Going back to school was a scary thing for me. I have not been to a college class in 30+ years AND I dabbled in college when I was young. Took a few classes, did not graduate and went on to working, then getting married and then having babies. I have considered going back off and on through the years, but it was not until we moved out to “Big Sky Acres” (BSA) that I really started contemplating what I wanted life to look like now.
Gardening was already in my heart and I had dabbled in that too during the years off and on. BUT having all this land and a pond, it seemed that the possibilities were endless. So we kicked off our experiment in breaking the ground last year and grew lots of yummy things in a total of 8 gardens by the time we were done. AND the bug hit hard! I knew there was and is something great I can do with this land. But what????
Trying to figure out what “that great thing is” led me to school. If I want to grow for a CSA, or have a community garden, or teach people to garden organically I was going to need some education. Experimenting is wonderful, and I will never quit that, but I need some major knowledge to help guide those experiments here.
I cannot say enough good things about the global university program at Washington State University. They have a wonderful Organic Ag program and I LOVED the first semester. I have just completed that and I have learned alot already. And I don’t just mean about Ph, Soil Taxonomy, Ions, Cation Exchange, Plant and Human Nutrients, and a plethora of other topics covered. I learned so much I could not possibly list it all here AND it is stuff I am using which is really great!
The really awesome thing is what I learned other than the scholarly stuff. It has been a challenging few months and it ended well with two A’s but as I reflect my lessons are so much greater.
What are they?
It takes discipline to manage many moving parts. I love to be casual with my schedule at times and “go with the flow” My creative side loves that. But discipline is what it took to study and still do the other things I needed to do. I wrote a schedule down and stuck to it. I am convinced that helped me in more ways than one!
It takes support. My hubby made meals, cleaned house, took the dog to the vet, went to the grocery, and TONS of other things that were falling through the cracks on “my watch.” He never complained but just continued to tell me he was proud of me and was happy to do anything that was needed so I would not have to.
It takes a dictionary! Yeppers! I have not opened a dictionary in a long time. Dictionary.com and I have become good friends. The app for my phone even says the word for me so when I read a word like “campylobacter” or “mycorrhizae” or “hemosiderin”, or “Histisols”my little app can tell me how to say it. 🙂 I can save favorite words too. That became a great study tool!
It takes a positive attitude. There were many times that I did not have that. I got overwhelmed with the classes, work and our remodeling that we have going on. And spring was knocking at the door and I wanted to play in the soil, not just study about it! Those were the times that I needed my Farmgirl friends that are online, a chat with a daughter or a hug from hubby.
Which leads me to you need to be unafraid to tell your real feelings to someone. There is no crime in asking for help or just telling someone you don’t thing you can do it anymore or that you want to jump out a window, or crawl under a blanket. Talking helps!
You need to learn to say “no” and honor your time and commitment. No matter what you are doing in your life today, there is something you need to say no to. There is nothing wrong with making a commitment to yourself, scheduling the time for it on your calendar and then KEEPING IT THERE. I think as women especially, we tend to let anything and anyone override our commitments to ourselves. I could not afford to do that this semester and it has taught me that the world continues to function when I say no.
AND I learned that if I think I can, I can. If I believe in something I can commit to it. If I commit to it and I can hang in there, I can succeed at it!
Success came in the form of two A’s from WSU, but for me it comes in alot of these other lessons that were packaged along with those A’s. I believe that I would have still learned those things even without the A’s and those lessons along with all the great AG stuff I am learning is a winning combo!
Have you ever tried something totally new and learned not only that new thing but other things in the process?
Happy Unleashing with something new today!