24 Mar The importance of taking your time
After years of renting in London and growing stuff on windowsills, I dreamt of having a kitchen garden one day, but after three years of living with a small 10m x 6m concrete back yard in East London, it’s become much more than the joy of growing your own.
It’s true what they say, nothing really does taste like a homegrown tomato, but more importantly, it encourages me to take a break from stuff and switch off regularly. I have a far more in-depth understanding of the seasons and have learnt the importance of taking my time.
I’ve worked in agency life for years and it’s all rush, rush, busy, busy. I remember freelancing at one agency and people were literally running from desk to desk. Time was that valuable.
Being super busy brings a sense of pride and importance to our working lives and a bunch of (rather useful) excuses. We can be our most efficient, even creative under pressure, but a needless sense of urgency just creates a ‘that’ll do’ culture of rushed, compromised individuals.
Don’t even get me started on ‘ASAP’.
Of course, it’s much harder to achieve a good balance at work, but when was the last time somebody asked you or you asked somebody to take their time? Get it right and take your time. Idealistic I know, but I always have much greater job satisfaction when I have time to think.
Take your time
The garden will not be rushed, it teaches you the most extraordinary level of patience and constant planning which drives you forward.
I’ve always done things quite quickly, I’m an unintentionally speedy eater, can clean the bathroom in an ad break and my mum was super impressed the other day how quickly I chopped a butternut squash. However, when I’m in the garden, everything… sort of… slows down. I find it much easier to be ‘in the moment’ in the garden, to ponder, to potter and not rush.
It’s only spring and I’m already thinking about what I’m going to do next year with a rose which is in the wrong place. I’m certainly not one to dwell on the past, but I look much further ahead now I have a garden. As every gardener knows, every time you plant something you’re dreaming of the future, whether it be a few months for a tomato seedling or a few years for a climbing rose.
So I have a lot to thank my garden for, and my man who took me seriously when I said I wanted one, which is not easy in London. Not only for the amazing tomatoes we ate last year, the fancy kale salads and beautiful beets, but I feel far more grounded than I ever have done before, I give myself time and look forward with anticipation.
“Garden as though you will live forever.”