Another short blog post on topics I can write about in between longer, better-researched and more satisfying articles. On this coffee break, did you know that some maintain that the Italian word for coffee (caffe’) originated from the name of the Ethiopian or Abyssinian region of Kaffa, where coffee consumption first came to be widely practiced — based on the apocryphal goat herder noticing his goats prancing about after munching on coffee beans. More likely, it is derived from the Arabic word for coffee “Qahwa” or Gahwa”, and then filtered down into European languages. Both the Ethiopian and Arabic coffee ceremonies are pretty cool (subjects for future blog posts) In any event, espresso sure is wonderful. Other examples of 101C coffee breaks can be found here and here.
Most of last week we took some spring break vacation, working out at the country hacienda.
Mrs. 101 was painting and fixing and feathering the nest, and I was outside doing garden stuff. Replanting trees, excavating, weeding, mulching, mowing, composting. chopping, sawing. Everything but planting. All in between interruptions and other little projects.
The days were ticking away to Sunday, and I still hadn’t planted the nursery-bought onions, tomatoes, peppers, herbs, strawberries, garlic, kale and broccoli (this year is not one for self-started seedlings).
Doing everthing but planting. A little composting, a little weeding, prune this tree, round and round. Well, planting is highly time-sensitive. Miss this week’s window, and you’re just one week closer to the dog days of summer, with tomato bloom-killing high temperatures.
It occurred to me why I was putting off the planting.
Building the frames for the raised beds, mulching, and mowing are all activities with a short-term goal horizon.
Mowing the front two acres, for example. Fire up the lawn tractor, get headphones and a cigar, and after an hour, done! You have a concrete result. Same with eradicating invasive bermuda grass. Each ripped-up rhyzome has the finality of accomplishment. Done!
Planting is uncertainty itself. There is no guaranteed outcome to the risk of plant placement and grouping. Is this new location good for the broccoli? Don’t know. How will these seedlings like this new bed. What about the strawerries? No idea.
I realized at some point that part of this rank procrastination was due the lack of a defined plan. I normally have all zones mapped out aforehand, seedlings ready to deploy from their clear plastic totes (not unlike Higgins landing crafts at D-Day).
This year, no seedlings. No plan. No charts. And therefore, no action.
Getting things on paper concretizes the uncertain. Good planning commits to a course of action. Without commitment, everything is ad hoc. And planting sure is commitment. Once in the ground, it’s not likely to move.
And as with gardening, so it is with personal finance. Paying off this and that little debt, saving on this coupon, cutting the cable bill. All good actions, but in the big picture, just white noise activities. Best to have a plan. An investment strategy or philosophy, a budgeting plan, a retirement goal. Commit.
That’s it for now. Thanks for reading and following along. More gardening and personal finance to come.