Some people say expectations set us up for disappointment. But as a gardener I say, “I must have expectations for the fruits of my labor. Otherwise, why would I plant?” And more often than not, the final product — of abundant produceandbeautiful blooms — farexceeds my expectations.
Still, sometimes plant wilt. Sometimes they become diseased. Sometimes it’s excessive heat or too little rain that hinders the intended outcome. But, while there is no guarantee, the end result is more true for plants than people.
How do you handle expectations? Do you allow them to create a vision? Do you have a blank slate, throw your hands up in the air and accept whatever comes? Do you reserve expectations only for plant life or allow them to carry over to relationships?
No surprise to me, this inspirational sentiment about a garden’s virtues. What is surprising though, is that it was written by the Persian poet Saadi who lived more than 700 years ago. Can you imagine the beauty he beheld then, before industry dominated our planet? If I find a garden breathtaking now, I wonder what it was like for Saadi to see? Could it have been even more beautiful…more uplifting, more astonishing than the way it fills my heart now?
Reading a snippet about feeling awkward around kids reaffirmed there is nothing wrong with those who feel uncomfortable around children. Perhaps you have no experience with kids. Does your gut groan around pre-adolescents…looking for what to say? Have you purposely chosen to not father children but instead protectively care for plants, pets, or a project benefiting the planet?
Rather than judge or condemn, I respect those who live authentically. One size does not fit all. We are not meant to be experts at everything; some are better at some things than others, and sustaining that diversity honors all life. I respect individuality but believe all of us need nurturing in whatever form it may be as evidenced by Ralph Waldo Emerson‘s sentiments:
My joy is in a serene garden and when helping others. Over three decades, I have created three-season flowering gardens, beautiful landscaping for the natural environment, and deliciously fresh organic vegetables and herbs. It’s hard to say who was more nurtured in these activities — the plants or me — but, assuredly, the benefits were far-reaching.
Death is not so permanent as one might think. When contemplating compost, you more fully understand the cycle of life. Fruits and vegetables provide nutrition to us. Flowers offer beauty. When their peelings, parings, stems and leaves are tossed into the bin to decompose, in time they become nutrition for the soil. Black gold I like to call it.
This rich compost continues nurturing us by transforming the soil to produce nutritious fruits and vegetables, and flowers to soar the spirit.
And so the cycle of life continues. Quite simple, really. Nature shows us how. So what is all the fear about?
I do not understand the language of texting, or bar codes containing paragraphs of information. I do not understand how people do not know how to count change, what their own phone number is, or how communication and society have morphed into a world of antonyms.
Words such as cooperation, negotiation, impartial, conversation, politeness, and respect are no longer understood. They have become foreign concepts in this foreign land I no longer understand.
“Customer” service now means self service.
A “doctor” visit means getting a prescription.
“Friendships” have become 1,000 or 100 strangers I don’t really know.
“Conversation” was an informal exchange of ideas but often appears as a one-sided dump.
Once upon a time a “debate” meant a public discussion of opposing arguments on a particular topic. Today it is who can interrupt the most and shout the loudest slander.
Microwaving a prepared meal is called “cooking.”
“Excuse me” has fallen to the wayside for immediate interruption or unacknowledged bumping into.
Here you go replaced “thank you.”
Intimidating hurtfultrolls lurk on “social” media.
“Personal responsibility” now looks like lawsuits and blame.
Family time means individual members sitting next to each other staring into screens.
“Unbiased journalism” is dead. Infomercials disguised as articles, and fake news abound.
Health “care” is really the health industry.
“Public” servants are politicians passing legislation written bylobbyists.
Marketing is the sugar-coated word for lies. Companies tout their products to take my money yet when I attempt to get help for the “failed product” it is usually in the Philippines, Dubai or any other place I can barely understand the instruction to fix the problem for the “inferior product” that was advertised as “the world’s best” that I now wish I hadn’t purchased.
My telephone landline use to bring news from friends or family. Now, I cannot answer it for fear of telemarketers and scammers breaking into my home.
The tech industry told us they were making our lives simpler, less complicated, paperless, and more convenient when in truth our lives are more complicated, more disrupted, more vulnerable and disconnected, and I pay to discard more junk mail than food or household waste.
I do not recognize what I was taught in school. Like being an American meant I was free and there was liberty and justice for all when in actuality my government sold out my rights to self-serving corporations.
America has turned topsy-turvy, upside down into a country of antonyms. I am native to this foreign land where nothing is as it’s purported.
My dictionary indicates virtual reality is “not physically existing but made by software to appear to do so.” As far as I’m concerned it’s based on a book of antonyms. I’m not ready to discard my dictionary and thesaurus for a new reality. I prefer to call it what it really is while I still have the mindset to know what it really is.
Reality – “the world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.”
…with the key thrown away — my choice, that is. I use to think if I made a choice I had to live with it — that there was no turning back. That if I changed my mind it meant I was inferior. That if I selected one thing, that that was that and that was the end of of it. Which often meant it was the end of me. At least until I learned, shall I say, that I could restart. Make a new choice. And if that didn’t fit well, make another choice. And another if need be. Of course changing my mind rarely happens but how freeing to know I have not sealed my life off in stone.
