Friday, May 22, 2015

Happy Friday

Hi all… I am SO HAPPY that it is Friday and the beginning of a 3-day holiday weekend here in the US. It has been a very long week and I have been running on fumes for nearly 2 weeks now. I’m not sure this weekend will be one of rest and relaxation because a large number of my family members will be coming up north to Pip’s place for the first ‘unofficial” weekend of the summer. There will be a lot of activity and it will be good to see my family, but I’ll likely be busy on my garden projects a good portion of the weekend, and perhaps a little “garage saling!”


I spent most of last weekend planting multiple flats of annuals and vegetables and so far I have had to cover them up the past THREE nights due to very cold temperatures and frost. Tonight is another one of those nights. In spite of my best efforts, I lost quite a few plants and nearly the entire flat of zinnias and the 4 baskets of  containing a different variety of them. Even covered up, the zinnias just couldn’t take the cold. So far, only ONE of my watermelon plants survived, so you can be sure I’ll be planting more of them!


Earlier this week I wrote about how my gardening mirrors my journey and sometimes, even in spite of my best efforts, I am not always successful. Sometimes it happens when dealing with family members or friends and conversations don’t go as i hoped they would and conflicts/misunderstandings happen.  Sometimes it happens in nature, with plants or trees….or baby birds I try to save when they fall out of the nest….or stray animals that land on our doorstep. Sometimes it happens in our personal journey to wellness and we have ‘slip up’s or fall off the wagon….in spite of any precautions we put in place.  We must realize that we are not ALWAYS going to get the outcome we hope for in EVERY situation or reach every goal we set….but that does not mean we are NOT SUCCESSFUL.  In simply means, we need to try something else.  Being successful doesn’t always have to be measured in OUTCOME; it can be measured by what happens on the inside…on the changes that happen during the process; the changes in our thinking and habits.


And so… I was out in the pre-dawn hours this morning pulling the tarps and sheets off my plants….shivering in the process…. I could feel myself becoming agitated when I noticed pot after pot with shriveled up leaves, and yet another dead goldfish in the pond.  I wanted to mutter about how stupid the weather was; how ridiculous it is to be 31 degrees on Memorial Day weekend; how dumb I was to spend so much money and time on plants that didn’t even last a week….and so forth. BUT…there was nobody there to listen to my ranting, so what was the use?  After all, I was the one who planted everything so early, knowing that I live in northern Michigan and we often get frost this time of year.  I was the one who insisted on getting the goldfish last weekend, knowing it would likely be too cold for them. I was the one who hastily covered the gardens and didn’t take the time to secure the covers with rocks to prevent them from blowing off.  ME… THERESA….And so….really, what was the use of being crabby or negative?  Oftentimes….but not ALWAYS…..we play a role in the negative outcomes of our endeavors…or at least have to accept a small amount of responsibility.


So….instead of letting it ruin my day, I went back inside and poured another cup of coffee and began to remember all the joy I got in the past few weeks waiting and planning for planting day.  It was so therapeutic for me to shop and choose this year’s flowers; to design the pots; to actually play in the dirt, and to feel the sun on my body after a long, cold winter.   A little frost can’t take that away or the joy I got and continue to get from gardening.  In fact, it just means I’ll get to do it again when I replace some of the flowers I lost!  I enjoyed the process…and even though I had a little set-back this week, the plants will rebound and the gardens will grow and prosper in a few weeks. (Hear that Mother Nature?  LOL)


I try to live with this same principle every day in many areas of my personal journey. While things didn’t work out as I had hoped to in my personal life in recent months, they worked out exactly how God intended them to and rather than being negative about things, I have chosen to remember the good, the joy and the fun experiences I had, and like the frost-nipped begonias who will recover in time, I have rebounded and am peaceful and happy as I work to rebuild the long-term relationship I ended several months back. Sometimes things happen in our lives and we have to “replant’ and do things differently in the future. 


Many times along the way in my journey to wellness, I have had to stop and regroup after a plateau or a few weeks of struggle. I had to remind myself to “enjoy the journey”….to rejoice in the process of change and not focus so much on the end.  We are all going to experience set-backs as we strive to change. We are going to have slip-ups; we are going to give in to temptations; we are going to want to quit….but we must keep trying. We can’t give up just because of a little bad day, any more than I can just throw all my frost nipped planters away.  Life happens; setbacks happen; illness happens; arguments…..tragedy…..disappointment……heartbreak……FROST…..happens, and there is often very little we can do to ward it away.  We can be warned about it….sometimes…..and we can take preventative measures (how about this weekend?  What are you planning to do to stay on track when you go to that family picnic or graduation party?)  We can try our best to minimize the damage or negative effects of our situations, but, even then, sometimes we just are not going to get the results we want. No matter what we do, sometimes people die. No matter how hard we try, sometimes we don’t  get the job we want or pass the test we take. No matter how good a person we try to be, sometimes we get bad news from the doctor, and even we when do EVERYTHING right, stay on track with our eating, get exercise, and follow the plan….sometimes the scale doesn’t move in the right directions.  BUT….we can’t just give up and allow negative thinking to control us…we have to just ‘regroup” and get back in the game, and keep trying. 


It is yet to be determined just how much stuff I’ll have to replant after tonight’s frost….but….so be it.  I’ll just get some more flowers and try again.  You might have to start all over from scratch in your personal journey too…or in your relationships….or after a death/illness/break-up/ whatever…..but it’s all part of the process.  Don’t just stay stagnate and negative. Pick yourself back up and start all over again!


Try to have some fun this weekend…..and be safe on the roads. The traffic heading north in Michigan will be very heavy.