Positivity and perseverance are the two buzz words for today’s blog. The inspiration for this story comes from a plant I have been nurturing since its brush with disaster at least six years ago. Let me start from the beginning…
The members of one of my exercise classes gave me a peace lily for a landmark birthday. I shan’t admit exactly how many years ago I received the gift, or how many years passed before the disaster, because it will let on just how close I am to the next one. However, at that time we were living in a much-loved but tiny, dark cottage. During what turned out to be a very hot summer, let’s say it was June because that will make us all wistful, I put said plant in the garden for some much needed Vitamin D. Not only did we not really have windowsills suitable for the pot to sit on (that’s how small the windows were) but the amount of light in any room at any one time was negligible for a growing, thriving lily. I promptly forgot about the plant being younger and more disorganised than my much more mature self. No doubt I also walked past it a couple of times with a nod and thought I must take that indoors. The poor plant burnt and shrivelled to a sad and sorry version of its former self, and I nearly disposed of it. However, annoyed at my negligence and in allegiance to my class participants and their kindness in marking said birthday, I vowed to care for it and try and revive it.
I like plants. But mostly (there are exceptions) I prefer outdoor plants. The indoor ones have a tendency to get in the way. They need somewhere to live, they have to be moved to be watered and fed, dusted and vacuumed around, and when the light changes they need a new spot for optimal growth. I also don’t like clutter not that you’d believe me if you came to my house because I live with a clutterer. All the more reason to keep my stuff tucked away!
I have set the scene now for the slightly awkward relationship I have with this plant, which I have re-potted at least twice and taken on two house moves. It currently sits on my dryer and when it needs water it droops. When it’s happy it stands proud and green. Green! Yes I accomplished that at least. For the last six plus years it has been very green and outgrowing pot after pot, but only ever green. So green it cannot be disposed of although I’ve considered it- usually when it’s fallen over in the car during a move. But this morning to my utter delight I saw the white of the flower poking (not yet erupted) out of the stem. On closer inspection, there are more than one flowers emerging.
I have succeeded in reviving this plant to more than its former glory being more than double its original size. I’ll have to wait a while longer to see how abundant the reward will be but patience, as you might have gathered, I have in spades. This got me to thinking.
I often read tweets and other social media posts about PBs and PWs, triumphs and disasters of races won and DNFs. It always seems in training that we are on a trajectory of success and failure measured by our lap counters, Garmins and heart rate monitors. But I sometimes wonder whether we’re measuring the wrong things. Everyone wants to succeed but the performance is only the end result of the perseverance. All the hard work that takes you to the start of the race, the plotting and planning, and nights in, or days out training. Those are the micro successes that make the big accomplishments flourish. Without the commitment there would be no PB surely?
As we move into the summer, in time if not in temperature, I urge you to recognise the importance of the sacrifices you make every day. The small weight loss, or the little speed gains will all add up in the end. Use success and failure in a positive way for the success you chart for tomorrow.