Challenge Day 3: Fear Disguised as Procrastination

I observe myself procrastinating things that I love doing all the time. I do it because I don’t want to have to face the new thing that I have to face that will bring changes in my life. For instance, I have three books that I am currently editing for publication.

procrastination flowchartOne of them is the still unnamed book of poems that my Dad R Leonard Swanson when he was alive that I am adding memories that relate to those poems. Another is my book Simply Vegetable Gardening.

Dad’s book I have been procrastinating because I really don’t want to call his life’s work finished. Yesterday I was thinking about something that my Dad had told me about. I had some questions about it, but then I realized that I had no way of asking him because he is no longer with us. I have no doubt in my mind that this procrastination is my fear of letting go of him. Coupled with that is the fact that six weeks later, my eldest brother died. He was my first playmate. Finishing Dad’s book means saying good-bye. It also represents the idea that by having finished that chapter in my life brings me that much closer to “putting nails into my own coffin”. The fear of death keeps me stuck so that I am not finishing this project.

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Here’s the cover of my new book Simply Vegetable Gardening. What do you think?

My book Simply Vegetable Garden is my first nonfiction book and it is already a month later in publication than I had first intended for it to be. Part of the fear in that book is that I am afraid that no one will buy it. This is one fear that I am plunging through this week. By this weekend, I will have the Kindle version available online and will have the print version ready for review. The sales campaign to my friends and family will begin next week.

Another area that I have been procrastinating in is in finishing my class assignments for school. I am not saying that I am not getting them done on time, because I am. What I am saying is that I have been putting things off until the last minute and then rushing to finish on time. The fear behind this procrastination isn’t really about the school work at all. My fear is related to the fact that I am into my last four classes before I finish my degree. July 30th marks the completion of my last class. Once I finish my degree, I will be facing the challenge of transitioning from student to someone who needs to find meaningful work. I am afraid of this change, but if I intend to reach the goals that I am striving to reach, I must move forward. I must press on.

To combat the temptation to procrastinate because of the fears that I am facing, I must meet this temptation head on. To do this, beginning today, I am going to plow through these projects. Before looking at my e-mails or social media, before working on any other projects, I intend to work on each of these projects at least for fifteen minutes each.

Have you been procrastinating? Have you been putting things off because of some sort of fear? If you have, determine that you will stop procrastinating in those areas today. Do the projects that you have been procrastinating first rather than last. Break through the fear and see what victories lie beyond the veil of procrastination.

 

Why I think I Know Enough About Gardening to Write a Book About It

broccoliSince before the beginning of the year as you know, I have been working on a number of articles on Hubpages on the subject of gardening. In the process, I have been rewriting the information and adding additional topics in creating my book Simply Vegetable Gardening different from and more informative than anything that I have online.

You may wonder why I think that I know enough about gardening to write a book about it. Well, I started gardening, specifically organic gardening over 40 years ago when I was twelve years old in my parent’s backyard. I didn’t have much money to work with, so I learned to use what I had. I learned to use what many people would consider garbage, but that the earthworms and other subterranean flora and fauna considered food. I learned that a fancy compost bin wasn’t necessary. Bury household garbage in the ground and in less than a week, where there had been garbage now contained a large earthworm population. I graduated high school, joined the military, and after getting married and having my first son, I had another backyard garden, this time instead of the sandy loam of my mother’s backyard in Northwestern Pennsylvania, I was practically starting my garden on a beach on the Virginia coast. The soil was sand, no loam. I began adding household garbage to that garden as well. Because it was a warmer climate and the soil wasn’t that good, I made the garden smaller and by the time my tour of duty was completed, my garden soil looked fantastic. Next I moved to the Missouri Ozarks where I lived on a commune for several years. There I learned even more about organic gardening. I learned that it was possible to eat what I grew in the garden. While I lived there, I learned that what many people thought was true really wasn’t. Sawdust could be used as mulch in the garden without poisoning the soil. Sawdust just needs to be aged a couple of years before using. After leaving the commune, I lived on rental properties and at every different home, I built another small, organic garden on soil that I often joked would only grow rocks. Every time I left, I had to leave the soil I had created. I learned one thing from all this, mixing my household garbage in the form of compost into my soil worked magic on any soil. It didn’t matter if the garden was already loam, sand, clay or rocks. It didn’t matter. organic soil was the answer to improving any soil type.  In a sense, I had become a Johnny (or should I say Joannie?) Appleseed of organic gardens.

A few years ago, I was in nursing school and one day I was reading an old book by J. I. Rodale from the 1950s which he had written about organic gardening. At the same time, I was studying my anatomy and physiology book and studying about the human cell. Talk about an epiphany! Reading the information in tandem as I was, I discovered that many significant similarities existed between the human cell and the actions of a compost pile. What I realized was that just because we add nutrients to the soil, does not mean that those nutrients will be accessible by the plants in the area. Thinking of the processes of the earth as chemistry, was not accurate at all. As I compared the various organisms of the compost pile and the earth in general with the human body, I realized the synergy that occurs between the various organisms. One cell in the human body had a synergistic and interdependent connection with every other cell. In addition, in the earth, as in the human body a buffering system exists which creates homeostasis. A compost pile will start out acidic, but if allowed to mellow, will neutralize if given the proper elements with which to work. The processes of the earth are biological, not chemical. It is as though, just as the human body is made up of billions of individual cells, because of countless organisms on our planet all working together, earth is truly a living breathing organism.

