At work I team-teach a course called Prepare Training.* It’s a great course, I truly enjoy teaching it, and yes, I think you should have it at your workplace.** One of the messages of the course is when bad stuff happens around you, don’t let it inside. If it does get in, then you need to get rid of it appropriately. The phrase from the materials is something like, “Find positive ways to release stored negative energy.” Stress relief, baby.
When I teach this I mean every word I say. I’ve just been terrible – awful – about living it. I release stored negative energy through food: I stuff my face, I bake, or both. (One does naturally lead to the other.) I gained 20 pounds the first year I was at my job.
I’ve been saying for years that I need to find a better way to deal with stress. (Medication comes to mind, but really, that shouldn’t be necessary. The day I medicate myself in order to deal with my job should be the day I start looking for a new job.) I used to jog, I took a class in Shamanic journeying, and all my pre-parenthood life I could count on escaping with a good book, but those haven’t been realistic options for me for a while.
I’m blogging about this not to whine, but to say that I think I’ve finally found it. I started vegetable gardening a month ago and I love it. I can do it with my kids (with collateral seedling damage, but that’s OK); I can do it after work and on weekends, as much or as little as I like. Gardening is interesting, I don’t have to be in great shape, and I get positive feedback when my plants grow. I get to be outside and I’m not staring at a screen of any kind. I even like weeding. Just writing about it makes me feel good.
So it’s early, I realize that, and my garden is very much an experiment. Here’s a picture of it taken on May 9th. (The fence is old and sad-looking.) I’ll post more pictures as the summer progresses. If I don’t grow anything my family can eat I will be disappointed, but right now I think that’s OK. The stress relief alone is worth the effort.
As of today I’m growing: corn, peas, strawberries, cucumbers, jalapeno peppers, Cayenne peppers, sage, spearmint, rosemary, cilantro, basil, tomatoes (3 kinds), green bell peppers, beans, lettuce, Walla-Walla onions, carrots, cauliflower, and a sunflower my son brought home from school.
*The official name of the course is the “Crisis Prevention Institute’s Prepare Training Foundation Course” and I’m officially a “Certified Instructor.”
**I’m only certified to teach for my employer, so this is in no way an attempt to get work. If you’d like the course at your workplace (and you totally need it), then contact CPI and grow your own Certified Instructor. (Like Sea Monkeys, only a lot more expensive.)