The things you work on to improve. Your body. Your career. The projects on the side that you hope may replace your current career. The things you imagine to be your future. That’s your garden. That’s the grass you believe is greener on the other side of the hill.
We look to the future. We hope and believe that some day the future we imagine will be our reality. We want for it. We long for it. It is lush and vibrant. After all, it is our garden.
We long for the future, but we live in the present. The garden has only been started. Rather than lush and vibrant, it is filled with young, tender plants. There are weeds. There are old plants that need to be trimmed. Some even need to removed. The garden you have today has a long way to go before it is transformed into the garden of your future. And you know what? It is okay. It is still your garden. It just needs a lot of work.
Over the last few weeks, the nature of my job has changed. I work at the same place, but the role is different. Physically, it is more demanding. Instead of five days a week, I work four. But those four days take up over twelve hours from morning commute to evening commute. By the time I get to my days off, all I can think about is recovering. I am beat physically. I am drained mentally. My goal is to survive and yet, there is my garden to consider. The job isn’t keeping me from tending the garden. To say such is allowing excuses to override my mission. Maybe in the future the fruits of my garden will provide for my living, but right now it is the job. And the job is what I must do and do without neglecting my garden.
What is my garden?
It is my writing. Rough and unpolished now, because I don’t spend enough time cultivating it. Words upon pages never typed. Blank pages patiently waiting for the tip of the pen. I imagine a well-manicured garden, clean and simple with straight lines and free of weeds. Visitors come often to refresh themselves and have a brief escape from the rigors of the day. But I am not there yet. Right now, it is rambling. The lines are uneven; the paths are not smooth. Weeds, or an excess of unnecessary words, have crept in and have yet to be removed. The garden still needs many things to be complete. It may never be complete. That is okay too. As long as I continue to work in it.
Though the job demands much, I cannot forget my garden. I must continue to work it, to shape the land, and to pull the weeds. And after all else, I cannot forget to water it. Water is life, and I must bring it to life.