Through the gate is something more. Does it make you wonder? What lies beyond the garden gate? What majesty? What splendor?
Or are you busy rushing by, not taking time to notice. Does every moment have you booked, tick-tock, your time is over….wake up tomorrow, do it again..tick-tock…tick-tock…tick-tock.
Busyness. Rushing around. Fitting it all in. Adding one more thing to the already over loaded to-do list. Juggling all the balls up in the air. Praying, hoping they will just stay up there. Somehow.
God, it’s exhausting.
Where is the balance? Where is the peace and tranquility? Where is the time for creativity, family, laughter?
At the Garden Gate.
At the garden gate, if you choose to open the gate and walk in, you will find the peace you are looking for. You will find the time to spend with family. You can paint. You can play. You can read, You can play ball, go for walks, exercise, whatever you want to do. Go fishing. What do you want to do beyond the gate? What dream have you been putting on hold? It can happen.
You just have to make that choice. Go ahead. Walk through the gate.
But….if I walk through the gate….I won’t have time for………
What? Finish that thought. What are the time wasters that are keeping you from walking through the Garden Gate?
Over-promised with commitments that really aren’t that important to you anymore but you don’t know how to get out of?
Over-extended with family and friend obligations that feel like *have-to* events that cut into meaningful family time?
Over-prioritizing unnecessary time-wasters like Internet, computer games, TV that are really just procrastination devices?
Overwhelmed with disorganized habits and clutter that slow you down and cause you to be inefficient with your time?
What others? There are more, many more.
What can we do to get closer to the gate? To open it more often? At least get in for a visit now and then. Maybe hang out on the weekends for starters. Then work our way up to an hour or two every day. After awhile, you may realize a wonderful surprise. It is possible to LIVE in the garden all the time. It can become a lifestyle. It isn’t easy at first, and it takes breaking some habits. But it’s worth it. The garden is a beautiful, peaceful, wonderful place to live where you have time to explore your hobbies and spend time with families and friends, and enjoy long interesting conversations filled with laughter and fun.
Here are a few of the things that our family has done to enjoy more time beyond the Garden Gate.
Reduce clutter, get organized This is an on-going challenge. We have been on a mission for the past two years to reduce any and all clutter and unnecessary gadgets and materialistic *stuff* from our lives. Result? Less stuff=less to clean and take care of. Easier ability to organize the important things that we do want to keep. That means more family time to play.
Prioritize value of commitments. We took a hard look at the groups, clubs and meetings we were a part of and started analyzing their value to our family. It was an eye-opener! We began the process of evaluating our commitments differently. Time started showing up right there! This is a constant review that is always being re-evaluated. What are your family values? How do your commitments measure up?
Schedule time for things you want to do. Get your family’s stuff on the calendar FIRST. It is going to be much easier to say “Oh, I’m so sorry we can’t make it to the 100th birthday party this month, we already have something on the calendar” when you actually DO have something on the calendar. There isn’t any reason to mention that the calendar says “spend the entire day playing with our family.” Your family is priority number one. AND oh by the way…so are you.
Plan dinner time. Bringing back the family dinner time in the dining room has done more to slow down our lives then all the rest. Planning menus ahead of time, being prepared and having a relaxing, non-rushed dinner with a set table, candles and everyone enjoying conversation has been a wonderful experience. There have been many evenings that we have sat chatting and laughing all the way until bedtime. I strongly recommend the return of candle-lit dining room dinners as often as possible. They are magical!
Through the Garden Gate is a simpler time with more focus on getting back to basics, nature, family and good friends. Spending quality time doing the things that are truly important to you, not the things that are on your *should* list or your *I feel guilty so I have to* list. It’s not a life built around keeping up with the latest gadgets and the ‘Jones’ and making sure you are on the right side of the Star-Bellied Sneetches this week. It’s about letting go. Cutting back. Focusing on the Truly Important.
Would you care to join us beyond the Garden Gate? It’s beautiful in here. Come on in…
That was a wonderful post! I want to find my garden. I think I have been trying to get the rusty gate open, but it’s stuck pretty good! I need to find the grease to free it!
I know where your can of Greese is and so do you if you think about it!! 🙂 One word, two letters that you hardly ever say, because you are nice, nice, nice. Do you need a hint??? 🙂
Here is an exercise for you. What two things do you REALLY want to do in the next six weeks. They don’t have to be big. Give yourself some little victories.
Where are you going to find the time to do them?
What has been stopping you in the past?
what can you change right now to keep from stopping you starting today?
Daz Cox says
I’ve been tying balloons in the trees for the squirrels to bounce on in the garden!
That visual picture made me laugh! I sure hope the squirrals don’t pop the balloons! But then again, knowing you they are probably magical balloons.
Melissa Donovan says
How timely! I recently made a commitment to myself that I would spend at least one day a week in the garden. That means one day off from work. However, sometimes I work in the garden too. I need to contemplate more on this. My life could use some extra zen 😉
Brad Shorr says
All the tips you mention are things I need to do. Thanks for the inspiration! I think it may be time to toss the TV.
Ms. O says
When I retired 7 years ago, I opened the garden gate and closed it behind me. Have not, in all this time, over-= anything. Just don’t anymore. As you are aware, there have been times over the past two years when it has been time to disgard people and places in my life that are no longer of use or healthy. Other than that, truly, God has blessed me with the best life, uncomplicated, uncluttered, and above all – mine in peace and grand times of meditation and enjoying nature.
Once you pass through the Garden Gate, even with loved ones about, and moving in and out of the garden, keep the gate swinging free. These are times that no amount of money, prestige or any known quantity can measure up. All fall on the wayside. Take those loved ones into that place in the garden of nature, creation and beauty. Creator didn’t give humans the knowledge of gardens on a whimsy.
Hugs, Fellow Gardener
Hey Wendi! Great post and I love the Garden Gate Concept. I think we all need a reminder to stop and smell the roses. I love your ideas that you posted about also and I’ve done many of these things in the past. I’m glad I found your blog again and hope to start posting here more often.
Yes, you are an inspiration for living beyond the Garden Gate!
Well done my friend, well done!
glad to see you back! Come more often, and do post as often as you can! I appreciate it!