Coping: Planting Your “Time Garden”

Although there has been a small improvement in curriculum with all the talk in education about STEM (science, tech, engineering and math), many of the major concepts in Life – traditionally passed down by two parents and a set of grand parents – has blown-up.

Not that there is much anyone can do about it:  With the “free sex” explosion (and birth control) changes in the past 50-years, people have taken the Act of Marriage a lot less seriously, than once held.  Result?  Soaring divorce rates an d short-changed young people.  Me-me’s.

Problem is, young people get put “in the divorce vice” because they end up lacking specific knowledge can be easily addressed in schools, but aren’t.  Teachers are teaching to a test score, not over-all success of students.  The down-side of metrics.

The “time-gardening” idea, for those who missed it, is one of those cornerstones to a successful life.

The way this works is simple:  Whatever you do TODAY will absolutely begin to shape and define what happens to your TOMORROW and long-after that, too.

Let’s go through some examples:  Jobs and relationships.

Let’s say you are young – maybe just out of high school, and you’ve gone to work in some trade or craft where you are just getting started.  Might be a job like shagging tools for a journeyman; something like that.

The quickest way up the ladder in terms of success is to demonstrate your high value.  We already know what constitutes a “high value” employee:  Someone who shows up always on-time, or a few minutes early.  Great attitude.  No whining. And someone who takes an interest in learning the trade.

Say you get a job as a roofer right out of school.  Miserably hot job and there are ladders and risks.  You never want to see a hot tar bucket catch fire, either.

But you decide that instead of just learning from the one journeyman roofer you’ve been schlepping tar for, you’ll actually read a book on the subject.  In no time, you will know more about the job than the “journeyman” and you can then work up to being considered a journeyman in your own right.

Which relates to “time gardening” how?

It begins with showing up for work on time and setting yourself above from “average” young people.  Think of this like it’s the basic turning over of soil in the spring.

Then you planted a book (or several) and grew yourself a big crop of knowledge.  Which, a bit later in the year, you demonstrate with such skill that the next journeyman hired will just have to be you.

You plant, you tend to business, and then your harvest.  Doesn’t happen in a day.  Takes a while.  Thing is, though, if you want anything to occur in the future, you have to plant it in the past.  For like a dear woman (Aunt Adah) made clear to both my buddy the Major and I (when we were young whipper-snappers aged four):

Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.

Both the Major and I went on to get masters degrees. We were (and still are) time planters.  We did it not because we loved school (though we’re both really good at it) but because it was culturally ground-in that if you want to have a Big Tomorrow, put Small Efforts toward that goal every day.

Teaching My Son to Plant

Part of the reason for sharing this with you is so you can share the idea with others.  Because many kids today just don’t “get it.”  Even my own son, George_the_Uber_Driver missed elements of it..

Let’s roll time back to last November.  G-2 spies a job opening for an EMT on a reservation in North Dakota.  He’d have a chance to finish a degree and work on his paramedic cert – and be getting into what is arguably one of the best retirement systems on earth.  Feds do take care of their own.

During that time (November to this week) I encouraged G-2 to do a lot more time gardening.  Every week, or two, I’d tell him:  “You don’t need to go snow camping in the Cascades this weekendYou need to plant more job options in case this one blows up.” I told him.

He finally got sick of it.  “Dad, would you just chill?  I have been given a verbal offer and told them I would take it…

That was months ago.

Then, this week, after horrible communication with federal HR (talking to a rock is more productive than talking to federal HR people…they don’t back up emails with a phone calls, or visa versa..) G-2 gets sick of the federal runaround.

Harvest time?  G-2 is still grinding for Uber, but now he’s lost 4-5 months when – if he had been time gardening – he could have lined-up many other choices.

Not that he didn’t take care of a lot of other personal loose ends; not saying that. Truth be told, his commitment to excellence in whatever I do – a ground-in family value as well, is why he’s become semi-famous as George_the_Uber_driver and got mentioned in places like Forbes for his ride menu idea.

BUT, now that he wants to harvest the big gig, he has to look back and admit he hadn’t planted anything that bore fruit.  Damn – hate it when that happens.

Everyone has this problem, not just my son.  Sometimes as a small inconvenience and  other times writ large.  Just depends on which “things or circumstances” you want to harvest.

Want to “harvest” good health?  What do you need to plant and when?

Want to harvest more money?  What do you have to do? Do you plant Education>  Some investment money?  Start your own business?.

Elaine and I realize there will come a time to leave the wonder of the woods and drop into higher population density – we will need more services at some juncture. It’d be nice to live somewhere pizza could be delivered.

Knowing what we want to harvest (in the future) we know what we have to do today – which is in the past for that tomorrow..

Going through 1,500 books,  for example. Tweaking and maybe re-tweaking the house, too.

Want a better looking garden?  More vegetables out of it?  What are the additives we can add to the soil now that will make it more productive and richer one month or one year out?

With this being Easter Weekend? It’s a great time to sit back and behold your personal past and contemplate your future. What do you have planted – or what should you be putting in?

We figure a bit of “time gardening this year” could lead to anyone’s personal situation being risen next Easter.  Although YMMV.

Write when you get rich,


8 thoughts on “Coping: Planting Your “Time Garden””

  1. Add Dolomite to your vegetable garden to prepare the soil before planting. Make sure it has calcium & magnesium added to the Dolomite. If you don’t have Dolomite use a fertilizer where the 3 numbers are between 5 and 15.

  2. “The quickest way up the ladder in terms of success is to demonstrate your high value.”


    I was always a workaholic.. I was taught by a father the same principle.. give more than you ask for.. an honest hours wage for an honest hours labor.. and for the most part in the old days.. that was true.. I was always early to work.. and the last one off of the floor.. enjoyed my jobs worked hard and I learned the aspects of my job..
    Then The Reagan recession.. boy times were tough.. I had a management position with a retail outlet that was probably the nastiest company I have ever worked for.. the attitudes of the company was horrific towards the employee’s.. I got along good with them but the way they treated the general employee’s was not in my scope of things.. my moral convictions tore into me again.( the same when I had my govt cush job in the seventies..and quit that lush gig..and seriously. why in the heck should I have cared if some young ladies were giving the boss hum jobs in the break room to get better pay and position.. My job was simple count a few beans and make sure stock on hand matched the numbers)anyway.. I wanted to leave that retailer.. it was the worst store chain in history.. big one.. but nasty.. and was the only place I seen employees crying at the time clock. It was the best paying position I ever had though.. at that time I only there for about a year .. there was a cabinet shop that builds high end cabinets and they were just opening.. I needed to get a full time position if I was to leave that other position.. so I would apply.. then apply again.. no results.. then I got the idea.. ok go fill out the application and sit at the breakroom table to do it.. so every day I would pack a lunch run over sit out on the picnic tables and fill out an application.. and then they hired me.. the now cow workers were complaining because they couldn’t understand why I got such long breaks LOL….my initial job was to put one screw in a hole.. eight hours a day.. talked to the floor manager and told him I was interested in learning everything.. he took me under his wings and I was now a wanderer.. and pretty soon… I had memorized every part to every cabinet and could setup and mass produce in every department.
    eventually they started a program.. if you had a suggestion that they implemented that would save the company ten grand a year then you could go out to lunch with the boss at the country club. thats when the head banger idea’s started.. my suggestions were all from things like that.. you know.. bump your head and you go ouch.. bump it again and you say dang that is nasty.. the third time you say.. gosh I wish someone would do something about that.. and those were my targets.. Needless to say.. I went to lunch every month for twelve years.. my original thought was that it would show my value as an employee.. not only being the hardest working guy on the floor but also saving them actually millions over the years just from the projects that I suggested.. about seven years into my employment with them the good times the bad times.. the short shifts.. no hours long hours.. they hired a young lady that didn’t even have a high school diploma.. she was a dead shot though and joined the gun club shooting skeet.. she went from seal sander to floor manager in less than a month. the company idiot he was also a second cousin or something to the boss he became plant manager.. couldn’t even read a tape measure..LOL
    during the twelve years I was always on time worked the hardest.. then my daughter had to have surgery.. I took four hours back and they had me written up.. what for.. they went by the point system and for some reason my jury duty the first week I was employed the points for that put me over the point system.. Well a friend of mine was wanting me to learn how to drive a big rig and work hauling hazardous waste for a govt. position full time..I decided.. write me up for four hours when I work six days a week and up to fifteen hours a day.. put my notice in and left.. a couple of months later I was at the office and my now new boss.. ( who was also my best friend.. never work with your best friend as the boss never hire a friend as a boss) was at a home show and ran into my old boss.. they got talking and my old boss said.. if we had realized just how hard of a worker he was we wouldn’t have ever written him up.. seemed no one wanted to work as hard as I did and they had to hire six guys to take my place LOL.. even today.. ( well actually a couple of weeks ago I needed a chunk of really good wood to make some pencils.. ) I send someone in or walk in.. they try to get me to come back to work for them.. Most positions you need a sheet of paper on the wall.. and it doesn’t even matter if the paper is written in crayon as long as it has a big name to it..
    Now G2 and his position.. I happen to know a little something about that..
    I had to get a new doctor.. who is a drooling idiot that hates his job.. he works as a doctor in a govt. position and feels he is being robbed.. medical is short shifts and long hours.. like it or not that is the job.. the doctor see’s the 80 to 150 thousand a year gig as being short changed compared to the doctors on the outside.. what he is forgetting is doctors on the outside.. pay their staff they have to pay their school loans… their nurse’s receptionists they buy the supplies and pay three grand and up per square foot for their office space.. they do morning rounds.. spend the day at the office smiling and saying hi how are you today.. all day long.. then after that they go through and have to send out scripts for the pharmacy call in’s then they do night rounds at the hospital.. if they are associated with a hospital they have the mandatory rotating shifts. where they take their shot at weekend warrior.. so the eighty grand a year is a better deal all the way around.. anyway my doctor is in the short shift.. hiring is stalled.. mid term election and we have a govt. system where they are trying to save money..
    I had a talk with a social worker.. she works in off campus situation anyway for some ungodly reason the first thing they think is.. oh its a govt. job.. then I have to explain to them.. yes but there is a fiduciary person someplace.. a simple bean counter that is making sure you fit in the guidlines.. when one department overspends.. then portions of that department are phased out.. so you want to keep your workload standardized so they show value..
    lets say you have six people.. each makes six dollars an hour.. they have eighty people they are in charge of.. so for every week one half of an hour of your wage is calculated onto the expenses of the eighty people.. or two hours a month.. if you have six people associated with that patient then the two hours of pay per month goes onto the expenses.. the same with material..
    if that figure rises above the point where another department is designed to take it to the end.. then the ball is passed on..and one of lesser expenses is put in its place.
    some in and some out but you cannot give more than you get.. and right now govt. positions are pretty much on hold especially in the medical fields. it means longer hours more patients to see and like anyone position in the medical field short shifts and longer shifts..His position has just been put on hold.. he has the job.. they are just waiting on the bean counter to say yup go ahead.. once in.. you have a decent paying job and great benefits especially with the BIA….like the social worker and my new doctor… they don’t understand that aspect.. they assume that its a govt job and really looking at our budget.. it looks like no one is at home up there.. unfortunately there is.. and there is a bean counter sitting in some office someplace just adding and subtracting.. Now my worries are. my doctor hates his job.. ( he should have been a fry cook at shoneys. .) but it wouldn’t matter even there.. the hours are long and short shifts..

