August 29, 2011

Indecisiveness & The Repotting Plan

I have trouble sometimes, with decision making. Not all things, but some things, at times, will render homesteading progress stuck in the proverbial mud. I've seriously examined this in myself, and wondered if it is actually indecision or procrastination. There are times when I'm a champion at putting things off.

From left: dwarf banana, olive tree, lemon cypress, ginger
(with volunteer tomato), and Katy in the background

Sometimes though, nothing gets done because of lack of knowledge, or questions about the outcome. One thing I don't want to do, is make an uninformed or hasty decision which I will regret later. Such was the case with putting off the where to plant several potted plants. Some are indoor plants and needed a larger pot; genuine procrastination. Some really need to be planted. Somewhere. It's the not knowing how big they'll get and how they will fit into my general landscaping goals that puts to brakes on progress.

Two American cranberries with a dwarf thyme in center

Sometimes I have trouble making a decision due to weariness. I simply run out of energy for all the things that need to be done. Sometimes it's a matter of time; I always seem to have more to do, than time to do it in. That's when I have to remind myself that there's often a difference between things that are urgent, and things that are important.

What do I mean? When considering a day's to-do list, I may feel it's urgent to get library books returned before they start to accrue a fee, but it is more important to get the tomatoes canned before they spoil. The sense of urgency regarding the library books however, can nag me until I do something about it and put off things that are truly more important. I have to ask myself which is worth more to me, the spare change to pay an overdue fine, or the potential loss of food for preservation.

Making potting mix from compost & filler soil from the old swimming pool

Another example, I decide to stay home and can those tomatoes. In the middle of putting the jars into the water bath, the phone rings. My sense is that I must answer it (urgency) rather than let the answering machine get it (prioritizing according to importance.) Recognizing the difference is important, because urgency affects me emotionally. It's not only nagging, but driving. I end up feeling slavish, disorganized, and ultimately frustrated.

Repotted (front left): 2 American cranberries & dwarf thyme
(back left) dwarf banana, lemon cypress, ginger, olive tree

With my plants, making a decision about where to plant them was never urgent. I knew they could get root bound and die, but other projects always crowded the inevitable out of my mind. Neither did it ever seem more important than other things needing to be done. I finally had to put the task on a to-do list and commit myself to getting the job done. Did I decide where to plant the ones that needed it? No. In the end, my plan was to repot them all. In the end, I was able to put the location decision off for a little while longer.

It's a temporary solution, which I realize will still need to be addressed in the future. Even so, the plants are happier and I'm happier. If only I could repot all of my problems, concerns, and indecision.


Tami said...

I like that..."Repot my problems." I often feel the same way but mine is a "want to" vs "should do" issue.

Should I go out and yank all the dying tomato plants and get super filthy, sweaty, and yucky? (yes) Do I want to? (no)

So I'll let them die back further and complain to SM some day about how nasty the garden is...and then he'll come out and help me.

I do hear you on the food preservation though. THAT puts a fire under my buns for sure.

Dani said...

Oh, to be able to repot my problems too!

Procrastination is the thief of time - or so tell myself. So I try and never put off till tomorrow what I know I can do today.

Jane @ Hard Work Homestead said...

I dont look at it as putting things off, more like there are only so many hours in a day. And a lack of help :) So if we could have a 40 hour day and I could get a staff of people, I think we could get just about everything done.

BrokenRoadFarm said...

Great post - I think this is definitely something we all struggle with...there is just too much do and not enough time to get it done. Congrats on at least getting everything re-potted!!

Cat Eye Cottage said...

I feel the same way you do. Too many things to do so prioritizing is a must.

trump said...

No one is better than putting things off then myself,lol. Richard

A Wild Thing said...

LOL...I know the feeling, I'm doing taxes today when I know I should be picking beans...Oi...!!!

Summer is just too derned short!!!

Leigh said...

Tami, good point about the "want to." That's always a factor and another thing I often have to overcome as well. :)

Dani, that's true! Procrastination does steal time. And for me, it's a lot of the thinking about it with excuses as to why not to do it!

Jane, that's true too. I reckon that's where prioritizing comes in. And if some things never get done, oh well. :)

BRF, thanks! I admit it's a relief. The bonus is that once again, I don't have to think about it for awhile. ;)

Candace, it seems there's nothing else for it.

Richard, you may have some competition regarding that!

Sharon, you can say that again. It's the things like taxes though, that seem to get in the way!

Florida Farm Girl said...

Just goes to show we are all the same like that. I've been procrastinating about doing sashing and borders on several quilts that I want to have done before Christmas. Today, I'm going to work on them!!!! I am so pleased with myself when they're finished, you'd think that would be incentive enough.

Nina said...

Once you get in the mode of just doing things, it can feel so freeing. I've found that sometimes indecision is as bad as procrastination. Sometimes though unexpected but urgently necessary projects can take on a life of their own, eating up time for other projects. sigh.. I like to group smaller tasks and errands so that I can accomplish them with less effort, such as doing as many errands as I can when I decide I really need to go to town.

The repotted plants do look happy. Of course, they are missing the kitty, which can be a vital element in pretty pictures :)

City Sister said...

I procrastinate when ever possible...but I do wish I could keep things alive inside better...cats see to ripping and biting everything possible.

Seeking Serenity said...

Doing the pot shuffle is like a bunch of hermit crabs switching shells :)
Oh, I had one of those 'dwarf' bananas and had to resell it back to the place after 2yr it was getting too big to bring in the house for winter!

Jody said...

Such a great post. You described me to the letter. Whether its indecision or procrastination I need deadlines. It may be a general deadline like "before winter"; but it's a deadline nonetheless. Without them, I'd be useless.

CaliforniaGrammy said...

Sometimes just repotting a problem can solve the problem temporarily until there is a better, less stressful, time to really solve it. And that's okay. You've made that decision and nobody can judge you! I find that setting reasonable goals is much more fulfilling than to set a goal so high that I cannot possible make and then feel totally deflated at the end of the day.

Leigh said...

Florida Farm Girl, that is so true. Good for you for working on those quilts!

Nina, I think that's very true and goes with what I've found, that so much of our behavior is habit. I think procrastination is a habit! I'm worst about things that I know have fairly permanent results, like planting trees. Sometimes though, there's nothing for it but to do it.

City Sister, I can't keep things alive inside very well either! Of course, cats are a factor all by themselves. :)

Richard, thanks!

Jody, I think even a vague deadline is better than none! Like you, without deadlines I don't get very much done.

CaliforniaGrammy, good point about realistic goal setting. For some reason I'm especially indecisive when it comes to planting perennial plants. I suppose if I could buy everything all at once, I could plant it out better. But plant purchases are impulsive all too often!

Peaceful, good comparison. Gosh, I hope my dwarf banana doesn't get that big. I'm not sure where I'd put it!


Mama Pea said...

I'm late jumping in here, but I have to be a big ol' humbug and admit I just don't get the difference between important and urgent. Grumpf-grumble.