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Only Mention Good Things About My Garden

I don’t have a green thumb. But I’m figuring things out. Each year I learn something new, try something new, and add a little more pride.

This morning I went out to clean up some weeds. I was so happy that I listened to my mom and put down mulch so I didn’t have much to do at all. I was enjoying the blooms of the flowers that just popped, excited that my gamble purchase actually looks nice this year. I was pulling an invasive green thing from in between the stone cracks and someone walked by and said, “Wow, you have a long way to go with that. And what’s that yellow thing?” I looked at her, and followed her gaze – there were many more green things in many more cracks. And my yellow bush was falling over. I did have a long way to go, IF my goal was to fix all of those things.

Little did she know that my goal was just to get out here this morning. To enjoy how far I’ve come. To kneel in my small corner of the world and look at the pretty colors. I actually didn’t see all of the weeds until she pointed them out. Why didn’t I notice that? I guess it did look pretty bad.

What does this have to do with our careers?

When you look at someone else’s career garden, do you celebrate their successful harvest or do you tend to point out what doesn’t belong? Do you celebrate their journey or casually mention how far they have until their next goal?

More importantly: do you see how far you’ve come? Do you see how the decisions you made last year and earlier this season are “blooming” for you today? Or do you just see the weeds – what’s in the way? What still needs to be done?

My response to the passerby: “Yeah, I may not get to that today. I’ll just pull a few until I’m ready to move on. And the yellow bush over there? Some years I get a string and pull it together so it’s not as droopy, but right now it looks wild and free and I kinda like that.” She was not intending to come across as negative. Perhaps she said the first thing that came to her head. Been there myself.

Maybe I don’t have a “career green thumb.” But I’m figuring things out. Our gardens and careers are personal journeys of growth, failure, dirt, and beauty. You get to decide how to tend it.

Take-away: Manage your garden any way you want, and if you’re commenting on other gardens – only mention the pretty flowers.

Until next week,

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