The Edger: Making Space for the Life You Want to Create

Happy October, friends. Today we’re welcoming Kelly Welk, from CiderPress Lane to NW Healthy Mama. Kelly is a dreamer, adventurer, wife and mother to 3 kids. She loves creating meals for family and friends, digging in the garden, hosting events, reading, refurbishing old vintage finds, fiddling with flowers, taking photos and exploring outside. Join her as she talks about the freedom in saying “no” and creating the space for the  things you want to say “yes” to in your life.

kelly welk Digging in the dirt inspires me. Sometimes I stare at the plants and think how in the world did this amazing beauty come from a simple little seed, plants that fill our house with flowers and food and flavor. I know people think you learn everything you need to know in kindergarten, but I think you learn about life from gardening. Luckily for me, there is a lot of gardening to be done.

before & after pic 1 Our garden is a continual work of art. There is one bed in particular that we’ve been working on since we moved into CiderPress Lane (read – WORK IN PROGRESS). It started off as a huge overgrown wall of juniper, boxwood and holly. Now we’re onto the fine tuning, meaning now I’m actually digging a border for the poor bed. I’m pretty sure the grass thought it was welcome to the party. As I was digging away, ripping up loads of sod, it hit me. The border defines so much more than simply where the bed begins. Borders define what is allowed in this space, what stays out, how big the plants can grow, how far they can expand. Borders are essential, not just in the garden but in life!

It’s a new season for us. Not just because it’s changing from summer to fall. This new season we’re in has fresh eyes and responsibilities, new goals and desires. The garden border got me thinking about our borders for our family, for all that I say yes to, but even more about the things that get my ‘no’. If you’re like me it’s hard to say no. I either think too highly of myself, or in my disillusionment I actually believe I have more than 24 hours in the day. Either way, my mouth starts forming the word yes before my brain can scream, what are you thinking…you don’t have time for that! I just feel so honored that folks would want me involved and of course I can make more food, or meet up for coffee, or run another mile, or sew a sweater (i don’t sew) or be completely ridiculous and fill my days with projects so I don’t have time to even drink the coffee or actually run the mile or realize I still don’t sew. You think I’m exaggerating, but then again…maybe I’m not.

border pic 2That’s where the border comes in. Oh, this border is SO important! The definition it creates is freeing. The border isn’t an electric fence to hem you in, it’s a boundary to help you define your YES. When our kids were babies there were times it felt like an electric fence, the only thing I could say yes to was taking care of them…that felt heavy to me, but also incredibly clear. I knew that I could only take care of these 3 sweet babies : nothing else. Now they’re older and more capable and the border can get seriously clouded and hazy unless I dig it deep and firm.

The question is what do you want to say YES to. Don’t start with the no’s, that might leave you depressed and seriously regretting this exercise. You must start with the Yes’s. When you know the life you want to create, the life you want to say YES to it’s a whole lot easier to say no.

I’ll be transparent, I want to say…
Yes to myself : yep this is going first…you can balk and point fingers it’s okay, I’m saying yes to myself…to running, pilates, coffee and time for myself  
Yes to my husband : dates and space for us to connect and be creative together 
Yes to our kids : school trips, art classes, piano lessons, trips to Y, exploring together 
Yes to building my business : new clients, time to create, time for the nitty-gritty
Yes to our home : gardens, canning, painting, refurbishing
Yes to dinners at ciderpress lane : these dinners are a blog post in itself…they give freedom to me, to our community and to those caught in human trafficking
Yes to friends : I’m sorry friends that you are at the bottom of my list???? Ouch, I know, but this is life right now. This is this season, this flower bed. Want to join me as I work out, or garden or cook…please do.

grass pic 3 Every flower bed is different, they hold different plants. The sun hits them different. They have different needs and requirements. This flowerbed that I’m building right now is unique to this season which means the borders are different. I’m releasing myself from any expectations that it will be like last season and allowing myself freedom to create something new.

Don’t you just love the Yes’s though! Let’s get back to the YES’S. Right now my yes’s are creating deep connection in my community, a new found love for who I am (a late 30’s mom, aspiring designer & creator, aspiring chef, gardener, abolitionist, runner…yes runner is at the bottom of the list because in this season I walk more than I run…did I mention ASPIRING).

What are your YES’S creating in your life? There’s a lot I want to say Yes to, but it doesn’t all fit. There are days where I have to go back and stare at the border and remind myself why we dug it where we did. Remember why we set it, what it frees us up to do. The border gives you permission to say no; to grass, weeds, new plants that don’t fit or one that just won’t work in this flower bed. My border defines my yes’s and gives me permission to say no…IT’S OKAY TO SAY NO.

I’m writing that bold and big, because I want you to feel the freedom to be bold in digging your border deep and strong around your life. I tell our kids almost everyday that it’s so lovely that we are all different. But then I realize, our human spirit doesn’t embrace different. We innately feel a deep need to fit in, to be like everyone else. So listen up sweet soul, open your ears and heart and hear me clearly : You were designed to be different. Give yourself the freedom to shut off the world of voices around you and write down your dream life and desires. I’m sure they are very different from mine, which is PERFECT. Your design is fascinating and lovely.

edger pic 4Now get your edging wedge out and start digging, start defining yourself, your life, your family, your season. Have you seen the edging tool? It’s strong and straight. It defines clearly and gives you a great place to start from, even if it’s just one corner of your flower bed.

What are you saying yes to this fall?

To learn more about CiderPress Lane or to schedule an event there, visit their website, Facebook page or follow Kelly on Instagram. A portion of all proceeds are donated to Rescue : Freedom International, a Seattle based organization that is fighting to end Human Trafficking. How cool is that? 

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About Angela Strand

Angela is a wife, mama to three little ones and a lifelong Washington State resident. Besides facilitating the NW Healthy Mama website, she loves being involved in her kids' school, hiking with her girlfriends, growing all the things, writing, reading and taking photos.

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