Each Of Us Has a Chance To Start Over In Life Thanks To The Pandemic.
I’m Not a Big Fan of Plants.
In my condo, I have a few houseplants, but they’re working plants that are there to clean the air. I only have long-term relationships with the toughest and most resilient plants (such as aloe, snake plants, and succulents).
My dad was a huge gardener. He was well aware of what they needed. He made several attempts to convey to me what brought him great joy, but I was never able to relate to it.
I did discover the obvious: plants require regular watering, ample sunlight, and care after they have grown. In addition, I discovered that plants must be clipped, which defies logic. To me, it doesn’t make sense to prune a plant’s branches in order to increase its size and strength.
According to my father, pruning entails removing certain branches so that the plant can concentrate its limited resources on growing stronger branches.
A healthy rose bush will, for instance, bear an excessive number of buds. This causes an increase in growth and depletes the plant’s resources. Most flowers will survive, but not thrive, if left unmanaged. The gardener must therefore make the tough decision to prune the good buds in order to direct the flow of nutrients to the best buds.
Similar to how a rose bush needs to be pruned, we should also occasionally trim our own lives.
Consider yourself a fruit tree. Each branch represents a potential accumulation of an interest, an endeavour, a connection. Energy is needed for each branch to produce fruit. Some branches might be sick, dead, irreparably damaged, or entangled with other branches. Space between branches and airflow are crucial.
Consider this. Habits. Relationships Jobs, obligations. Goals. Health.
What would happen if you pruned the weak and occasionally the strong for the sake of the best?
We are all limited by our time and energy. Are you allocating the proper amount of your resources where they are needed, taking into account who and where you are right now? Or do you continue to cling to unhappy or broken relationships or circumstances?
Strong inquiries, I realise. Dead branches are everywhere, taking up room.
It is typically a sign that you have too many branches when your life is very busy or when you frequently feel overwhelmed. Your energy is too erratic to keep everything going. Non-essential items might be cut back to give the remaining activity branches more energy. As a result, happiness increases and overwhelm decreases.
Early on in the pandemic, branches from my life were cut (government limitations, in reality), just as I’m sure they were from yours. I was unaware that some of the branches being clipped at the time were unhealthy.
For instance, I constantly feel the urge to judge myself against others. Lockdowns, social withdrawal, working from home: while remaining in my “bubble,” there weren’t as many others with whom I could compare myself, thus jealousy and self-deprecating thoughts quickly vanished.
The most important skill I learned from COVID-19—more than any seminar—was how to relax. Things I “had to” do turned out to be things I was merely deluding myself into thinking I liked.
Because “life pruning” can be difficult, we avoid doing it on purpose or infrequently. Most of the time, we let life do the pruning for us (e.g., death, divorce, job termination, nature destroying our home).
We don’t truly understand how much something meant to us, how much energy it consumed from us, or how detrimental it was to our health, until it is no longer there. Often, after “life’s pruning,” we can understand that the loss was for the best.
It’s true what they say, “Everything occurs for a reason.” If for no other purpose than to slow us down and trim our lives, COVID-19 occurred.
The best way to put it is as stated by the stoic philosopher Seneca: “Every new beginning derives from some previous beginning’s end.”
Numerous aspects of our lives have been affected during the past two years by COVID-19. relationships, thoughtless consumerism, employment cuts, a career decision review, and maybe losing loved ones to the virus.
You may first simply experience pain during pruning. It can take some time before you realise the branches you cut off were unhealthy. When non-essential businesses like restaurants and stores were told to shut down, I soon became aware of how much money I was wasting on unnecessary expenses.
While I did miss a few of my pals, I soon discovered how much simpler life was without them.
COVID-19 gave me the ability to “let go”. It provided us all with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to start again.
I used to play golf every Saturday morning before the pandemic. But I’m glad I don’t have time to play golf anymore since I find writing to be more relaxing and enjoyable.
What do I want my “normal” to look like is a question you might wish to ask yourself. as the virus (hopefully) begins to abate and life returns to normal.