Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Starting Over

Seven years ago, I stepped away from a full-time position as an Assistant Professor of English. The reason was quite simple. Turfman got promoted and relocated, and I preferred being with him. In addition, we both preferred his salary and likely always will. I had desperately hoped that I would quickly find a new tenure-track position near our new home. I did not. In fact, though I found a great part-time position at another university, it became pretty clear that my decision to walk away from my first job was a red flag for other institutions. I despaired for quite some time about my derailed career, but I eventually got over it and decided that I could make a new path for myself, and so I did.

Then we moved here, and I quickly got a full-time professor position. Sometimes, it seems, life is just a constant stream of revisions to the plans we make for ourselves. Tomorrow, after another major revision, I begin again. I've had to search frantically for electronic files of all my teaching materials, long ago set aside and nearly forgotten. I had to assess my wardrobe again after a long period of creating a new, decidedly more casual one since I've spent more time gardening and writing than ever before. The Wellies I recently purchased for mucking about the pond and the future veg patch will get less wear than I expected. But I'm looking forward to the challenges and the rewards that this new chapter will present. I'm looking forward to the potential of it all.

The front garden presents the need for similar revisions and the possibility of something beautiful. I had hoped we could salvage the unloved shrubs, but as you've seen in previous posts, they were far too gone. After I cut them all down, Turfman went to war with the extensive roots. I think he lost 10 pounds getting them out. But then we had a clean slate and thinner waistlines and could start fresh, which is exactly what we did this weekend, thanks to the help of a super sister-in-law.

The new "bones" for the garden

And the mirror image on the right. The speckles in the
photos are from photographing in the rain.

The view today is so different from the one we saw when we arrived here. The garden still requires a lot of work, a lot of perennials to fill in the gaps. The plants are small, but in time, they will grow and fill the space. Some elements of the plan will work, and others will require revision. There will be triumphs and disappointments. In the end, though, it should be all the better for the work put in, which is essentially true for just about everything in life.

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