Last year, my garden was magnificent! I mean… truly a place of peace and beauty. I planted it in my darkest time and watched it bloom as I, myself, bloomed.
I had high hopes for it this year. Spent tons of time and money getting all the things planted… and then… the weather was hard on it. Too much rain some days. Too little on others. The wind too rough on my budding buddies. I let all those factors turn into excuses… combined with a ton of others I already had… and I just gave up on it. Haven’t watered it by hand in weeks. Haven’t picked the weeds. Literally just let parts of it die.
All the while, beating myself up for it. I can’t believe I let something that brought me so much joy just one year ago, wither right in front of my eyes.
A couple of days ago, I had the rare opportunity to just sit and talk with one of my favorite gal pals. I was blabbering all of this to her. How I wasn’t tending my garden. I wasn’t going to yoga. I wasn’t keeping track of my daily inspiration. I was so down on myself because I had let some pretty major things that had helped me last year, go to the wayside. She said “What are you doing instead of those things? I never see you just sitting around. So there must be something that you are doing instead.”
I had never thought about it that way. I spend a majority of the day reminding myself what I am NOT doing. I didn’t water my plants today. I didn’t go to yoga. I didn’t read my daily devotional. I didn’t drink enough water.
But I DID write a new blog post. And I DID read a few chapters in a helpful book. And I DID make a new recipe for one of my cooking columns. And I DID do the other just normal daily things.
It took her saying that for me to realize that I hadn’t just stopped doing those things because I’m a big fat loser… which is totally what I had convinced myself of. I had stopped doing those things because I had replaced them with some other things I love doing. Some other things that are also moving me in the right direction.
I’d love to get to a point where I can fit it all in. Where I can wake up in the morning and do my daily devotional, check my planner, review my brain dump, water my plants, go to yoga, write a blog post, read some of my book, cook/write/photograph a new food column… oh and also do the things I NEED to do.
Winks are what get me through. Winks are what let me know… Yes girl, yes! That is exactly the message I was trying to convey to you!
I had that convo with my girlfriend on Sunday. Evan has Lodge meeting every Monday night so I took that time alone for a little self care. I stopped working at 5pm. Put my phone down and didn’t check another email. I made myself a single serving of my favorite comfort food… tater tot casserole. I got in my bed while the sun was still up and read 6 chapters of my current favorite book. And I fell asleep long before I normally do.
This morning I woke up feeling good. Feeling less defeated. Before I even left my bedroom, the Lord gave me two hardy winks. The first one, I glanced out my window at my garden. A sight I have tried to avoid these days… and saw this beauty. My Texas Star Hibiscus had bloomed. All on its own. Without me doing anything. My neglect hadn’t affected it one bit. It’s strong, bold, beautiful, resilient white blooms fluttered in the breeze. I could see details from my window! I was so excited I even let out a little yelp. And then I looked up and gave thanks!
The second one, after brushing my teeth and doing all my normal things. I caught a glimpse of my daily inspirational calendar… shoved up against the counter. Another thing I’d tried to avoid since I hadn’t been diligent with reading it. I pulled it out and sat down to read. It’s one of those sandwich board type calendars that you flip each day. Part of the year is on one side and then about half way through you reach the last page and turn the whole thing around to flip through the remainder of the year. I let the negative get me for one second as I realized I hadn’t read it in so long that it was already time to turn it around.
Well, guess what? When I turned it around it was on July 9. Guess what today is? July 9. Again, my calendar was there. Ready for me when I was ready. Set on that date for me to read. To catch up. To pick up where I had left off.
I went into this whole website launch, food writing venture and book reading goals with the motto of “picking up where I left off”. What I hadn’t imagined is that I’d have to set down a few other important things to pick those things up. I also hadn’t imagined that those things are right where I left them. Being held until I can reach out and grab them again. Those things aren’t mad at me. They aren’t disappointed. They don’t think I’m doing a bad job! They’re are just chillin.
Again, I hope, one day… I’ll be able to do them all. I’ll find a way to make it all work. But until then, I’m going to take these winks and these meaningful conversations and these good days as a sign that I’m doing the right thing.
And I’m going to do as my dad always said and… “keep on keeping on”.