I stopped in a home improvement store earlier today for stain swatches and potentially new plants. I always cruise the plant clearance section first because this particular store always discounts plants that are still in okay enough condition that they can be planted or cared for and I see results. I may have to work harder to cultivate them but regardless, they blossom year after year. I started to make a little game of it. I also noticed how much money I’ve saved not buying these plants and flowers at retail prices. That’s always a win.
While I was planting the roses I bought earlier today, I started thinking about my recent green thumb. In the past 2 years, I’ve started to get into caring for plants, gardening, and landscaping. It started out as curiosity and has turned into a hobby that is part of my life. I find it incredibly therapeutic. I have plants at work, indoor plants, and outdoor plants. I specifically love succulents. If I lived in a dryer and hotter climate, I’d have a succulent garden. I love everything about them. The fact that they take forever to grow. They can survive on low amounts of water. The fact that they love to sunbathe in the heat. Some days, I feel like I’m a succulent stuck in a moody temperatured climate praying for a desert lifestyle.
With all the unexpected free time this current climate has afforded me, I have been doing a lot of thinking about what I’ve been focusing on. Usually, the things we surround ourselves with stem from something we’re either missing or craving from our subconscious. That’s my informal non-medical opinion anyway. I came to the conclusion that my sudden (or what seems sudden to me) passion for plant care stems from what I feel like I can control in some small way. My direct efforts realized in whether these plants survive or not. I know in other parts of my life things have felt like they are rocketing along and changing at every turn for the past few years. It’s very unsettling for someone who craves order and consistency. What I used to find comfort in has either left my life or pulled itself away to the point I feel like I’m spiraling sometimes. For lack of a better phrase: It sucks. A lot.
I have taken steps to find new routines to help keep my life in order and other routines to keep me distracted and given me a soft place to land after a long day, week, or month. That’s where the plants have come into play so far in my life. It’s been a positive solution to the aforementioned spiraling. My long term goals for dealing with creating spaces of peace for myself include moving back to the west coast. I’ve come to the realization that a lot of my depressive moods stem from not fitting in where I currently live. Not feeling comfortable. Not feeling like you belong. A lot of this contributes directly to how I feel on a daily basis. I know it causes me to make bad choices, bad decisions, bad thinking because I’m not happy. That’s the bottom line for me. I’m settling for things and ideals that aren’t me. They aren’t setting fire to my self esteem or my goals. They’re not setting fire to my creativity either.
This current quarantine has caused a lot of self reflection for me and forced me to take stock of everything surrounding me and in me. I’m thankful for all that I’ve encountered and lessons learned even though they’re painful. I’m thankful to be able to be able to see them for what they are and consider them blessings disguised as growth. It’s tough to let your guard down and be vulnerable. It’s not easy for most people to say what’s in their heart. A lot of the time we hold on so tightly to our feelings and emotions that we don’t realize we are only hurting ourselves. There really is freedom in letting go and accepting things for what they are.
With as much love as we give other people, don’t forget to include yourself in all of that love. Don’t forget to forgive yourself of your own shortcomings. Don’t forget to forgive others of theirs.
So, I will keep on gardening and discover my peace and passions through the mystery that’s called life. I will continue to love those fiercely that have been in my life since the beginning of time. I will also continue to love myself for the work in progress I am, never forgetting to take things one day at a time.