  3. curiosity has me wondering..

    Like the Elliot wave.. and other historical waves.. I wonder..

    If the historical waves on the earth that show down times of civilization..Wars or crime, of natural catastrophic events,, of satanic rituals.. all converge or bottom out at the same time..

    could that result in the end of time.. or the bottoming out and the influx of pure evil..the down cycle of civilization..
    we see these cycles and know they have credibility.. but never in history have they all happened at the same time..
    I would love to see a graph showing each of the cycles overlaid just to see if it has any merit to any other catastrophic events in history.. similar.. look at how many evil empire leaders were born on the same day.. pretty scary..

  4. Good morning George,

    Good thoughts on time gardening. One would think it would be obvious. I must protest on one small point though. You wrote “Teachers are teaching to a test score, not over-all success of students.” This is not the teacher’s choice. In many districts the thoughts and opinions of teachers are not considered, they are not even asked for and are not welcome if given. Teachers are given orders and if they do not like it then tough crap. Like so many people though they have invested so much time and money into their education and certification that they are either unwilling or unable to leave for their own well being. All of the teachers I have talked to care about the “over-all success of the students” very much. They have serious headwinds though and do the best they can in spite of it. All of the teachers I have met are genuinely good caring people, they are not to blame. Try volunteering in shop class several times a week for several years. I have. In most cases there is simply no time because of the way the student’s day is structured.

    This problem is systemic. Using your Millennial’s missing manual to illustrate my point, it would be like blaming the bakers in the kitchen for following the recipes when bad recipes and a faulty system where created by the king and implemented on penalty of death by Tom.

    Please stop ragging on teachers.

  5. George, to paraphrase you with emphasis: Even more than money, TIME can only be spent once.

    Time can earn interest just as money can. It can also be lost.

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