Where to Start?

youth, summer jobIn my youth, I earned spending money in the summer by picking strawberries and raspberries. How much I earned depended on the weight of berries I picked.

Most of the times, the rows I picked on were assigned and I had to take the next one available. When I did have the opportunity to choose, I would look for the one I could easily see the most fruit on. I figured that would enable me to add more weight to my basket for the same effort.

Looking for the best place to start didn’t always work in my favour. I often looked over with envy at the row beside me where it seemed plants had an abundance of hidden fruit.

The lesson I learned was to stop wasting time looking for something better. If I wanted to meet my goal, I had to just get started.

Many years later, this lesson still holds value – when I remember it. I shudder to think of the time I’ve wasted, looking for more advantageous starting places. How many projects have been abandoned because I didn’t find the perfect time or place to get going on them? How many opportunities lost?

On the other hand, when I have decided to put my mind to it and just do it, I’ve found unexpected hidden fruit along the way. These treasures would still be undiscovered if I’d waited for the elusive “perfect opportunity.”

I’ve taken a leap of faith into a few projects lately and can speak from experience. When looking for a place to start, it doesn’t get any better than right where you are.

How Does Your Garden Grow?

flowers, beauty“Your garden is beautiful,” I told her. “People tell me that,” she replied. “But I think they’re just being nice. When I look at it, I see areas that need more mulch and it’s definitely overdue for a weeding.”

Her front yard was a riot of colour from all the flowers in bloom. The peonies alone were spectacular!

This woman was focusing on a few flaws and missed the colourful display everyone else saw.

I realized that most of us, myself included, do the same with our lives. It is difficult for us to accept a compliment because we are always thinking of our less than perfect aspects. We try desperately to hide the weeds in our lives. “Don’t look too closely,” we think.

Another friend and I had recently had a discussion about the need to celebrate our accomplishments rather than focus on what didn’t go according to plan.

In essence, we tend to neglect the flowers and tend to the weeds. There is something very wrong with this picture.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying to let our weeds grow strong and tall. They need to be kept under control, just not at the expense of enjoying life’s fragrant blooms.

I’ve had a productive couple of days and choose to celebrate by spending time with a cold drink and a good book. What are you doing to cultivate the garden of your life?

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