Lockdown Funk

This lockdown has been a bit of a strange creature for me as far as productivity and getting stuff done goes.   I have to confess a lot of time has been spent in a bewildered state.  While my life hasn’t changed all that much, I work from home, Hubby the Un-Gardener works from home and it felt like the school term hadn’t been going that long so having the kids around just feels normal, like it was in the summer holidays.  Thank goodness they are teens and self-managing.  Although I do feel like I have been a bad parent as unlimited screen time has been the default activity.   We have managed a few family walks on the beach as it is close enough – ie on our back doorstep, to be considered local.

Onion seed sowing
And for the 12th time I have sown my onion seeds so they are ready to plant out as seedlings in the middle of winter. They were my last pre-lockdown purchase.

The first half of the lockdown did feel a little bit like those first few weeks of the school holidays.  The weather was lovely and, while there was work to be done, it was hard to focus.  Ordinarily this would be due to the Christmas build up, but this time it was the anxious watch of life around us and wondering if our bubble will be breached by this totally unexpected situation.

While work has been a bit of an anchor to keep things real in an unreal world, things in the second half have shifted slightly.  The weather has changed.  It may have felt like summer going in but coming out it feels like winter.  It has been a long four weeks.  The kids are now working remotely for their schoolwork and it seems to be going well, yay for engaged and motivated kids who have a desire to learn.   Hubby the Un-Gardener’s business is starting to pick up again.  In the early days no one was thinking much about their careers, but as we approach what looks like the end, those who have lost their jobs are beginning to approach us to get their CV’s done.  (Shameless plug:  if anyone needs a new CV to give them the edge over all the others looking for work in the coming weeks and months check out our other business CV.CO.NZ – at the very least it will keep Hubby the Un-Gardener busy and out of my projects.)

But for me as Sarah the Gardener, it has been a little hard.  The garden really doesn’t need me much at this time of year, so it has been a little hard to throw myself into it.   We had a great project to start off with the shed shelf project that went remarkable well and then I harvested almost everything left in the garden and so all that is there is beds filled with the dying remains of the summer season.  I don’t know why I am reluctant to remove them.  Possibly with thought that once it’s done there will be nothing else to do.  This garden has been designed in such a low maintenance way that it has almost become automatic, rather than the creative joys of gardening in those heady days of not knowing what I was doing.  It is almost like the garden has become a job, that doesn’t pay very well – unless the global currency changes to zucchini, then I’d be rich indeed.

If zucchini was a currency I would be so very rich!

Other things that incited a game of hide and seek with my mojo has been the anxiety of the situation hasn’t been good for my MS and so most days I’m running at probably 80% energy levels – sometimes much less.  And we are in the middle of another great storm, with winds howling around us for days and days.  Hardly gardening weather.

But the wind has me thinking about wind breaks and how I can grow something amazing to protect the garden from the worst of the elements.  A crack appeared in the lockdown funk…  researching all things windbreak lead to a distracted shift in thinking and a whole lot of “I wonder if I could….” And even a google search on ‘inflatable beach toys’ (that word beach is very important).   Just as well I can’t go out and just buy loads of things because projects I rush into tend to be a bit of a disaster, and those I take the time to mull over surprise me with how well they come together.

Lupin seedlings
These lupin seedlings have an important job as nursery plants or in my mulch plantation. So it is worth saving them from the hoe as I tend to my paths.

So, the garden mojo is back….  But it won’t always be in the veggie patch I have got 10 acres of crazy coastal land to whip into shape and the inkling of plans are forming in my head.  But for today I’m going to clear out those old summer beds so I can end this lockdown with a clean slate and a fresh approach.

Come again soon – things will start to look a little different around here.  It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen.

Sarah the Gardener  : o)

11 thoughts on “Lockdown Funk

  1. It seems lots of us are experiencing that funk, one of a group I’m in summed it up nicely. ‘Novelty’s worn off, Boredom’s set in. Plenty of things need doing but none of them are interesting’. I felt better just for reading it. All the best Sarah

    1. Hi Trish. It is definitely a weird time. It’s not that what I have to do isn’t interesting, I just seem get waves of inertia that seem quite random. I guess if I just force myself to make a start on one project, then hopefully there will be a sense of achievement that will focus me for other tasks and eventually take my mind of things I can’t control. All to the best to you too! : o)

      1. Yes, it seems to come in waves and I’m sure it’s normal. I read a good thing about grief as it relates to Lockdown, grief for the loss of the life we know as ‘normal’, and this is quite expected in the ‘sadness’ stage, and comes and goes, alternating with the ‘acceptance and adjusting’ stage. You’ll get there. Your garden, family, writing and pets are great companions.

        1. That is interesting to compare it to the stages of grief. I am certainly looking forward to some kind of new normal again, where there isn’t the niggling thought in the back of your mind that something isn’t quite right. Thanks for your encouragement. : o)

  2. Love your blog and so relate to this post. And “Just as well I can’t go out and just buy loads of things because projects I rush into tend to be a bit of a disaster, and those I take the time to mull over surprise me with how well they come together” made me chuckle. I’ve been focussing on composting – gathering autumn leaves etc – not ‘sexy’ gardening stuff but my plants will thank me when we come out of lockdown. It would certainly be more cheery to be looking out for spring growth.

    1. A lot of garden chores aren’t very glamorous but it can feel so rewarding to just get in there and get your hands dirty. I hope you end up with mountains of fabulous compost! : o)

Leave a Reply