I spent last week camping with my family. Received a cryptic email from my next-door neighbor – Call me! All I could do was mentally kick myself for leaving my laptop at home. That was my worst-case scenario.
Turns out some brilliant tool broke the window on our front door. Glass all over the front step. As bad news goes – containable. She called the Police and an officer inspected the perimeter and determined that no one had broken into the house.
Mad props to a fantastic neighbor who went above and beyond collecting the mail for us. But once it was determined that it wasn’t anything super serious, one thought plagued me the entire week.
All I could think was that people were in my backyard. Hubs and I were so swamped with work the two weeks before we left on vacation, the yard was somewhat neglected. Lawn was overgrown (which was a week past desperately needs to be mown), dog mess, tarp spread out where I’m trying to kill the grass for a new patio, old patio torn up, patio stones stacked inside the gate, my overgrown gardens. I was so embarrassed.
My driving thought was – they’ll think I don’t care. I take a lot of pride in my gardens, and spend a lot of time working on my gardens and yard. Maybe I care too much?
See, though I love my gardens, I’ve been super busy. As a freelancer my work tends to be feast or famine. Often I have no work or too much. My gardens were victims of not enough time. Not pretty. As excuses go not a great one. Certainly not original.
But here’s the thing. They’d been neglected before I left, but the change from needing to be weeded to overgrown was so gradual I didn’t notice when I was here everyday. I go away for a week and I see the reality. There were thistles as tall as me in there! Those little weeds became big weeds, but it took me going away and seeing the gardens with fresh perspective to notice how bad it had gotten. To make time to fix the damage.
Now, gardens are fairly forgiving. I cut the grass and spent a half hour weeding in the rain (best time to pull weeds) and I’ve gotten one of the gardens more or less back to rights. Not everything that we neglect in our lives for work or other things can bounce back so quickly.
Here’s a challenge for you – ask your children or someone else who sees you everyday what your priorities are. Brace for it. Might not be pretty. Hubs asked one of our kids that and the response was… “I don’t know. Your phone?”
Have you neglected something important to you, only to suddenly see the situation with fresh perspective — the fruit of your neglect. Like what you see? Until you’re in the ground you have time to change your priorities, but there will still be the hard work of weeding and pruning to get things back to where they should be. I’m making a few changes to ensure I make time for the things that are important to me.
“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.” ~ Stephen R. Covey
“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“Action expresses priorities.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi