The Work Garden Balance

Working morning noon and night can very quickly become the norm and we find ourselves burning the midnight candle before we know it. When you are self-employed you are never guaranteed an income and so you tend to avoid saying no, unless the warning bells start ringing. After years of running our own businesses we all know the warning signs – the client who could turn into a bit of a headache, expect the universe, or not pay at all.

My life allowed me to work these long hours because I didn’t have enough real interests outside of work apart from dinner with friends from time to time. This lack of other interests was where I was going wrong in a huge way so I had a big think. Didn’t have a clue where to start but realised I needed to change things and it seemed to be that the obvious place to start was to look back on the times in my life where I felt the happiest and what made me feel that way. I guess people spend fortunes with councillors to help them reach this conclusion but I was lucky and I had my very own lightbulb moment.

My dogs were the obvious starting point, I have never enjoyed anything as much as having my two chocolate labradors, taking them for walks was great daily exercise and something that you must do – exercise becomes compulsory and that is a very good thing for anyone.

The house we were living in was not conducive to pets. Very limited outside space for them to run around. We were living in town, convenient for lots of things but not the best in terms of quality of life.

Thinking about the dogs led me onto the next thing, my surroundings. The places I enjoyed living the most were in the countryside. Either on the edge of a village near the sea or the middle of the French countryside. Those were the places I loved and felt at my best.

Again, the house we were living in offered none of this. It was great for my husband though because it was near to the sailing club, easy access to the sea and the things he loved doing. We had a chat and he completely understood and even said he had been feeling bad because he recognised that our environment was not the best for both of us. Just goes to show that sometimes you only have to ask.

So we moved to a village – not suddenly it all took nearly a year but now we have a lovely dog and the goodness has been restored. It was a bit more convoluted than that and a headache moving to a money pit in the country but I wouldn’t change it now. We are getting there and we are both loving it, lots of space and a really beautiful place. My husband is still off doing his sailing at the weekend and I spend much of my spare time in the garden.

I never dreamed that I would enjoy gardening but I have a beautiful cottage garden and I love looking after it. I have always avoided gardening but once I got started I cannot believe it is so rewarding. It is an escape and very fulfilling when the flowers bloom and the lawn is looking lush. We’ve got plenty of fruit so I’ve been making chutney and peeling loads of apples – once again I feel inspired and it’s all about my surroundings.

We’ve taken some drastic steps to get here and have taken on a project but my garden is incredibly fulfilling. My web design business is still massively important to me, it always has been but now I have other interests I have found renewed enjoyment in my work.

Win, win!

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