Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

One reason people resist change is because they focus on what they have to give up, instead of what they have to gain. Rick Godwin

I’m sore this morning from pruning the deadwood from my honeysuckle bush and weigela this weekend. I always get a lot of deadwood every spring from my weigela, but rarely have to trim the honeysuckle but this year all the big trunks of the honeysuckle were dead. We might not know why we get deadwood in our gardens and our lives but it has to be pruned to make way for new growth.

I’m looking at a post where Jeanne Grunert writes that she met an old farmer who told her the secret to his orchard producing such great fruit was in the pruning. “Prune hard in winter, gather the fruit in the fall.”

Our own lives need pruning as we decide what we want more of and what we want less of in our lives. Pruning TV from our lives may give us time to paint, write, exercise, read, or have long conversations with our family. Pruning bad habits like smoking will give us untold benefits to our health and finances.

Some things we may need to prune completely out of our lives and other things we may need to snip away at without removing entirely. I watched a lovely movie last night with my husband about family, fitting in, and letting a job be the only important thing in life. Changes that are forced on us sometimes make us see that life can and should be different.

The lockdown means I haven’t been to the gym since March of 2020. I have an exercise machine I use and I’m walking.  Fasting two days a week has kept the covid 19 off. Hard pruning is going on in our lives and our lives may never look the same again. That is life, we can use the lessons we learn to go forward better. What is better is up for debate as people are worried about the direction our lives and country will take.

I’m listening to people who have fears on both sides and I am trying to have faith we will go forward better. We will find the balance between socialism and capitalism, freedom, and support, being self-made men and women and building a society that can help us get back up if we stumble and fall. We will be able to continue to build and maintain a health care system that works but is not so heavy it crumbles under its own weight.

There will never be equality of outcome as some people think there should be. Look at our gardens even when we plant the same plants in the same space some thrive and others don’t. Some tomato plants bear more fruit than others. Some trees and shrubs require more pruning than others. Some like my honeysuckle die off and only young growth is left.

He who blames others has a long way to go on his journey. He who blames himself is halfway there. He who blames no one has arrived. Chinese proverb

Even equality between men and women which I believe in intrinsic equality, worth, and value does not mean we are the same. We need to embrace our differences, what makes us unique is also what makes us more impactful in life. We want to live in a society where we give equal opportunity, and as noble of an ideal as that is we know it is not possible because some people are not capable of taking advantages other people can take.

The outcomes of our lives are dependent on innate gifts, talents, and challenges at birth, the soil we grew up in, who inspired and impacted us. The opportunities that presented and we took advantage of, luck, good judgment, who we chose as friends, what habits and systems we developed, and the times we lived through.

We may have a lot of pruning needed for our lives to progress how we want or little pruning needed. We may think we are doing okay until something happens. How we live our days is how we live our lives. People who excel at things have pruned out many things in their lives to accomplish one goal.

Does luck fall in some people’s lap? I’m thinking of the pizzeria that years ago was offered bitcoin as payment for a pizza. One bitcoin equaled one dollar and they accepted the bitcoin payment. Did that pizzeria keep the bitcoin and now are bitcoin millionaires?

Why didn’t I pick up bitcoin at a dollar? I had no foresight. What if I’d been smart enough to say what if this becomes a thing and picked up a couple of hundred dollars of bitcoin when bitcoin could be bought for a couple of hundred dollars? Can I expect to be a bitcoin millionaire when I didn’t have the foresight some people had? Is the person that bought the bitcoin pizza a bitcoin millionaire because they had foresight?

A small habit of taking advantage of opportunities that present themselves would make a big difference in my life. Too often I only see the opportunities when someone else has made them into something.

Pruning the deadwood, developing systems and habits that create the best life, and recognizing opportunities that present themselves is what I want in my life going forward.

If you look closely at a tree you’ll notice it’s knots and dead branches, just like our bodies. What we learn is true beauty and imperfections go together wonderfully. Matthew Fox

Trees don’t worry about their shape or size, they teach us to focus on growth. Vijaya Gowrisankar

You can only go halfway into the darkest forest. Then you are coming out the other side. Chinese proverb

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