Personal growth depends upon stepping out of one’s comfort zone. In 2004 my wife and I moved from the San Francisco Bay area to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Adapting to country life demanded this city boy acquire a skill set he did not bring with him. We are not wealthy, so if we were to avoid having chamisa and sagebrush running right up to the walls of our house, I needed to learn how to landscape and garden.
In any job, proper tools are requisite and I responded first by purchasing a Ford F-150 pickup truck in order to transport materials to the construction site. The second tool was the knowledge to properly execute each portion of the project. Fortunately, I am a hairdresser by day and my client base comprises an extensive cross-section of the population. Among them: contractors.
I soon got up to speed, learning how to build a fence to code, how to lay flagstone and erect and mortar retaining walls and rock terraces. In time, I learned to install underground conduit for electricity and the drip irrigation system I constructed. I moved every rock unassisted, some weighing eighty pounds or more. I don’t know if that makes me smart or desperate. We’ll discuss the double hernia operation another day. (No, I’m not kidding.)
Because I had never gardened, and because the soil here is worse than poor, I had to learn soil chemistry and how to enrich the stuff into which I would situate my garden’s population. The learning curve was steep and the work difficult, requiring several summers to complete. Every spring, however, I am rewarded.
Do yourself a favor and acquire a new skill new this year.