Sometimes I forget and then something comes along to help me remember.
I get caught up with work, both at my job and at my house. I get busy working on the computer or e-reading books or downloading music that I intend to listen to later, but somehow can't find the time.
And then someone will say something that brings it all back to perspective and I am reminded of who is really in control.
This happened recently when I was complaining I didn't have time for something, gardening, needlework or reading, one of those things I love to do. A friend sent me a five-word e-mail that was so simple, yet so powerful.
''Always do what you want.''
That was the entire message. I think of it often when I am working in the garden but feeling guilty that I'm not washing the kitchen floor.
So why do people garden? I've asked several gardeners whom I've interviewed or worked with over the years and have gotten many different answers, and equally as many who have no answer. Most say they garden because their parents did. It's in their blood, they tell me, usually with a chuckle and shrug.
Some say they garden because it soothes their soul, gives them peace, brings them closer to nature. Many do it to relax and others believe being in a garden is as beneficial as meditation. Still others claim a feeling of accomplishment when they stand back and look at what they have done.
Searching for peace by turning to gardening has been the choice of many backyard gardeners. Margaret Roach, former editorial director at Martha Stewart Omnimedia, did exactly that and explains it in what she calls her break-out memoir ''And I Shall Find Some Peace There.'' In the book, Roach's second following her bestseller, ''A Way to Garden,'' which also is the title of her Internet blog at www.awaytogarden.com, she describes what it was like to walk away from a hugely successful career and move to a house in upstate New York where she has made a new career out of gardening, teaching, lecturing and writing.
Reading about gardening isn't just finding how-to books that explain the method and concept of growing plants. Some of my favorite gardening books were filled with stories and essays about the reasons behind gardening, what we see in our gardens and why we do it.
One of my favorite garden writers, Allen Lacy, former garden writer for the New York Times, has written several books, mostly essays, about gardening life. He also has collaborated on several books and has edited others by authors who find peace in their gardens.
Eleanor Perenyi, author of ''Green Thoughts, A Writer in the Garden,'' turns a how-to book into an enchanting description of what it is like to work and live in a garden.
Leslie Land, food writer and gardener, captivated me with the PBS television series, ''The Three Thousand Mile Garden,'' in which she shared her experiences of gardening in Maine with British cook and horticulturalist Roger Phillips in the form of letters they wrote to each other while separated by the Atlantic Ocean. I was delighted to find out the television series was actually based on a book of the same name.
Ask yourself why you garden. Is it because you love the feel of the earth in your hands? Is it the feeling you get when you see something as tiny as a seed grow into a huge plant that can either bring you pleasure from its flowers or food for your table? Is it because you are looking for peace?
Always do what you want is what my friend wrote to me, but I have to add a few more words to the end of her phrase. Always do what you want, but do something. Plant a shrub, pull a weed, put a fresh blossom in a vase and set it on your kitchen table.
You'll find what you're looking for in the garden.