Sunday, 20 March 2011

Bloom Where You Are Planted

By: Notes From The Frugal Trenches

When I think about the culture around me, I think it is a culture of excuses; the truth, is I used to be a part of that culture. All around me I hear the statement if only; if only we had the money to have land, we would hang out sheets to dry, if only we had a bigger kitchen, we would make jam, if only we could afford it, I wouldn't work so much. I used to believe those lies myself. I used to think everyone else had easier options because they had houses in the countryside, or more money, or less demanding jobs. Slowly but surely through small, little steps in my frugal, simple and green journey I began to see the truth.

-I may not have land to plant, but I can grow herbs in my kitchen
-I may not have acres for chickens, but I can volunteer at a farm
-I may not have a garden, but I can hang my sheets inside
-I may not have a big country kitchen, but I can make jam and preserves and cook from scratch
-I may not have solar panels, but I can reduce, reuse and recycle
-I may not have a big garden compost, but I have my vermicomposter in my little city flat

The truth I discovered is this: in almost any circumstance, you can choose to bloom where you are planted, or choose to stay underground. Listing all the reasons you can't simplify, or make frugal, green choices, will never let you break through the barrier to a purposeful life. Thinking everyone else has it easier, or is able to make choices you can't is debilitating. But when you see a life filled with choices and options and gratitude, you begin to bloom into something that grows before your very eyes. Your life may look different to others, you may have unique strengths, challenges and barriers, but your bloom can be just as beautiful.

I'm attempting to choose, even in more challenging times, to bloom where I'm planted, are you?


Geraldine M said...

Thank you for your insightful post. I sometimes find myself falling into the "if only" category, but I'm finding I do so less and less. I make an effort to do what I can (gardening in the city, vermiculture, recycling, clothesline, etc.) and although I still dream of the day when I'll be out of the city and able to make bigger changes, the small changes make me feel like I'm making a difference now. Because if not now, then when?

Silvia said...

Thank you for reminding us of this. Even for those of us who have land, animals, gardens, etc. we still need to be reminded to do the small things. Some days I feel like chucking it all, but then words like yours remind me of why I am intentionally living this way.

Captain Shagrat said...

Hmmm it can become a habit but like Geraldine I've cut back.

Notes From The Frugal Trenches said...

I'm so glad you found the post helpful! One of the greatest things I try to do for myself is give myself some grace. I have always found when I think I can't do something I'm setting the tone for failure and negative thinking! Thank you for sharing your own journeys and making me see I'm not alone :)

~~Melissa said...

Well said!

A friend taught me to say, Bloom where I've (chosen to) plant myself which opened my eyes to the fact that often we choose and take shelter in our excuses.

To dwell in the perceived barriers is the same as saying 'I'll be happy when...' when really, all we have is now. :-)

Anonymous said...

As always, a lovely, thought-provoking post.

Thank you!


KimH said...

Many years ago, my sister gave me a cute little wall hanging that said, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade" and for most of my life, thats just what I did. However, regarding where I found myself living 13 years ago, I seemed to have forgotten that in some ways.. If only this, if only that.. someday this.. someday that.. and I was pretty miserable..Someone told me I was like a spoiled child (albeit a nice one) who wasnt getting the color balloon I wanted in a room full of balloons.. I knew they were right & set about Bloom Where I Was Planted.. What a blessing it has been! Its not always easy to figure out how to do/be what I want.. but its definitely increased my creativity.. And that is a blessing in its own!
Thanks for a great article & reminder!

Jessica said...

Yes! I'm in a little 600 sq.ft. apartment (no patio) and I'm growing some herbs & aloe vera, have a little compost bin on my counter, and we hang our laundry to dry in the warmer months. 2/3 of my counter space in the kitchen is taken up by stuff like our water filter, knife block, dish rack, and jars of grains and beans, but I still manage to create healthy, delicious meals in my tiny space. If I can do it anyone can! :)

Amy said...

Thank you! Very encouraging to remind me to think about what I CAN do rather than what I cannot right now. I decided last week to build a chook cage. We rent a small unit, but my parents said the chooks can live in their garden...I still have a lot of detials to work out, but am feeling so much more optimistic and purposeful for deciding to do something towards the life I want to live rather than waiting for that magical moment when we have land (who wants to wait 10-20 years before 'starting' life anyway, right?!).

unavocis said...

What a lovely, true sentiment. And a great reminder, too. I needed to hear this just now. Again. I try to remember this always, but I am not perfect, of course, and thus need the reminder.
Blooming where we are is the point of life. Goals are great. Needed, even, so as not to stagnate in life. But it is too easy to save real "living" for "in the future when..."
Life IS now. Life is always.

Dhilma said...

What a wonderful, wise post this is. I have also been someone who complains about the little "awkward" things in my life. But I should be thankful for the many "big" things in my life which make it run almost smoothly.
Life is what is happening when we're worrying about it. I will really pull up my socks and try to live in the moment.
Thank you again.

Notes From The Frugal Trenches said...

Wow - what fabulous examples of success even in less than ideal circumstances, within these comments! I'm also amazed at many of your creative ideas! Thank you again for your kindness and for sharing your own journeys!

Suzanne with Laughing Wallet said...

So true! There really is so much more to be gained by "I can" than "If only..."

And I love Melissa's twist, "Bloom where you've chosen to plant yourself." Some circumstances may be out of our control, but on the whole, our lives are the result of our own choices. So why not choose to make the best of whatever circumstance we are in?

Ayla said...

Thankyou for the inspiration, I just linked to this post in my latest blog entry :)

Hopewell said...

So true--I grew tomatoes only last year in part of a flower bed. We had an OVER Abundance! Hard times and high gas prices got me to quit talking about and start doing real recycling, reducing, reusing. Now ALL our cardboard and newsprint go to the recycling. Working on compost--still learning about it. Earlier hard times got me to hang many clothes on my deck on racks and to make my own laundry soap--I'm able to afford it at the store now, but why?

Miss Practicality said...

Definitely. We were always looking to the future, then we got what we wanted, that would make our life 'perfect'..........and in the end it didn't suit us. So now i'm pretty happy wherever I am-which at the moment is renting, so we can't paint/renovate/do whatever we like, but we can do a lot. So I choose to focus on that lot and doing it well.

Your mental attitude really is everything-it can turn something ho-hum into a fantastic experience, or wreck a fantastic situation. Once I realised that I needed to redo my attitude everything got better without changing.

Thanks for a thought-provoking post.