I am not a gardener. Any house I’ve lived in where I was responsible for a garden, turned into a bit of a disaster. It became necessary to bring in a professional to clean up the overun lawns, weeds and various other things that turn crazy. The few times I have put on the cutest pair of gardening gloves (serious impulse buy!) and spent hours on my knees in the dirt pulling up everything cos I couldn’t tell what were weeds or actual plants – gave me great insight into my own life.
I’m not a good gardener.
If you’ve been around anywhere, surely you’ve heard people compare life to a garden. Sometimes, actually.. quite often, you need to get down in the dirt and do some weeding. Sometimes, you have a dry season and some plants start dying and you realise you need to water everyday. Like physically water everday. Sometimes you have natural rain and so the garden is extra nutrient. Do you see where I’m going here?
I’m a bad life gardener. I obviously planted a lot of “low maintenance” plants into my own life and as such, have convinced myself that my life needs very little maintenance. While that is sort of true – I’ve definitely neglected my life lately. I’ve taken on too many things, filled my life with this and that and now my life garden is kind of overun. I got lost in it and now I’m tripping over vines and the shrubbery is pretty out of control. You might not know this because my garden is only at the back of my house. No one really knows unless they step out on the back patio (or take a look at the inside of my car) and they notice what a mess it is. I’ve got a bit of a Secret Garden situation going on. Except my Secret Garden is definitely like the first part of the movie where it’s all messy.
Maybe, like me, you can’t tell what is a weed and what is a valuable plant. I have many things in my life that seem like positives – but they are actually really subtly unhealthy. They are killing off unnecessary things. Did you know that some weeds actually look pretty? They have flowers and everything and are so deceptive that you want to leave them there. DON’T. Ask a professional gardener and say ‘Is this actually a plant, or is it a weed disguising itself as a plant?’.
Sometimes lawn maintenance is long term. Like you can’t just hack away at a plant and hope you got all the bad stuff. I think when I weed, I just cut off what I can see. Nope – ever heard of roots? Same goes in your life garden. When you start on a weed, you have to keep going til you get all of it. Otherwise there is no point – you just broke your back and got dirt in your fingernails for no reason. The weed is still there and it will still come back and bite you.
Do you get what I’m saying? Did I overload you with metaphors? Maybe you can look past the random style of this blog post and comprehend the crazy thoughts inside my head.
I’m saying all this because maybe you need to do some gardening. I’m saying it because maybe you actually have never heard of the garden/life metaphor before and it’s all new and enlightening. I’m saying all this because humans are bad at maintenance and we only fix a problem when it’s really really broken.
Assess. Weed. Stick it out. Keep weeding. Plant new healthy plants. Water. Maintain.