A stack of rocks with a pumpkin on top.

I Lost my Pumpkin Mojo

You may have noticed that I haven’t posted as much as I normally do. Or maybe you haven’t.

I’ve lost my pumpkin mojo and I’m not too sure why. In this post I’m writing down what’s been happening, potential causes and what the future holds.

My Pumpkin Mojo Has Gone

This season my mind isn’t in it.

Usually what happens is my brain thinks about the pumpkin growing season a lot.

  • Things I can do
  • Things I can create and share
  • Events and other things

But this year, I haven’t put much thought into any of it.

Which is crazy to me. It’s not really bothering me, and I think it should be.

What Could be Causing It?

I’ve been thinking about this for a while now. Wondering what could be contributing to this change. This is what I’ve come up with.

I’ve Been Doing This for a While
I’ve grown for 14 years, and blogged and added to the website for 13 years. That’s a decent amount of time in a hobby.

On the whole it’s been a very positive experience. I’ve seen and done some cool things just by following my interest in this giant pumpkin growing idea.

Maybe it’s just a off year.

Crappy Season Start
The start of the season was OKish. I’ve had better and I’ve had worse. But the growth or lack of with the plant was a bit of a bummer to see.

But… that is my own doing. Not doing enough patch prep early on leads to the pumpkin plant not growing the best.

Maybe the seeds of this lack of Mojo were planted a while ago.

Getting Lazy
As I get older maybe I am doing less. Just in general.

I think I am being more selective of my time. Trying to do everything and rushing things isn’t good. I’ve gotten better at saying no to different things.

My time is my time. Including my holidays. I use a lot of my holidays from work for various other things.

Busy With Other Things
I’m sometimes juggling different things at the same time.

One thing that is taking up a bit of time is this new idea / project I came up with. It’s unrelated to pumpkins. But building it gives me the same good feelings I had when I started building out this website.

Once it’s built and setup I won’t need to add much to it, and my focus won’t be on building that. I’ll have to see how I go with balancing everything.

When you have a job that pays your bills and you have some spare time. You can easily get sidetracked with different ideas.

Apparently the best way to just focus on one thing. Sometimes deciding on what to focus on can be the hardest thing to work out.

The Carnival Situation

This gets it’s own section in whatever this blog post is.

But to get to what’s just happened you need some background.

When I grew my 2nd giant pumpkin I saw an ad in the local paper for a pumpkin competition. I didn’t know if there was any others happening, but I had a pumpkin and I headed along.

From that first event I somehow got asked to help out.

My idea in that early stage was to help out with things like make a website, and then hand it off to the organiser. The one person that was running this event. Who hadn’t grown pumpkins before.

The 2 of us organised the event and we had people help us out on the day. After about 6 years of that we decided to form a non profit society, with a committee. This allowed us to get more funding and made most things easier.

Becoming President
After 1 or so years of that initial setup I became the president of it. Which makes sense I guess on paper.

Thing is, it’s such a small committee I didn’t even have a vice president.

And while it’s easy enough to get people to help out on the day of the event. Getting people to be part of the committee is another story.

As a group you work with the skill set you have, make decisions as a group and organise the best event you can.

What I’ve Learned
Everyone works differently and sometimes this can cause a strain between yourself and other people. It’s very easy for me to do a lot of the tasks required, but then I am doing a lot of what is needed.

Delegate people say. How can you delegate things to people that a. don’t know how to do it or b. don’t want to learn how to do it.

It’s a tough one.

What I’ve known for a while and have only managed to form into words very recently is this.

I am not a leader.

My natural tenancy is to be a number 2 kinda person. Yeah I can sort stuff out, know how to do various things. But leading people is not my strongest quality.

The thing is, in a variety of situations from when I was younger right through to now, I am the best choice for a leadership type role. But only in that situation.

I’m much better if there is someone else in charge, working things out and saying what needs to be done.

It All Got a Bit Much
I wasn’t feeling the pumpkin Mojo at our last AGM. I should have said something then and stepped down.

I had said something a year ago to a couple of the committee members. But I don’t think they realised or understood just how this was for me.

The start of this season I was OK, like right at the start. I was going to be organised, sort stuff out and we’d have another event. Just like all of the other ones.

Things were OK. But sometimes I just hit a brick wall with how I think things should be done and how people want to do them.

I mean these people are volunteering their time, which is great. You can’t make people do things they don’t want to, and I can’t just say I will do it.

So the last meeting. I wasn’t looking forward to it. I wondered if I should go or not. Which all sounds a bit melodramatic as I type this.

But I went and I wasn’t very happy. There were things that we still needed to sort out. There were a bunch of things I was supposed to do, but hadn’t.

I said I didn’t think I could or would get the things done that needed to be done. Ideally I’d like to lighten the load and get other people to help out. But they can’t.

I wanted the event to go ahead. But without me participating, I’m not sure how it would.

This is what we need I think:

  • We need someone that is keen to step in and lead the event. They don’t need to know much. Just be organised and get people to do things in a timely manner.
  • We need people that want to learn new skills
  • We need to realise that 6 meetings over a year for a 1 day event is a bit much. We could organise almost all of it in a one month period
  • We need to leverage technology more and stop relying on stupid old ways of doing things

So with me not being keen, the committee decided to cancel the event for this year. Which is a shame.

So far I’ve heard from maybe 3 people that said they could volunteer. That’s for on the day. Not usually a problem. Not so keen on the committee side when asked.

We can’t make a decision about our event until our AGM in August. Here’s the options of how it will go moving forward:

  1. We cancel the event and disband the committee and donate the money we have on hand
  2. The event continues without me
  3. The event continues but with changes on the committee

Volunteering is Hard
There are so many things in communities run by volunteers. It’s harder and harder to get people interested to help. Things stop happening.

It’s very easy to say we need succession planning. Or certain people in certain roles. Or we just need more people. Talk is cheap, so freaking cheap.

Results and things being done is what is needed.

I’m not sure how this will pan out.

In Conclusion

Could this just be some sort of midlife crisis? Maybe.

I just know I’m not feeling the pressure of this event this year. I might just need a break and be all good later on.

It’s strange when people associate you with one thing. It might be true for them, but everyone has different facets. Sure I might be known for pumpkin stuff, but it’s not the thing that defines me.

I’m not sure about the midlife crisis thing, but what I do know is this:

  • I’m proud of what I’ve created, and I’m glad I’ve helped people in some way and got them to share the pumpkin word.
  • I’m happy with what have done with the event.
  • It’s OK if you have an off season or decided to do something else.
  • The website isn’t going anywhere.

If you’ve made it to the bottom of this, you are a legend. Thanks for reading. I just had to get this out of my head and written down.

If something doesn’t feel right, talk to someone. Don’t bottle it up.

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Barry sanns
1 year ago

It was great knowing you were always there to support us pumpkin people enjoyed the information and comments areal help wishing you all the best in every adventure you decide to take on happy days old Pal

11 months ago

Hi Sam, good to know there’s good people in the giant pumpkin scene. Wise words and well written, take care

11 months ago

Mate, Having read most of your website as I prepare for my second ever season of biggish pumpkin growing. It’s clear you have done some fantastic work and amassed a huge amount of knowledge over the years. Very kind of you to share. Fantastic resource

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