It’s been a tough year. The weather has been more wet than dry, slugs abundant and crops failing.

Despite this, I’ve continued to spend a great deal of time, and money, on the plot. Always with the ‘bigger picture’, the future – in mind.

The allotment has long been a ‘coping’ mechanism for me. Somewhere I could unwind and escape the realities on life. With a non-existent social circle, it’s also been the only place I could go for any kind of social interaction in a context I feel comfortable with.

I’ve long since considered myself ‘at peace’ with my own company – never thinking I ‘needed’ to be social to be happy. In hindsight, I’m probably wrong – it’s simply easier to hide than endure the tiring prospect of trying to be social when faced with the anxiety of doing so. The fact I feel so much more ‘alive’ or happy after an hour or two chatting with likeminded people on the plot, would reaffirm the notion that social interaction is something I do need.

My biggest issue, on reflection, is that I’m an ‘all or nothing’ kind of person. If I have an interest in something, I go all in – I’m fully invested. If that interest wanes, for whatever reason, it gets pushed to one side. If something can’t be absolutely perfect, I need to redo it until it is.

This extends not only to the allotment, but my professional life too. Most of my time these days is spent working on branding for companies – and I often feel the need to be ‘pixel perfect’, even at the rough concept stage. Clients love me for it, and it’s probably the reason I’ve largely had the same client base for over 8 years. But it’s not condusive to productivity in the slightest. It’s not the best use of my time.

It’s explosive, and despite me knowing how destructive it is, I feel powerless to change.

Likewise, the notion of not being able to do what I love, when I want, fills me with dread. Thus, I begin to resent it. Even as I type that, I realise just how rediculous it sounds. That, perhaps, is the most frustrating – or annoying – thing. I know how stupid it is, yet feel unable to alter my mindset.

Now more than ever, I realise that I need to address these issues and ‘get a label for it’. If for no other reason than being able explain myself without feeling like a fraud.

Deep down, I know how important the plot is to me. I know I’ve been incredibly fortunte to get what I have. I appreciate that I feel ‘valued’ by other plotholders. While I don’t always have the answers, it’s nice to know people feel they can approach me and ask at any time.

But, I need to address the balance in my life. I need to be content with the notion of only spending an hour a day there, every other day. I need to put myself under less pressure to create a ‘show’ plot and simply appreciate it for what it is. I’m not competing with anyone else, nor am I trying to keep up.

After such a gap in posts on here (though I promise I have been working on something elsewhere on the site!), it feels wrong that it should be this post that kickstarts it again. But, what else is one to do at 2am?

Normal service will (hopefully) resume soon.

Category: Allotment
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