I could lie and say I purposefully marked my calendar to plant all the things on Earth Day, but I didn’t. It was pure happenstance working out that way.
My husband & I spent Easter with his family and my green-thumbed father-in-law gifted me with three eggplant seedlings, two cherry tomato plants and two Roma tomato plants — the perfect pairings to my basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano, mint, and lavender currently in the ground. He also gave me four teeny tiny Better Boy tomato seedlings. “I thought you might like to watch these grow,” he said. Of course, I would.
I get so impatient for planting the minute the spring sun comes out to play, but per his advice, I wait. The chance for frost dwindles after mid-April, so I do a lot of staring at my barren raised beds till then.
Obvious metaphors run through my head this time of year, crouched down over the garden, breaking through last year’s hardened soil, planting baby roots with the excitement of what they’ll produce. I think of the tides of change; like seasons, nothing is permanent. I’m reminded that the second I become rooted and stagnant, life will come along to radically shake me. But then, there’s the promise of new life, of green coming again. Repeatedly stabbing a spade into the earth recalls memories of painful life earthquakes, uprooting me from my comfort zone, but this cycle is necessary for growth.
I recently watched a speaker present a yardstick divided into two pieces: a yellow stick labeled 90% and a smaller red stick labeled 10%. He spoke in terms of our lives — often 90% of what’s in front of us is pretty okay. Amazing even! But that 10% weighs awfully heavy with the things we worry about; the things we wish to change. We are practically consumed by that 10%.
I have been thinking about this for weeks. It goes hand-in-hand with the myth of scarcity Brené Brown writes about in The Gifts of Imperfection.
“For me, and for many of us, our first waking thought of the day is ‘I didn’t get enough sleep.’ The next one is ‘ I don’t have enough time.’ Whether true or not, that thought of not enough occurs to us automatically before we even think to question or examine it. We spend most of the hours and the days of our lives hearing, explaining, or worrying about what we don’t have enough of… We don’t have enough exercise. We don’t have enough work. We don’t have enough profits. We don’t have enough power. We don’t have enough wilderness. We don’t have enough weekends. Of course, we don’t have enough money — ever.”
—Lynne Twist, The Soul of Money
Relatable? Too much.
I’ve been allowing stress to settle into my shoulders as I watch the clock count down and my work pile up. Ebbs, flows, yada yada yada. Outwardly, I shrug and say “it’s a good problem to have, I guess!” Internally, I fall for the pressure of not enough yet again.
Every. Single. Day.
But what about that 90%? It’s still there.
As I’m wrapping up my study on comparison, one of the biggest realizations was my lack of gratitude. While I’m seeing her gains as what I perceive to be my losses, I’m completely dismissing that someone else may be doing the same to me.
And I have so, so much to be grateful for: my husband and the home we’ve built, our fur-child and the laughter she brings, our business and this busy season, my garden and the lessons I’m learning from plants. It’s just the tip of the iceberg.
There are so many blooms just around the corner. Today, I’m grateful for the time it takes to watch my plants grow into what they were created to be.