Published On: Mon, Jul 23rd, 2018

Cherokee Gardener’s Journal: A woman’s got to know her limitations

 

By JODY BRADLEY

 

So I’m getting older.  Who’s not?  My life changes every day in many ways. These days, I realize I need to slow down, take a break and smell the roses, or in my case, “deck time!”

I remember working in my garden for hours with no impact on my body or my mind.  I would stay out until dark totally absorbed in reviving and beautifying a piece of earth. It was endless pleasure. Those days are past.  Nowadays, my plan is a good hour of work followed by a 30-minute rest. I am still tired at the end of the day.

DECK TIME: Jody Bradley, Cherokee Gardener’s Journal, believes it is important to know you limitations and stop to smell the roses. (Photo courtesy of Jody Bradley)

I’ve decided there’s a “work” gene in our DNA.  The gene dictates how hard you will work. My brother has it.  He works from dusk to dawn and falls asleep in an easy chair.  He has done this since he was five. At a young age, he would go from the potato field to the tobacco house and never skip a beat. Today, he works three jobs.

My sister has the gene. She will weed eat with a head light on until the work is finished. Even while taking chemotherapy she never stopped.

My mom has the gene.  We moved her to stop the work in her big garden. She still insists on planting a garden in the rocks on Wrights Creek.

I consider myself infinitely smarter than all of them, (I write with a smile on my face).  I consider myself smarter because I know my limitations.  I know when to stop, sit down on the deck and enjoy the fruits of my labors – deck time.  Now don’t get me wrong, I am a hard worker, but if you don’t stop, sit down, breathe, and relax, then what’s the point?

I know my limitations and I don’t think God will ask for my time sheet when I go through the pearly gates.  I think, no I believe, he will say, “How about that sunset?  What did you think about those red dahlias?  How about the view from that mountain top?  Did you see that Soco waterfall?”

How about you? Do you have a work gene in your DNA?  Do you know and accept your limitations?  Have you stopped to smell a rose lately?  Better yet, every day, schedule some deck time!

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