I'm a slacker gardener, all of a sudden.
I used to be one of those gardeners--I started veggies from seed in February, in a special area that I had set up inside my house, with grow lights and domed seedling growing devices and everything that went with it--I would spend days starting seeds, thinning, watering, feeding--a total mother hen. And I would quietly take in all of the praise and accolades and give it all an "ah shucks, it was nothing" kind of response while inside I had secretly harbored a wee bit of a holier than though feeling about my gardening, because I didn't know anybody else who started EVERYTHING from seed like me and babysat little teenie fragile plants until they were strong enough to survive outside--I was some kind of freak.
This year, this weekend even, well past Memorial Day and everything (GASP!) I went to a GREENHOUSE, and bought (put a knife in me why don't you???) ...tomato plants. And cucumber plants, and squash plants, and a bunch of other stuff. What the hell?
The shame has been overwhelming. I'm literally sick about it. The seed catalogs came and I flipped through them once and left them on the coffee table--didn't even tab the pages of things that were interesting to me.
February this year came and went and it never once occurred to me that if I didn't start the hybrid hollyhocks right away, they would never grow up in time to have a decent blooming season. The empty spot in the front garden marks this. The calla lilies that I winter in my basement barely made it into the ground, and they were put out well past the usual date--the dahlia is still downstairs, sprouting in a paper bag. I have two so-called "gardens" that are currently nothing but tall grass and weeds. If it weren’t for perennials and 150 bulbs that I put in the ground last October, I would really be screwed.
So I went to the greenhouse, found the plants to coordinate with the seeds that I usually start, and bought a bunch. I plugged them into the ground immediately when I got home, and hid the containers. Maybe nobody will notice. All of those plants were over 40 bucks, which just kills me. Packs of seeds are two bucks, and you get a million of everything…do I need more reasons to kick myself?
Yes, it is easier and less work to go and buy plants and plug them into the ground, and you still look like the hero at harvest time, but why the sudden change? Why did it make perfect sense and seem like fun last year to start gardening a full 5 months before I can comfortably be outside without bundling up, and this year I just think that is freakin’ crazy?
There is an answer to all of this and I hate it. I hate that it is happening to me, and I hate the fact that it has apparently changed my life forever.
Last fall, early September, I had 4 wisdom teeth removed. No big deal, right? But at my advanced age (nearly 40, which, in wisdom teeth years is ancient) apparently bad things can happen to you when you get your wisdom teeth out.
Of course, I was not aware of this until after I already had the procedure. I don’t think I would have gone through with it if I knew then what I know now.
Basically, I have had some kind of head and facial pain every single day since September 3rd, and life has changed. I’m on medication every single day now--before the procedure, I never even caught a cold. My level of activity has decreased dramatically--enough to cause a change in my weight (the meds are also responsible for this) and that probably pisses me off the most. The meds that keep the pain away also erase my ability to focus on much of anything. I’m spacey most of the time, but every time I try to get off the meds, the pain comes back. The fatter I get, the madder I get.
I suppose that it is my own mortality that frustrates me—When I was healthy, it was easy to deny that I would ever need to worry about it by continuing to do super-human time sucking things like start vegetable plants from seed. I have always been the one to go over the top and give 800% when everyone else around me was just doing enough to get by. I liked to create something where before there was nothing. I felt like I had to fill in the blanks that everyone else left when they did things half-assed. I was proud of myself and people who knew and worked with me could always count on me to get the job done, whatever the job might have been. I was always eager and excited, always followed through, and never left anything undone.
Not being at my best (which was admittedly slightly manic) is depressing, and not being able to do much about it is equally depressing. The fact that I have phrases in my vocabulary like, “when I was healthy” really bothers me. You’re not supposed to have thoughts like then when you are in your 30’s. But I am broken right now. It may get better, but not before at least a whole year of my life has been wasted.
There is an investigation happening, to try to figure out what went wrong, and I will be curious to see how it all comes out in the legal wash, but really, I am not pinning any hopes on the outcome—how can I? No outcome, positive or not, will give me back the time I lost puttering around trying to solve this—and I really am just trying to solve it, and trying to get my life back in order. I know that my doctor and the neurologist think that I am annoying and the oral surgeon (and his insurance company) would gladly swat me down, given a chance, but all I want is for all of this to just go away…
…so I can be my weird, compulsive, over-the-top self again, who delights in the minutia and lives for the detail. The one who thinks it is important to save 40 bucks by planting vegetable seeds in February and babysitting them for several months, instead of buying them pre-grown in June. I kind of miss her.