Friday, April 30, 2010

The Not-So-Constant Gardener

"Easy to do, easy not to do." 

This is a new mantra I was recently introduced to by the Slight Edge audiobook.  I'm sure I'll be mentioning that one here and there - its got some awesome nuggets in it.  (And it took less than a week to listen to in my car during my relatively short commute!) The general premise is that what separates successful people from people who are not successful is that, among other things, that the successful people make positive small decisions all day long that trend them in an upward direction.  Small things - going for a 20 minute walk instead of sitting on the couch, taking the time to read a little every day instead of watching TV, etc.  Things that are easy to do, but also easy not to do. (Get it?!)

So I've been thinking about that.  Take, for example, my garden.  I've tried to be a gardener for years. I want to be like those relaxed looking, happy women in the soil pulling perfect tomatoes and herbs from their gardens and serving them to friends on gorgeous platters they crafted themselves (I even kind of want the big straw hat).  The desire is there, and yet this doesn't happen.  My tomatoes look great arriving to my house as seedlings, and then they struggle and wilt and struggle some more until finally, with a nearly audible sigh, they fade away.  And I just recently figured out why.  I DON'T TAKE CARE OF MY PLANTS.  Yes, it took nearly 37 years and a college degree to figure this one out. But hey - at least I did eventually!  This year I've been spending 3 to 5 minutes a day out there, just seeing if they need water and making sure they're doing ok.  And they are awesome!  How brilliant am I to have figured out that all they needed was some water and attention!  Brilliant indeed. 

That "conceptual leap"  (as appropriately labeled by Erika - or rather, her mom) has made me wonder where else I can apply this little mantra.  Last night after work I did some stuff around the house and then made dinner.  There were only a few dishes, and I was tired.  I was about to leave them in the sink when I paused - "Easy to do, easy not to do!"  I have a dishwasher people - I mean, this was REALLY easy.  So I did it.  ;-) 

I'm not solving world hunger here.  But I consciously found myself acknowledging a decision, making the better choice, and moving on . How very liberating.  And more importantly, when I got up this morning my sink was clean. And some days, it really IS the little things that matter. 


  1. I love this! I've learned that some of the funnest moments are had, the best memories are made just five minutes at a time. But it's so easy to forget. Thank you for that reminder!

  2. Oooo. I like it. I do. Because it's true.