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Seeds of Hope

Posted by Tricia Drover on November 9, 2016 at 7:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Seeds of Hope

November 9, 2016

It has been a long time since I have updated this blog. However, with the state of the world being what it is I feel like it is time that I planted some hope.

Give me some time to do so, though – today I am going to have to dig really deep to find it.

Today is a dark, dark day. Powers of hate and division seem to be winning around the world.

I have children. I will not lie – I fear for their futures.

What kind of world will this be in a year? In two? Five? Ten? Will there be a world waiting for them when it is their turn to try to make things better?

When I woke up this morning to the “new world order”, I realize that all of this time I have been a terrified observer waiting for the world to stop being such a scary place. I have been avoiding self-care until the election results were in, hoping that once Trump went away I could move forward with a world that once again made sense.

The surprising results of last night’s election have robbed me of that easy answer.

Maybe that isn’t entirely a bad thing.

I have been lost in the media. Ignoring my family and my health instead to watch what has ultimately been a slow-motion train wreck of historical proportions.

The world is not over. Yet I feel lost and without purpose because I had so much riding on things being a way that they simply are not. I am not the only one who feels this way today. There are millions – maybe billions – of people in the world filled with a variety of emotions from dread to frustration to outrage to despair. This is not what we wanted. But this is what we have.

I have woken up from what feels like months in a terrible dream and I realize that all my obsessing has done nothing to make this very real nightmare different or easier.

Instead I realize that I have sacrificed time with my loved ones to read news articles about statistics and political processes that I am not even a part of. I have stopped doing yoga because all my energy has been channelled into worrying. I have avoided meditating because I feel like there isn’t a point until the world becomes safe and understandable.

Reading Huffington Post and FiveThirtyEight for eight hours a day will not change the world. I may feel better “informed”, but I am not a better person.

I am an anxious mess. And nothing is going to make that better except me.

Let’s face it. The world isn’t going to get safer or easier to understand. We are in a time of turmoil and even in the most calm and orderly of historic periods tragedy can strike into individual lives. None of us know what is going to happen. Basing today’s actions on potential future events is not healthy or productive.

I need to turn inward. 2016 may be have been a terrible year in the world, but it has actually been a pretty amazing one for me. I am very blessed. I have a beautiful life.

I am tired of spending all of my energy and focus being afraid for my future when my present is such a gift.

So I have decided to take today’s news as a personal call to action. Instead of investing all of my precious time in worrying about the future, I am instead going to focus on enjoying the present. I am going to focus on the things that matter. That way, even if the end of the world is upon us, I can say without regret that I spent my time wisely.

In the end that is really all that matters.

In life our greatest gift is time. None of us knows how much time we have left. Every moment we waste worrying about what is going to happen robs us of our most precious commodity.

My plan is to tune-out and ignore the media, at least for a while. I have proven to myself that being heavily invested in their noise does not help when the s*** hits the fan. At least by avoiding the daily messages of doom and gloom I can focus on my life and the things that matter.

Things I want to focus on – mindfulness and compassionate acts.

Mindfulness is powerful. It allows you a more authentic life. It creates an environment of peace around you.

Compassionate acts in your daily life are a political act – never think that they are not. We have the power to do small things with great love. Those actions can change the world. If nothing else, they can make the immediate world a better place for the people you love.

I really do believe that the world will get through this. I believe that we will look back at this in years to come as a sad and defining moment, but we will look back at it. Nothing gives me more hope than our children. Despite the path that the world is on now, in just a couple of decades we will be handing over the reins to a generation of global citizens. Our children are our beckoning light. We just have to make it through this very dismal tunnel first.

 

Lessons Learned

Posted by Tricia Drover on July 16, 2014 at 6:45 PM Comments comments (0)

My garden this year has not been my most successful.

Trying to grow in the shade of maple and cedar trees is challenging. The slugs are hungry and the sun is sparing. 

And this mornig I fear I killed my beautiful impatiens plant from lack of water...

To look at it from a more positive perspective: What is working?

Surprisingly, my cucumbers are doing well in the back. I planted them as fairly established plants (the cuke seeds I planted directly into the shade bed didn't do anything at all) and they have little baby cucumbers all over them. The slugs don't seem to care much for the taste of the cucumber plant leaves so they are pretty much untouched by the invaders.

Bok choy has also been successful in my shade bed. Although it is growing slightly better in the containers on my fence rail, the plants in my garden bed are thriving, despite some nibbles from the aforementioned evil slugs.