Though I came upon that realization on my own, I am not alone in this perception nor was I the first to think this way. In 1978, Bill Mollison and David Holmgren came up with the word permaculture which stands for “permanent culture,” as it was seen that social aspects were integral to a truly sustainable system that included humans dealing with nature on its own terms. It is certainly how I see this relationship between the earth and her inhabitants. This idea was inspired by Masanobu Fukuoka’s natural farming philosophy. During the past few years I have also been studying the principles of this philosophy.

On This Date in History as It Relates to the American Revolution

On this Date in 1765, the Britain enacted Quartering Act, required colonists to provide temporary housing to British soldiers. This was a very significant event not only in history, but also in my book Soldiers Don’t Cry, The Locket Saga Continues. When Phillip returns to Boston as a British officer in 1774, he is quartered at the home of Peter Mayford, a Boston merchant. Phillip specifically positioned himself into that home because he wanted to rekindle a friendship with a young friend that he had met when he was a young orphan boy in the American backwoods. When he is reintroduced after many years to his friend, Elizabeth Thorton, also an orphan living with her sister’s family, he is smitten by her beauty. Little does he know, Elizabeth was spying for the organizers of the uprising that the British government had assigned him to subdue.

If you haven’t yet received your copy of Vegetable Gardening in the Shade, do so now by clicking on this link and receive a subscription to my newsletter Cygnet’s News as well. In this newsletter, you will be able to keep up with events that I will be attending, updates on my books, and articles that bring the conflict of the American Revolution to life as well as timely gardening tips from what to plant, how to plant it using organic methods, how to keep it growing and how to use it after harvest.

Spring Has Arrived!

Yesterday was the official first day of Spring here in the Northern Hemisphere at precisely 12:57 pm EDT . Did you know that for a few minutes around that moment, you can stand an egg on end? A few years ago a friend of mine and I tried it and sure enough it worked!

stand-eggs-on-endOf course, I can’t prove it to you today, yesterday was the vernal equinox, but check it out next year!

Most of the United States has experienced the hardest winter in decades and all of us are happy to see that date on the calendar. Many of us have looked at the prices of food in our local grocery store and the shock has made us look to our own backyards for relief in the form of a home vegetable garden. I am certain that the number of gardens will increase this year as food prices are expected to continue to rise. This is certainly a great time to pick up a hoe and start gardening.

This is one of the reasons that I have recently finished a pdf booklet Vegetable Gardening in the Shade and am currently working on a longer Kindle e-book and paperback called Simply Vegetable Gardening. The Kindle copy of Simply Vegetable Gardening will be out around April first and the paperback version will be out soon afterwards.

If you haven’t yet received your FREE copy of Vegetable Gardening in the Shade, do so now by clicking on this link and receive a FREE subscription to my newsletter Cygnet’s News as well. In this newsletter, you will be able to keep up with events that I will be attending, updates on my books, and articles that bring the conflict of the American Revolution to life as well as timely gardening tips from what to plant, how to plant it using organic methods, how to keep it growing and how to use it after harvest.

Pining For Spring

This winter has been a very hard, cold, snowy winter for many of us who live in the Midwest, Southeast, and Northeast. The polar vortex has taken a trip south for the winter so that snow in some areas can be measured in yards rather than inches. Places that usually get snow in the form of lake effect snow, haven’t been getting the snow the usually get because the Great Lakes are frozen over. Europe has been affected by unprecedented flooding, the US west coast in contrast has been suffering a drought.

Food prices, especially meat prices, have gone through the roof. Beef and pork prices have quadrupled. The price of propane has also quadrupled. If the drought along the west coast continues, the price of fruits and vegetables will also rise.

For the first time in years I personally have cabin fever. I have been sitting inside my home day after day wishing that the weather here in Springfield, MO would improve so that I could get outside. I have been pining for spring. Rather than sitting here, simply pining, I have determined that I am going to do something positive about this situation. I have been working on my first nonfiction book, a gardening book which I call: Simply Vegetable Gardening. I am on a mission of sorts. I want to help as many people as possible start their own backyard vegetable gardens to help them off-set the cost of their food. I want to help everyone who has a small outdoor space to grow their own vegetable garden. Even if their gardens are on the shady side, no one needs to be completely dependent on the global food system. To give an idea of what this book will contain, here are a couple of hubs that I have written on Hubpages.

Hot Peppers in the Garden

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Get an Ample Supply of Lettuce from Your Garden this Season

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The past couple of days have been better than the previous past two months, but the reprieve from the winter weather has been short lived. This weekend our temperatures will be below normal again and will remain that way until well into next month. So I have enjoyed the past couple of days, and with cooler temperatures returning, I will continue pining after spring by readying  the book Simply Vegetable Gardening. Perhaps it will be ready when gardening season returns.