It has been wonderfully warm on the west coast. It probably won't stick around forever, but it's a quick (week-long) reminder that summer is COMING. This long weekend will see glorious weather, which is fantastic for all the Christians doing their sunrise services outside on Sunday (my parents included), where for the past dozen years it's absolutely poured rain.
Since spring is coming, I have been hard at work on our patio for the past day. We brought plants from our house that we love and adore, but in practicality do not like living in pots on a deck in FULL SUN all year long (*cough*geraniums*cough*). We also wanted to plant veggies (illicit veggies, since our strata doesn't allow them. They also don't allow pink flamingos, a very explicit instruction, yet our pink flamingo is rather sentimental for us and came from our old place, and so it's stayed). I spent my morning yesterday toiling on our patio, revelling in the sun and warm, and then trucked over a car full of plants to my parents' house, where I proceeded to put them in the ground and also give time to my mom's large and gorgeous garden.
My family is avid hobby gardeners, although my mom is much more into pretty flowers than food (although the foodscape has definitely been expanding in the past several years). When J and I moved into our rental house 3 years ago, we put HOURS into the garden (and a lot of money, too) and grew tons of stuff. I miss it, and I don't miss it. I lacked the motivation at that point to deal with the constant upkeep (the yard was absolutely overrun with incredibly invasive species, which required me to scour the garden daily for them). I learned a lot. My mom, having retired in December, took the Master Garderner's course in January, and has now earned the title of "Master Gardener", which fills me with pride and also makes me giggle, especially since my mom is attempting to commit every plant that touches her hands to latin memory.
This weather also reminds me of how much time I *need* to spend outside. It's not a want, it's a primal, physical need to breathe the air and move my body and be around lots of green things. Being outside fills my whole body with joy, something that running has allowed me to fully indulge and consequently understand. Being outside is not optional.
To put it into the context of my marriage meant that I had to understand that my needs were incredibly important, that I was not articulating them, and then becoming resentful when they weren't filled (surprise!). J is not, despite being a Girl Guide for many many years, a total outdoorsy type like I am. I completed by very first backpacking trip ever 2 weeks ago and am absolutely hooked. J will probably never participate in these activities with me. I had to give myself permission to do these big things without her, to get over the guilt of "being gone for a weekend" and not "spending time with her". I'm a better person when I get my run in, when I go and do these crazy trips with friends, when I spend an inordinate amount of time with dirt clumped under my fingernails and various sticks and leaves in my hair.
This was a big thing for me. I'm not sure where, or how I learned that my needs and wants were not as important as other people's, I'm not sure if I learned this from my family or from the culture I live in (thanks, Patriarchy). This will continue on into our family, since I'm no longer willing to sacrifice my own long-term happiness for other people. We will have a running/trail stroller, I will get up earlier, I will simply go for a walk with my toddler, but it's all equally important.
On that note, it's time to put on some runners and go for a jog in the glorious morning sunshine with the birds chirping out their mating calls!