What a summer it was. What a year it is.
As we plow into fall, I had the opportunity to look back and reflect on the past few months. Not much was accomplished but so much achieved. I am grateful. Grateful for the learning. Grateful for the extra time. Slowly I learn. Slowly I turn. Learning to enjoy today. Turning towards Here. Now. What's Now.
Similar to previous years (see summer of 2019 and 2017 blogs) I had the opportunity to slow it down again this summer. That allowed me to read some great books, listen to an amazing podcast series, binge too many shows and of course work in my garden. Different from previous summer slow downs however, this one required more work. On both my garden and myself.
In addition to the usual tomatoes, cucumbers and basil, I also tried growing peppers, squash and paprika. I have no idea why I thought I could grow squash in such a small space, nor why I would want to grow paprika. Yes, I over planted.
As a result the garden quickly grew out of control, and therefore required more pruning than usual.
I too required extra pruning this summer. I went from a busy 2019 and start of 2020. Then the combination of some family health issues along with the impact of the pandemic provided the perfect opportunity to slow down and work on some important areas. Areas like kindness, rest, and purposefully not filling up my calendar with too many plants. I mean plans.
For me, it's so easy to get sucked into plans. I like to plan and am good at it. You know, plan the work and work the plan. But the problem with too many plans is that it can lead to busyness. Over extended. No margin. Sometimes even filling time just to fill time. And busyness not only can it wear us out, it can keep us unaware. Unaware of what we are doing and why we are doing it. Not checking if how we are living is on purpose. Thinking about what is next while losing sight of what is now. What is it I am learning right now? How am I feeling? What am I reacting (or over reacting) to? What's next can consume us. Especially when there is so much uncertainty. If we are not careful we can lose sight of what's now, and possibly miss what is right in front of us because we are too focused on the future.
Please don't misunderstand me. I am not saying don't focus on the future. In fact it is critical to do so. Much has changed and will continue to change. We are going to have to learn how to build teams and relationships virtually. Resolve conflict virtually. Develop new skills virtually. And in order to lead through all that change, we need to be rested and strong. A good way to do that is to better enjoy and focus today. In spite of the unknown.
As we continue to look to what's next, let's not lose sight of what's now.