I’m not a big fan of recreating the proverbial wheel. Especially if someone else has been terrifically brilliant. So I go looking for inspiration, and I am very rarely disappointed. The problem is that–like with so many other things–there really can be too much of a good thing.
Last week, I noticed the iris on the north end of the house is trying to bloom. In December. I mused about boundaries, limiting influences, and living out one’s assigned purpose. Here are my first take-away nuggets:
ignore the circumstances—do what you do
The iris is seemingly shirking its circumstances. It’s not allowing boundaries (the blooming season) imposed by some outside force (time of year/weather) to shift its focus from its core function: to bloom. It might not be quite the right time, but that iris is ready! And in the meantime, it’s producing a little unexpected joy.
change is not an option
In some fashion or another, and whether we choose to accept it or not, we must change daily. On the micro level, our skin cells regenerate. Hair grows. We age. Life happens. If we only operate within pre-defined boundaries, we risk missing great adventure.
Lately I’ve been working on our organizational 3 year strategic plan. This exercise has forced me to be more objective and view it from the outside– the good, bad, and ugly—and be honest about what can be changed and what must be managed. And I’m seeing two trends. We have some areas that, as the proverbial quip goes, “aren’t broken.” Yet I’m also seeing huge areas of opportunity. And in those areas of opportunity, we need to accelerate embracing the new way of doing things, even as we design on the fly. We need to start blooming now, or we may just miss it altogether.
It’s unexpected to see this determined little iris in the midst of Christmas cheer. But just because something is unexpected, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be celebrated.
The iris on the north end of the house is a reblooming iris: normally it blooms once in early spring and once in later summer.
Today is the first of December. We’ve had several nights already with temperatures hovering around freezing. I’m pretty sure this flower missed the memo that it’s now … winter. Or, maybe it simply doesn’t care about the calendar. Either way, it’s defiantly blooming when conventional wisdom says it shouldn’t.
An iris blooms, that its’ job.
And this particular iris obviously takes it’s job seriously. So seriously, it forgot to care about when. Boundaries can be useful, but they can also limit capacity. Because it forgot to watch the weather forecast, it will bloom three times this year instead of only two. When I took this picture, it struck me how productive I could be if I were a little more iris-like. If I were to pay less attention to circumstances and just go do what I’m good at doing … I could have a longer Done list.
This morning’s observation also has me thinking about how (and why) I sometimes let circumstances dictate the quantity of my accomplishment. I haven’t come to any actionable conclusions … yet …but I’m definitely going to keep mulling this over!
In keeping with the reflection theme, I revisited this list I started 2 years ago. At the time, I found myself struggling to not sprint my marathon … to slow down enough to experience life as it happened instead of just rushing crazy mad from one thing straight to the next. It’s too easy to let important things we know we ought to do fall by the wayside. Like telling someone when they do something we appreciate, for example. Life is too long not to appreciate the appreciable. And life is too short to live without an attitude of gratitude.
Among other things, I am thankful for…
… lazy evenings
with nothing planned but curling up on the couch with a movie or a good book.
no matter the size of the hairy beast you battled the day before, chances are pretty good it won’t look so fierce in the brilliant light of a new day.
… a good book
a thick one with great characters and a believable plot; one you can get lost in on a rainy afternoon.
… rainy afternoons
to curl up with a fuzzy blanket, cup of hot chocolate, and, of course, a good book to get lost in.
my favorite sport.
… old-fashioned letters
LOVE getting mail that isn’t a bill or credit card solicitation. A hand-written note means the author really put some thought behind what they wanted to tell you. There’s just no easy way to edit/copy/paste when composing a letter.
… puppy kisses
dogs don’t care what you’re wearing, if you’re having a bad hair day, or what other people think; they love you simply because you’re you, and you came home to them.
… blustery October “Winnie-the-Pooh” days
when it’s still warm, but the wind is gusting just enough to whip the leaves around.
… heated seats
makes the early morning travel to practice so much more bearable.
We’re none of us perfect. We make mistakes, fall, pick ourselves up, hopefully learn something, and move on. I’m so thankful that God’s grace flows freely and that He bears our burdens.
they’re so innocent and full of awed wonder, not restricted by bias or tradition; they giggle at anything that strikes them funny, and they’re generally dispositioned towards fun. They live life with gusto, totally spent at the end of each day. They don’t sweat the small stuff, but find infinite joy in simply being alive.
… gray hair
it’s genetic; a subtle reminder that some things just are outside your control. Ya gotta buckle up and hang on, because life is a wild ride. But instead of obsessing about trivial things, look at the big picture and concentrate on the stuff you CAN influence.
they keep family history, hope, and traditions alive. They tell you about all the crazy things your parents did when they were young. They’re the hub that keeps everyone connected. I miss mine.
the stuff grand memories are made of.
… 2 am friends
they take your middle-of-the-night crisis calls and have your back, no explanations necessary. They walk beside you on the adventure through life’s trials and triumphs, tolerate your foibles, laugh at your antics, understand the complexities of your character, and protect your vulnerable parts. AND, they claim you in public.
What would you add to the list?