Today is not a card day. Today is about something small and modest. Today is about ownership. Today is about being proud of what I can do. It is, in the end, about snails and cheetahs.
This post was sparked by something a friend said on their Facebook. They spoke of how it saddened them to see inspirational posts and photos and quotes about how they could do anything they set their mind to do.
You see, my friend has a chronic illness. For them, a good day is a day that doesn’t require a nap. I responded to their post with this,
“Defeatist thinking? That’s not defeatist thinking! That’s understanding what you can do. I certainly can’t run a marathon (don’t really want to either, thanks). I rewrite those things into things I can do. Like…walking more than half a block is a goal right now. Fuck defeatist thinking because that…well, that defeats the whole purpose. Seek joy on your own terms. If joy today is making it through cleaning up the kitchen, then celebrate that. You get to set YOUR own damned goals of happiness. So there.”
And I mean that. My garden is my example of this. Would I like a yard that has twisting paths with sudden explosions of color? Where animals come to play? Where I can stroll out to have a cup of tea under a weeping willow tree?
But the realities of my circumstances are that I live in a condo where I can container garden only. I have a bad back so sometimes I have to sit my ass on the concrete to scoop dirt into pots (and that, my friends is a luxury that some don’t have…the ability to get up and down from the concrete!). I (and my darling husband and my stepson when he lived here) recycle pots that others throw out.
I work with what I have and am joyful for that work. I can’t hold myself to anyone else’s standards (or sub standards for that matter.) What I need is to be true to my own precious self.
So my garden is what you see in the picture. Six salvia plants, two petunias, bell peppers, jalapenos and tomatoes. Not a twisting path in sight unless you count the dirt that fell out of the bag. I turned that to mud when I dragged the hose over to water.
And I am inordinately proud of my little patio mess. I own it. It’s me. It’s all me.
So, looping back to my response to my friend’s words…I want you all to give yourself permission to do what you can and a bit more. If your “bit more” is skipping 30 minutes of an hour nap, then good on you. Whatever your “bit more” is, that’s your inspirational challenge. So what if it is “empty the dishwasher in one session instead of two”? Who the heck cares? You did something that challenges YOU.
And that, my loves, that is what is important. Challenge yourself.
A snail doesn’t set out to beat a cheetah. It sets out to get where it wants to go.
Isn’t that enough? The snail knows it can’t compete with the cheetah, but you know what? I’ll bet the cheetah can’t compete with the snail either. Does the cheetah have the ability to carry its own den with it? NO?
Be the best you you can be. That’s enough.
Patio Beginnings, picture by Arwen Lynch-Poe, April 11, 2014
Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.
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