4 Life Lessons to Learn from Gardening


4 Life Lessons to Learn from Gardening

By: Lisa Truesdale

It’s spring, the most hopeful time of the year. The other day, when I was taking a walk around the neighborhood, thrilled that I didn’t need a coat and boots, I started thinking about all the things I need to do to get my garden ready. Although I enjoy gardening, and it would be impossible for me to endure summer without fresh-off-the-vine tomatoes and cucumbers, the whole process seemed a little daunting to me at first.

Later, as I started writing a to-do list — clean out the raised planters, test and amend the soil, transplant the seedlings I started indoors, head to the garden center for some advice about a plant that didn’t thrive last year — I got to thinking about how gardening is a lot like life. Sounds cliché, I know, but as with most clichés, that’s because it’s true! You have to plant some seeds, clear out a few weeds, get your hands dirty, and endure a little hard work in life so everything around you thrives and you can enjoy the amazing bounty.

So, right next to the gardening list, I began another list — what we should all do to get our lives back on track…to love life again, just like I love my garden.

Plant the seeds

Go ahead and try something new. Maybe it’s that recipe you saw in a magazine last month but you just haven’t had time to make it. Pick up the ingredients and make it tonight! Or maybe there’s a subject you’ve always wanted to learn more about. Research it at the library, watch some YouTube videos, or find a free or low-cost class in the area. I can think of about a hundred subjects I’d like to learn more about, but for now, I chose just one — cheesemaking — and finally checked it out. We have an artisan cheesemaking school right here in my small city, so I went to the website and found a half-day session that fit my schedule and my budget. I can’t wait!

Clear out the weeds

What makes you unhappy? Is it something you have the power to change? If so, take steps to get rid of that unwelcome weed in your life before it grows larger and takes over everything else. For a friend of mine, it was her weight; she reached a point when she realized her extra pounds were making her unhappy and she needed to do something about them. She started walking, eventually transitioning into jogging with ankle weights, and she has lost a whopping 23 pounds so far. For my cousin, it’s her job; she just isn’t happy going to work every day. Although she hasn’t found a new position yet, simply beginning the process of updating her resume and doing a bit of networking made her feel better quickly.

Get your hands dirty

We all have unpleasant tasks in life that we don’t enjoy doing but we know we have to take care of. For my husband, it was repairing and staining our deck. He’s been putting it off, but it desperately needed to be done. Last weekend he finally took the time to finish. It looks great, and we can’t wait to use it all summer long. Most importantly, he feels a sense of accomplishment in getting it done and doing it well. This concept works for just about anything you have to do but don’t want to do — scheduling that dentist appointment, getting the oil changed in the car, doing your taxes, even asking your boss for a raise. Just do it, and the sense of accomplishment alone will make you feel better.

Water your plants

Just like the veggies and flowers in our garden, the good things in our lives need care and attention to keep them thriving. Reconnect with your spouse by scheduling an impromptu date night. Spoil your kids by playing with them at the park for an entire afternoon, or letting them choose the games and snacks for a family game night. Gather your favorite friends together for an afternoon of catching up. Pamper yourself with activities you truly love, like an at-home spa day, uninterrupted reading time, window-shopping all by yourself, or a Netflix marathon.

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