Once moved to the front, my spinach and lettuce are thriving as well. The spinach has been moved back to the shade (it was starting to bolt) but the lettuce seems much happier in the sunny front.

My flowers were doing great - until I forgot to water them, sigh.


And overall my container garden on my balcony is thriving. I haven't gotten a lot of flowers (and thus, not a lot of fruit) on most of my tomato and pepper plants, however. My cherry tomatoes are the exception to this. I should have dozens of sweet little red tomatoes to enjoy soon *happydance*.

My strawberries continue to be a battle.


I've had a bit of nice fruit off the plants I am growing but I am still having issues with tasteless berries, rot, and poor fruit development. I'm not sure why, but I think next year my strawberries will go in a big container out front and I will save my deck for tomatoes and peppers. And basil. And flowers. And maybe something else that likes to grow in a pot in sunny conditions. Any suggestions??

My experimental garden in what will soon be my main garden bed is doing well, also. My cucumbers there are growing like weeds, although I seem to be having some issues getting the flowers to fertilize. My little baby cukes are turning yellow and dying although I seem to see butterflies and bees buzzing around there all the time. I am going to try self pollinating to see if that helps. My sweet peas are (slowly) growing, my radishes have just sprouted, my carrots are starting to poke their heads up above the dirt, and I am still going to see if I can throw one more container into the mix. I'm just not sure if I want to try herbs or more seeds...perhaps more spinach? Lettuce? I am still undecided. And I need more dirt.



The garden this summer has ended up being not much more than trial and error. I have learned much, however, and I am hoping that this means next year I will be able to have a bountiful harvest in my challenging little space.

Key lessons learned:

1. Always ensure that you have soil with good drainage in pots! Use peat or similar (and more eco-friendly, if possible) substance to ensure that the soil in pots does not become waterlogged and stagnant.

2. Seedlings do not grow without sun. However, established plants can survive (and even thrive) in much dimmer conditions. Next year I will be staring seedlings inside hydroponically and planting them into my garden bed, rather than trying to start seedlings in those dark, moist conditions. 

3. Most vegetables need a lot of sun to grow. Radishes, carrots, and beets probably won't work in my shade bed. However, the following veggies should be able to work, if planted as established plants and not seeds: bok choy, onions, kale, and squash. Beans will work from seed, if I can keep the nasty slugs away from them.

4. Slugs are evil and hard to kill. Time to try egg shells!!


I'm sure more lessons will be learned before the season is over. 

Now time to head home and see if my impatiens will rise from the dead, or if I truly am a murderer.



Beyond a "To Do" List - Part I

Posted by Tricia Drover on January 27, 2014 at 12:40 PM Comments comments (0)

All of us have projects that we want to finish. They may be the scrapbook we've always intended to put together, the herb garden we want to start growing, the dress we want to sew, the shelves we want to sand and repaint - the potential list is long and often daunting. And when, amongst all of the day-to-day stuff we have to do, are we supposed to get to these fantasy activities? When are we supposed to have the time to be productive for ourselves?!

That is a question I am seeking to answer these days.

I have quite a list of projects myself and the list just seems to keep growing and never shrinking. This is concerning me. I don't want to end up one day with a huge list of "should haves" weighing me down. The answer? To try and find way to make these pipedreams into realities. I want to figure out how to make more time in my day.

I have two children, a husband, and a full time job in addition to taking courses and still trying to find time for my hobbies and friends so this time isn't going to be easy to find. But I really think it is possible if I am determined enough. 

To hold myself accountable I am going to record my progress here. I am also going to record the actual projects, with handy "how tos" and tips on how you can find the time to do the things I am planning on doing.

If you are interested in following along I would love some company on this journey!

My list is below, in no particular order:

1. Finish my son's baby book

2. Develop a garden in front of our house

3. Replant the garden plot in our back deck

4. Self publish a book of poetry

5. Sew reusable bags and napkins from all the fabric I have sitting in my storage room

6. Put up all of our pictures and art around our "new" home

7. Work on my writing website (Tricia The Artist) and start posting previous journalings/writing samples to the point that I feel the site is ready for "release"

8. Develop a little mini-greenhouse on our upstairs deck

9. Start learning the guitar (find a way to fit practice into my daily life)

10. Sort through and reorganize all of the storage space in our house

That is all I have (for now) although I know I have more things I want to do. I just think 10 is a good round number to start with!

I'll be starting on #6 first, since it is a relatively easy one. 

Look for more entries about this soon!

Goals for Growth

Posted by Tricia Drover on January 15, 2014 at 7:45 PM Comments comments (0)

It is the New Year and, while I am not technically setting any real "resolutions', I do have some goals for the next phase of my life.

