I bought some “Stress Relief” shower gel and lotion not too long ago. My oldest daughter was with me, and she bought a couple of scented shower gels with her money. I noticed the other day that my shower gel was disappearing at a rapid rate. I asked the oldest girl about it, and she said she liked mine the best. This reminded me of how my sister and I would always drink out of my dad’s iced tea. It tasted better than if we got our own. I don’t know how this could be true since he didn’t even put sugar in his. Anyways, I told Anna she shouldn’t be using my shower gel because she is a kid and doesn’t need stress relief. She scoffed and said, “Helllooo! I’m in middle school!”
The truth is that the shower gel smells great, but I’m not sure it provides much stress relief. But yesterday, I found a surefire product that does: dirt! So, if you’re feeling stressed today, here’s a few suggestions:
1. Prepare a small plot of yard that you no longer want to spend gas and time on mowing but that you want to plant your own food to enjoy and save money on and know is grown healthy. We got a few railroad ties a few years ago, covered the amount of yard we wanted to garden on with newspaper and poured compost on top. No tilling, no digging, and no chemicals needed. Then we just planted in the compost.
2. Buy some plants (or grow your own from seed but you’ll have to start on this next winter…you’re out of time unless you live way up north).
3. Enlist everyone in your house. This might include a bit of loud admonishment to close books, turn off-hand held electronics, and get your tails outside. Or you can say that you are planting the family garden, and perhaps your fairy-like children will float outside holding hands and smiling. If this is the case, your kids are different from mine.
4. Dole out plants to provide ownership in the process. Show how deep to dig the holes for each plant, and then step back to let them work independently.
5. Get your hands dirty. Laugh. Watch their little hands be gentle with the plants.
6. Enjoy the breezes going through hair, the names they give the plants, and the thoughts of home-grown tomatoes.
7. Be surprised when you finally harvest your first asparagus after waiting two years!
8. Make sure you have a supervisor.
9. Observe your dirty (not so young-looking) hands and smile.
10. Wait patiently for your yummy food to grow.