As the year turns, my inner critic is active again, goading me to get started on work in the veg patch. Every time I look out the window at the veg patch, or visit it to grab a leek or some parsnips for the dinner, it starts up its never-ending critical commentary. “You really need to get some compost on that bed,” it says. “Look at those weeds, you’d really think you would keep it tidier. That polytunnel needs cleaning and look at the state of the potting shed. You started GIY? Really? You’d think the so-called founder of GIY would be more on top of things in his own veg patch.”
My inner critic, it turns out, is a total pain in the ass.
As a New Year gift to myself, I’ve been reading Aoife McElwain’s excellent new book “Slow at Work” and it strikes me that it’s principles could apply not just to my work life, but to my veg patch life too. I am constantly beating myself up about what’s to be done out there, rather than cutting myself a break or, God forbid, praising myself for how much I’ve actually managed to grow. I’ve done very little in the veg patch since November, but instead of relishing the break, most of the time I just feel guilty. Aoife’s book promises to show us how to “work less, achieve more and regain our balance in an always-on world”. It’s a promise I think most of us could really latch on to in these frenetic times. It’s a fascinating book that explores the cult of busyness, the imposter syndrome and the problems of procrastination.