I wrote this with relationships in mind, but I feel like it applies to probably every other area of life, too.
I think that there’s something to be said about staying the course. So much of today’s life has a heavy influence on letting go of what is no longer serving you – I’m about that life – but what if something that is already yours… can be seen in a new light? Before you’re so quick to just assume that you need to move on to something better and newer?
I’ve heard it explained as “the gardener & consumer mentality.”
A consumer goes to Home Depot, purchases a nice tree, brings it home & plants it in the back yard. A few days later, sipping their matcha latte, leaning up against the kitchen sink, they gaze out into the back yard and see their tree… dying. It looks unwell. The leaves are turning crispy and brown on the edges and its all sorts of droopy.
What’s the first thing this consumer thinks? I GOT A BAD ONE.
A bad tree.
Home Depot – you f*cking suck. How could you sell me a bad tree?!
Cue – a trip back to Home Depot to return it for ANOTHER ONE…. A BETTER ONE.
Same scenario from a gardener’s point of view:
Leaning over the kitchen sink sipping a… let’s make it a bullet coffee this time… Sipping a bullet coffee and glances out the window into the back yard to see their tree… dying.
What does the gardener do? Goes to the back yard to tend to their tree. They fix it up, shift some things around, give it some love, attention & time.
Never once do they think about taking the tree back. To them – it’s not broken. It wasn’t a misunderstanding or a bad purchase. It just needs some attention and it will surely be as good as new again.
Which are you? The consumer or the gardener? Are you quick to say “I just got a bad one?” Really unwilling to stay the course in your job because you believe that you were gipped & given a bad deal. Really unwilling to do what it takes to make a marriage or a relationship work because you’re under the impression that you’ve gotten a bad one? You made a wrong choice? You went for the knock-off brand option and are immediately regretting it?
Maybe the one that was returned back to the store. The packaging crumpled and awkward like someone carelessly tried to re-package.
I get it – it’s disheartening to look out into the backyard of your life one day and realize that the thing you used to be really excited about is now dying. It sucks. And I know the easier thing to do (usually) is to take it back. Replace it with one that is surely not going to break, die, disappoint.
But what if everything that you ever wanted was on the other side of some tender love & care? On the other side of devoting just an ounce of your energy into fixing what is already yours? Making it work for you or with you, not against you.
Older generations are celebrating 50 or 60 years of a beautiful marriage because they saw their relationships in the same way they saw their toaster… If it was broken, they fixed it. They didn’t rush out to buy a brand new one. They treasured what was already theirs and were slow (very slow) to replace.
There is absolutely a time & place to move on. To let go of what is no longer serving you. To distance yourself from what is dying and not helping you to grow. But try to make sure that you’ve soaked all of the growth out of the thing that is dying before you decide to call it quits.
It’s so important to avoid buyer’s remorse at all costs. Remember this – you have always and will always make the very best decision that you could have/can at the time. There is no regret. There is only that version of yourself making the best choice. That’s it.
No more “I got a bad one”
You got the best one. For you. For that season of your life. For wherever you were at in your life.
What if life didn’t have a refund policy? What if you had to adopt the gardener mindset?
Would your life feel more valuable and richer? Because you had to take care of the areas of your life that belong to you? Tend to your fields, reap your own harvest?
Could it be true that more and more people are being diagnosed with mania or depression or anxiety because they don’t have anything to up-keep or maintain? No real reason to get out of bed… Because if they slept in and missed work and got fired – they could just get a new job?
Or if they screwed up and pissed off their significant other, and didn’t do anything to make it work because you could always go back to swiping left, right?
Our lives are gardens that demand to be maintained. The better you get at gardening, the more fruitful your garden. Pluck the weeds, for sure… but keep in mind that not everything that is beautiful and (worth it) blooms all year long. Sometimes it looks dead & in need of replacing…