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Adulting Encouragement: I Am Not a Plant Lady...

I really wanted to be a plant lady. I would see these amazing pictures on Pinterest of lush living rooms and kitchens that have an elegant, jungle feel to them. I even loved the minimalist blogs that show a desk with just that one darling succulent. So, somewhat giddy, I finally dove in one day, and I got myself my own posse of plants.

And I slowly watched them die off.

Because as much as I adored my plants (probably smothered them), I wasn’t the best plant mama. I’d overwater and then subsequently underwater them. I repotted one incorrectly. I accidentally closed a window blind on one of them (heart stopping). My affection for plants, as strong as it is, was not helping them thrive.

After giving some of plants away (I think they breathed a sigh of relief) and getting help for my remaining plant family, I now have five plants that seem to be thriving.

Why am I telling you this? Because all this prompted me to whine and ask myself the age-old question: Why can’t I excel at something I love? Especially as an adult capable of researching, learning, and making sound decisions.

Instead, I needed to ask myself a different question: Since I can’t currently get what I want (a blossoming kitchen with little branches that reach out to me as I make pancakes), what can I do, using the resources I have, to get myself closer to my dream? And I didn’t give up. Instead, I looked at what was doable, and I started with that. In my case, that was five plants.

In a culture that loves microwaves, next-day delivery, and instant beverages, it’s beneficial to remind ourselves that our dreams are much more complex and precious. They involve steps, and that’s a good thing. Think of the quality of a hot drink that takes time to morph in the hands of a careful barista. It’s worth the wait.

I think we should work toward our goals gradually and enjoy the process of reaching them; by doing this, we learn it’s okay to slow down. It’s okay for our dreams, no matter how small, to take years to achieve.

We all want to live “the good life”, no matter our types of dreams, but as Carl Rogers wisely reminds us: “The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction not a destination.” So, I enjoy my five plants that represent my attempt to slow down, my attempt to head toward my dream, and my attempt to not stress so much about completing the process. And I am content.


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