When I found out we were moving to Austin, I wanted to be sure to find ways to become involved in the community and to reach out and meet people. Getting off my couch and out the door is easier said than done, but I am working on it. Right now I am volunteering at a few different spots: two farms, the farmer's market, and the local community bike shop. It may sound like a lot, but it comes out to about 20 hours a week. Still plenty of time to job search (although my motivation is admittedly lacking in that area), grocery shop, cook, and read.
Now that I don't have to wait tables or work retail in order to pay the bills, I am trying to focus on my interests. I do not want to jump into something just to make money and then get sidetracked from my long term goals. Fortunately, we are in a position where I don't need to be working full time in order to make ends meet. Instead, I can focus on activities that bring joy into both my life and the world.
The big news in my life is that I now have a community garden plot! The first place I looked had a year long waiting list. I emailed the other nearby community garden, but held out little hope that there would be a spot available. When I did not hear back in two weeks, I figured it was a lost cause. On Friday night, I got an email saying there was a spot available and asked if I was still interested. Heck yes I was interested! I've worked on a few farms both in Oregon and here in Texas, but I haven't actually had my own plot. It's hard to garden in an apartment without a yard or even a balcony for potted plants. The plot had been abandoned by its previous cultivator and was overgrown with weeds. This morning I started attacking the weeds with my bare hands. I got about two thirds through when I realized that my failure to wear gloves was tearing my hands apart. I'm going to head back out (with gloves) tonight to finish the weeding and to work in some compost and soil. I'm starting a little late in the season, but hopefully I'll get some juicy tomatoes and other treats as summer approaches.