Thursday, May 29, 2008

Why gardening is good for the soul

When I realized my goals needed to be funded and my debt taken care of, I started researching frugalness, debt reduction plans, budget tips and tricks and anything else money related. This is how I was introduced to the world of PF blogging and the motivation that led me to attempt writing one of my own. So many others were able to utilize the blog to ignite a motivation spark to clean up immense dollars of debt, build up a cushioned emergency fund, finance futures and feel a sense of satisfaction in life. I wanted all of that too and so I took a plunge and signed into the blog world.
Not everything I write about has to do with finances. Being as, like most people, I am paid bi-weekly my blog would be sporadic if I only wrote what I did with my money when I had it.
One of the frugal tips I read about was growing one’s own vegetables to save money at the grocery store. I have never grown a thing and all the plants I have in my home were given to me mature with deep roots. All I had to do was maintain with water and sunlight and the occasional encouraging word. Any house plants I rescued from the supermarket, I have struggled with keeping alive and I am elated when they come back from the dead. Growing my own vegetables, from seed seemed like a shot in the dark. I thought about it though, and realized that spending $15 on seeds that could potentially reap in savings greater than that was worth the $15 investment. And really I used a gift certificate to buy them so I wasn’t really out any money.
I researched container gardening as I didn’t really have a space in the back yard to grow in. The accompanying pictures were motivating factors in my decision to garden this way. The idea of creating a Garden of Eden on my balcony was appealing to my romantic side. I imagined lush vines filled with tomatoes, a wall of sweet peas, and a soft bed of lettuce. I enjoyed thinking about picking my lunch in the morning to create a salad that all would be envious of. I couldn’t wait to get started. And the idea of entertaining friends in my utopia thrilled me.
My mom offered me all of her old tropical plant containers as she decided to go with silk plants. I planted tomatoes and green peppers that cold March afternoon to get them started and eagerly watched for any progress. I started to include my garden’s progress in my blog.
Besides the possible grocery savings, what did this have to with personal finance? I didn’t think a whole heck of a lot, but this morning I realized that my money is a lot like my garden. I started with small notions that I wanted to be consumer-debt free, in my own house, finished school. I planted these seeds into my heart and brain and began to nurture them by researching and thinking about what I had to do to make these seeds grow. I watered the dreams with sacrifice and watched proudly as my efforts produced the first bit of green. That little sprout encouraged me to give even more love to my goals. I want them to be strong and able to weather any storm that comes their way. I am willing to give up some things I think I need and I want in order to help my little seedlings, protect them and champion them. And in return, they develop healthier, rewarding me with possibilities.
Every morning I look at my developing vegetable garden to see how much has changed over night and I think about my monetary garden and how much is changing there. Both gardens have offered me insight into myself and this triumvirate of improvement is why I think gardening is good for the soul.


Dolly Iris said...

Awww, what a great post. I totally understand what you are saying. I get so excited everyday when i go outside and check on my garden.
Money and gardening both take dedication but the rewards are thrilling!

L@SpillingBuckets said...

Great post. I totally agree - while I was reading this I felt like I could have written it about my own container garden.