Have you ever had that Twilight Zone feeling, like when the phone rings and an inner voice says, “Don’t answer it,” only to ignore the warning and have that phone call forever change your life? I did. And it wasn’t for the best. Two years later I was still recouping my life yet it would never be the same again. And I’ve never forgotten that twinge of a haunting feeling.
Every premonition I’ve ever had gave me that familiarly eerie, back-of-the-neck hair raising, uneasy feeling that is too strong to dismiss. And even if I mistakenly try to turn away, my reality is pin-pricked deep within because I innately know the premonition rings true. It’s a forecast of what is to come.
Is it an angel giving me this information? Divine guidance? Past life, inner wisdom, or fate ingrained in my DNA? I’ve stopped guessing the source. It just is. Pay attention. Think twice. Be grateful for the information and heed it.
via Daily Prompt: Premonition”
A young friend, who is a talented musician and new father, shared his disappointing Christmas with me. When asking his brother if he would like to hear the latest song he recorded, his brother’s response was, “Sorry man. I can’t. I have 10 seconds until the tournament starts.”
My friend then revealed to me that his brother is addicted to gaming. “He’s usually stockpiled in his room, stacking empty dishes of food my mother brought him because he can’t tear himself away from the game. I’ve told him he’s disgusting, often not showering for three days,” my friend said. I shudder in the realization that this technology problem is much bigger than I surmised and a grave concern to what we are doing to our society. Isn’t the opiod crisis enough?
My young friend continued, “You remember Jack at my wedding? We use to talk on my drive home from work and had big plans for recording together. Then he told me he bought a gaming system and wanted me to get one too. He doesn’t return my calls anymore. He won’t even pick up the phone. I know he’s addicted to gaming too.”
My friend, at age 30 is already a wise old soul. I was proud of him when he announced he gave up his cell phone because he was texting while driving. And when he fired the babysitter because she placed an I-phone in his infant’s hands, I felt more pleased. “I want my son to experience life,” he said. “I want to take him cross country to see the beauty of the land and meet different people.”
I then shared with him a startling conversation I had with my older and over-weight brother in-law during the holidays. His wife (an I-phone and Candy Crush addict) proudly told me she could start her oven with her I-phone. “Why would you want to?” I asked. My brother in-laws response? “So you don’t have to get off the couch.” I felt stunned. We already have an obesity problem in America and now technology is helping people stay inactive, indoors and isolated. What are we doing?
I understand gaming rehabs are some of the most expensive and that a gaming addiction is as difficult to treat as bulimia. Drug rehabs are big business and a revolving door of profits. When will humans wake up to realize they are giving up free thought and subsequent health under the guise of convenience but the truth of corporate profit?
Addictions — whether drugs, technology, gambling, food, shopping, etc. — would doubtfully be so overwhelming if people tempered their device with the wisdom and beauty of Nature. Nature is free and it’s everywhere, reliably standing by, willing to offer peace and insights for living life. Take a hike. Plant a garden with your child. Walk the dog and say hi to the neighbors. Get off the couch to cut your own grass, and turn on the oven yourself.
Are you not feeling well? I’m wondering if you’re going through “the change” offering an unsettling summer and surprising autumn. And how ’bout the Nor’easter that cancelled St. Patty’s Day parades earlier this year?
Was it night sweats or hot flashes that made our summer uncharacteristically rainy and humid? Or when you swooshed 81 degree night air through my moon roof late September, and 70 degree temps on Manhattan’s sidewalks the first week of November that plummeted to 20 degrees only days later?
Generations debated your behavior for over 200 years and I’m just as perplexed. Legions of soft leaves fell to the ground this summer amidst dizzying dog day temps. Itchy allergy season never ceased. Cucumber plants still loaded with blossoms in October bore no fruit, and tomatoes waited til autumn to ripen this year. Harvest was askew. Were you tired and sleeping late?
I understand if anxiety and depression are over-shadowing your concentration. It’s heartbreaking to watch people cast you aside like a battered wife while others honor and try to protect you. Perhaps your irritability is simply fighting back the only way you know how — launching hurricanes, earthquakes, fires and floods, one right after the other.
It may comfort you to know your panic attacks are gaining attention. A recent Washington Post-ABC News poll reported that weather tragedies recruited more believers in climate change.
Contemplating the paradox of pink roses with fallen pine needles and burgundy hardy mums, I wonder if you’ve misplaced your date book…are the changing seasons of my homeland lost with your youth — and mine?
Decades ago, I grew up with four distinctive seasons. Spring was spring; flowers bloomed, birds chirped, lighter coats replaced heavy wool. Summer felt hot; fans whirred and fireflies dotted nighttime skies. Walking on crunchy leaves in crisp autumn mornings transformed to warming hands around glowing bonfires. Winter’s beauty was in its starkness and alluring silence from newly fallen snow. Those were my reliable seasons until your mood swings took control. If you’re going to go through “the change,” do you think you could relax into year-round, sunny blue skies and 70 degree temps?
Are you observing changes in your own environment, like erratic temperatures this year? What do you think is happening with Mother Nature?