This past weekend I built a raised Garden Bed in our backyard. Below are 4 things I learned from the experience.
1. Planning is Essential
I could have built a Garden bed without planning and it would likely have been OK. However, by planning and looking at what others have done and what works best, I was able to create a solid bed that will last a long time. Beginning with a plan helped me see where I was going and helped me get a final product I was proud of.
“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” – Lewis Carroll.
Those words written by Lewis Carroll in Alice in Wonderland are timeless. If we don’t have a plan (for our parenting, relationships, career, finances, spirituality, etc.) we are wandering aimlessly and letting our lives happen to us rather than the other way around.
As Dallas Willard said, “The system you’re currently in is perfectly setup to give you the answer you’re currently getting.”
If we want a different answer for our lives, we must create a new system. That takes planning!
2. Be Present
It is so easy to do a project or perform a task just to get it done. While having to do lists is great, having this “check the box” mindset creates a gap between you and the experience. There is so much opportunity to learn and find joy in all of these experiences that we do ourselves a disservice when we don’t stay present and in the moment while we are doing them.
For example, yesterday, instead of seeing the garden bed as a task to be completed, I could have viewed it as an opportunity to be outside on a beautiful day, working with my hands and body and engaging with my son as he helped me. Either way you look at it; it is the same experience. However, your attitude and perception towards it goes a LONG way in determining your joy and happiness level while you do it.
3. Look for teachable moments
My 4-year-old son wanted nothing more than to help me build the garden bed. I loved it, and encouraged him to help and gave him things to do that made him feel involved.
Looking back on it now, though, I can’t help but think I could have been more intentional about teaching him during the experience. I would have loved to talk to him about taking care of the land and the importance of creating and hard work and the pride that comes with that.
I can’t help but think that because I was so focused on getting the job done, I missed an opportunity.
4. Creating is fun
This may or may not go without saying, but creating something new (especially something you have never created before) can be very fulfilling. We were created to create.
Creating, for us, feels like home.