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Springtime revives me… and my plants!

18 Mar

Spring has sprung! Well, officially not yet, but my tulips, garlic, catnip (that somehow lasted all winter), and daffodils have sprung! I, too, am feeling a sense of refreshed motivation to take on the world and inspire my students!
I am fully aware this may be from my new organic espresso or my spinach protein shake, however, I attribute it in part to the sun, and the lovely green I am beginning to see in my garden!

The thought of the sun actually existing in the sky (in Upstate NY) really motivates me to tackle so much, including re-vamping this old blog! Of course, it will continue to be coffee-fueled, minus the Thesis updates! Although, I have a lot of research ideas (and multiple have-started articles) so there might be some new musings about that in this revived blog, too. Although I’m not sure which direction I will take this blog in 2016, I just know I love to write, so we’ll see how the blog transforms in the next few months. Enjoy the journey with me!

Back to my garden… I have just started, in between grading midterms, plotting how I will organize my plants and expand my garden this season. I do this annually using colored pencils, which makes the planning so much more exciting. You can say it’s my version of the coloring for adults fad going on right now, which is great, don’t get me wrong, just very pricy considering the costs of children’s coloring books are less than half. It’s a good fad to pick up, as it truly can help limit stress and keep areas of the brain that may have become dormant, more active.

I’ve been using colored pencils, pens, and crayons since my major sTBI back in ’07 to help me organize and to keep my amygdala in check (stress-reduction). I find that planning your garden with color is more cognitively stimulating than simply coloring in the lines of a pre-created image. You activate much more of your cerebral cortex by creating your own canvas (garden), organizing by length and width (to account for each plants’ necessity), and finally, in drawing the “full-in-bloom” version of your Spring 2016 Dream Garden.

Now, I’m no Neurologist, but I feel like I know a thing or two about stress and anxiety. (Just read any posting while I was completing grad school and my Masters Thesis and you’ll see! 😛 ) When I brought up the idea last year to my neurologist of plotting my garden like this, making time each day to work in it, and update the drawings, he was impressed with my rationale for doing this as an alternative to staying on meds to reduce stress. Plus, the extra o^2 from the plants can’t hurt! He might have just been humoring me, but hey, I’m definitely less stressed a year later. And, thanks to my indoor plant/planning during the winter, still no daily rx… I might be onto something! 🙂

What are you planning to plant this year in your garden? Any new landscaping plans for your yard? Comment below and let me know what you are going to do so we can share tips as the season goes on. 🙂

Ate logo, ci vidiamo, till next time!
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Dennis Cardiff

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