I have a vision of where I want my life to be, and the following goals will help me get there. I am recording them in my public blog so I can be held accountable!

1. Write every day. Blog, journal, poetry, short stories - it doesn't matter as long as I put figurative pen to paper.

2. Get outside as much as possible. I live in the midst of a rainforest and it is time that I made a point of appreciating that. It is also important  that I model this appreciation for my children.

3. Consciously relax every day. Meditate, do yoga, breathe deeply - do what I need to do to keep anxiety at bay. I want to develop a daily routine that allows me to stay relaxed and better able to cope with life.


These are my goals for the next couple of months. I will revisit on my birthday (mid-April) when I typically take stock of my life and determine the direction for the sunny, "easy" months of the year.

Any suggestions on how I can acheive the goals I have set above? I know they are too vague, but I have trouble setting concrete benchmarks because I get so frustrated if I fall short.

What goals have you set lately?

Seeds of Hope

Posted by Tricia Drover on Comments comments (0)

Seeds of Hope

November 9, 2016

It has been a long time since I have updated this blog. However, with the state of the world being what it is I feel like it is time that I planted some hope.

Give me some time to do so, though – today I am going to have to dig really deep to find it.

Today is a dark, dark day. Powers of hate and division seem to be winning around the world.

I have children. I will not lie – I fear for their futures.

What kind of world will this be in a year? In two? Five? Ten? Will there be a world waiting for them when it is their turn to try to make things better?

When I woke up this morning to the “new world order”, I realize that all of this time I have been a terrified observer waiting for the world to stop being such a scary place. I have been avoiding self-care until the election results were in, hoping that once Trump went away I could move forward with a world that once again made sense.

The surprising results of last night’s election have robbed me of that easy answer.

Maybe that isn’t entirely a bad thing.

I have been lost in the media. Ignoring my family and my health instead to watch what has ultimately been a slow-motion train wreck of historical proportions.

The world is not over. Yet I feel lost and without purpose because I had so much riding on things being a way that they simply are not. I am not the only one who feels this way today. There are millions – maybe billions – of people in the world filled with a variety of emotions from dread to frustration to outrage to despair. This is not what we wanted. But this is what we have.

I have woken up from what feels like months in a terrible dream and I realize that all my obsessing has done nothing to make this very real nightmare different or easier.

Instead I realize that I have sacrificed time with my loved ones to read news articles about statistics and political processes that I am not even a part of. I have stopped doing yoga because all my energy has been channelled into worrying. I have avoided meditating because I feel like there isn’t a point until the world becomes safe and understandable.

Reading Huffington Post and FiveThirtyEight for eight hours a day will not change the world. I may feel better “informed”, but I am not a better person.

I am an anxious mess. And nothing is going to make that better except me.

Let’s face it. The world isn’t going to get safer or easier to understand. We are in a time of turmoil and even in the most calm and orderly of historic periods tragedy can strike into individual lives. None of us know what is going to happen. Basing today’s actions on potential future events is not healthy or productive.

I need to turn inward. 2016 may be have been a terrible year in the world, but it has actually been a pretty amazing one for me. I am very blessed. I have a beautiful life.

I am tired of spending all of my energy and focus being afraid for my future when my present is such a gift.

So I have decided to take today’s news as a personal call to action. Instead of investing all of my precious time in worrying about the future, I am instead going to focus on enjoying the present. I am going to focus on the things that matter. That way, even if the end of the world is upon us, I can say without regret that I spent my time wisely.

In the end that is really all that matters.

In life our greatest gift is time. None of us knows how much time we have left. Every moment we waste worrying about what is going to happen robs us of our most precious commodity.

My plan is to tune-out and ignore the media, at least for a while. I have proven to myself that being heavily invested in their noise does not help when the s*** hits the fan. At least by avoiding the daily messages of doom and gloom I can focus on my life and the things that matter.

Things I want to focus on – mindfulness and compassionate acts.

Mindfulness is powerful. It allows you a more authentic life. It creates an environment of peace around you.

Compassionate acts in your daily life are a political act – never think that they are not. We have the power to do small things with great love. Those actions can change the world. If nothing else, they can make the immediate world a better place for the people you love.

I really do believe that the world will get through this. I believe that we will look back at this in years to come as a sad and defining moment, but we will look back at it. Nothing gives me more hope than our children. Despite the path that the world is on now, in just a couple of decades we will be handing over the reins to a generation of global citizens. Our children are our beckoning light. We just have to make it through this very dismal tunnel first.