-parenthood days my cv was filled with 12-18 month stints in jobs before I got fed up and started looking for the next challenge. When I am doing something I do give it my all – if I were on a TV talent show I would say 110%! – but it doesn’t always last.

The only things I have ever really stuck with are my relationship with Ady – and Home Educating Davies and Scarlett. I suspect that full time parenting and educating relates really well to that personality actually, an ever changing, constantly evolving day to day pattern with two individuals who offer new challenges and questions all the time has been a perfect fit for me.

I am great at passion and throwing myself at something for a finite time, giving my all and fully committing to things. Just not always so good at still being in that same headspace a few weeks, months or years later.

Years ago on an online forum I was on a group of us made new years resolutions. The usual things were on people’s lists – losing weight, eating healthier, getting more exercise. I knew myself well enough to realise that committing to something like that would be setting myself up for failure so instead I went for one small change each month for the duration of that month. At the end of the month I could give that up and take on the next challenge. The hope was that a month would be enough to become habit forming and over ten years on some of the habits I formed during that time are still with me. They were small changes such as drinking more water… for every cup of tea I made, I would drink a full glass of water while the kettle boiled and I would have another large glass of water before bed. I still do that before bed glass of water. Another month I pledged to eat more fruit and vegetables, including trying things I either thought I didn’t like or had never tried before. I knew by the end of that month that I really didn’t like cauliflower or broccoli but I discovered that I loved asparagus and it remains my favourite (seasonal) veg. I have a raised bed of it growing and hope to one day eat my own home grown and picked asparagus. Another month I aimed to try different forms of exercise. That led to going swimming myself while Davies and Scarlett had their weekly swimming lessons instead of sitting reading a book. That led to two sponsored swims and raising over £1000 for charity including swimming the equivalent of the channel over a set time frame.

So my confession? It’s this butterfly brain that leads to me picking up one project and dropping it and moving on to the next one. It is why I am great at picking brambles and making hundreds of jars of jam during a one month window, or spending two whole days baking for a customer order, or a six week chunk of time furiously crocheting a blanket, but less good at long term, sustained, day in day out stuff. There are many reasons why our growing of food here on the Croft doesn’t go so well. External factors such as poor soil, challenging climate, pests such as deer and our own chickens play a huge role but also in there is my own bad form in starting off well and then starting to lose interest.

So for this next growing season – and I’m considering autumn to be the start of the growing season rather than the spring as I have a whole load of prep to be getting on with right now – to be my chance to sort this out. And I’m applying that tried and tested knowledge of how my brain works to help try and make it a success.

So this month… I need to weed the raised beds and cover them with mulch. Some of them have perennial crops in, some have autumn sowings but all need clearing of grass or weeds and covering with something over winter. Today I finished off weeding two of the beds that I had almost completed and pretty much did all of a third one. The mulch material is already cut and ready for me waiting to be collected and spread on the beds. An hour or so a day will get me to achieving this target. And for now, until next month, in project making my garden grow that is all I need to focus on making happen.

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