Happy May Day! The month of May is such a special month. It’s a month of celebrations, a month of moving on, a month of closing chapters and opening new doors. It seems only fitting that Mother Nature has provided the canvas to help us celebrate these life milestones.
As the snow melts (and fingers crossed there will be no more snow for those of you in the Midwest and Northeast!) we see plants and flowers come to life. It’s a beautiful reminder that no matter what storms we have endured in our past, as the rains cease and the sun shines, we still have many days ahead to flourish.
Taking cue from the plant kingdom has always provided me with great insight. As the weather warms, we get to see which plants endured the harsh winter and which ones didn’t. Before any new plants can be introduced into our garden its vital to remove debris and the plants that didn’t make it.
This reminds me to evaluate where I’m at with my life. As another year of school comes to an end, one kid off to college in August, what debris do I need to remove? What hasn’t flourished in my life and is it time to let go?
This past year has been a big year for me cleaning up the debris. Personally, I’ve worked on giving up some poor eating habits (who hasn’t had to work on this at one point or another in their life?). I’ve reorganized some business ventures to streamline my time and resources. But most important, I’ve recognized some personal fears that have prevented me from branching out and pursuing new opportunities. One of the biggest fears that I keep working on is perception. If I put myself out there, how will people judge me? I attended a great conference a little over a month ago and I was reminded that in order to grow we need to be uncomfortable. After hearing this, I realized I could keep living with my fears, or I could throw them in the garbage just like I threw away the debris from my garden. Eliminating some of my fears made it ok to be uncomfortable and take the next step.
Once I cleared the debris from my garden, I was ready to work on the soil. Before planting it’s vital to add amendments to the soil. The soil has been covered for months deprived of nutrients or leeched out from heavy rains. Again, this got me thinking about what I needed to add to my life that would enhance the landscape I’m creating for my future.
One of the first things I added goes along with what I gave up. As I mentioned above, I gave up some poor eating habits, but now I had to work on introducing good habits into my daily routine. Running all over the place in the evening, sometimes during the dinner hour, isn’t always conducive to a great meal, but it’s an area I’ve targeted as needing to improve on. With better meal planning and meal prep it’s getting easier.
Once I’ve prepared the soil, it’s time to think about what plants I want. But, before I go out and buy any new plants, I need to spend some time determining the space I have to work with. How much shade or full sun do I get in certain areas? If I plant Hosta’s in the full sun they won’t last very long. The same attention needs to be given as I think about the next few months of my life. With summer approaching and all the kids off school I need to be realistic about my time. Yet, it doesn’t mean I have to wait until August before I take any steps to create the landscape I want. Quite the contrary. NOW is the time to start planning. NOW is time to think about which ideas I want to plant and nurture. During this planning stage anything is possible, and I encourage you to dream big! It’s YOUR landscape.
Finally, with the seeds planted I’ve made a commitment to take care of my garden. If I don’t the results will be that nothing grows. For myself, I’ve made the same commitment. I need to continue to take care of myself, get uncomfortable, take risks and trust I WILL grow, and I WILL have a landscape that I love and appreciate for the rest of my life.
I hope you create the landscape of your dreams.
P.S. The picture above is the garden outside Kensington Palace. It’s meticulously cared for and absolutely beautiful!