Lessons From A House Plant
Some people have green thumbs. Plants thrive under the care of those people. I am not one of those people.
In fact, I am a plant murderer. I have tried on multiple occasions to start a garden. Aside from an accidental strawberry plant which comes back every year with 4 or 5 normal-ish strawberries that some yard creature always steals, I cannot keep plants alive.
Cactus? Over-watered it.
Orchid? Under-watered it.
All other flowers? Dead. Dead. Dead. Super dead.
There is one exception though, a beautiful plant given to me by a fellow Social Worker as a thank you gift. She knew that keeping plants alive was not a strength for me but she was confident that I could manage with this one. She was right. I haven’t killed it. You know why? It’s not because I read some planting blogs or joined a facebook gardening group (both of which I did — still didn’t help me) or because I believed in myself.
My secret? Ice cubes. For real, ice cubes.
This plant doesn’t need a lot of watering, a lot of sunlight or any special food. Every few days it just needs an ice cube. When it looks a little weak, I give it an extra ice cube. If I forget about it for a few days, it’s ok. It lets me know by looking a little less green and a little more droopy. Essentially, it asks me for an ice cube.
The realization that I haven’t killed this beauty yet hit me the other day. Why was the ice cube so magical for this plant? Maybe it was because there was no overthinking. I can just plop an ice cube in the pot and the plant takes what it needs as fast or as slow as it needs it.
I think there is a lesson to be learned for all of us from this plant. Is there a simple thing that we could drop into our days that would perk us up or keep us hanging on a little longer? Maybe a good book before bed? Maybe a hot cup of coffee in the morning before the house comes alive? Maybe lunch with a good friend? Maybe a lazy Sunday morning in your pjs? Maybe a trip to the gym?
Could we incorporate just a small ice cube worth of self care into our day to day life?
So often we get bogged down by life’s pressures. Like this little plant, we can start to wither and wilt. We lose our perkiness. Our color starts to fade. We may even lose a few of our leaves. It doesn’t mean that we need to be transplanted to a different location or that all hope is lost though. We are telling ourselves and the people around us what we need. An ice cube. We just need a simple little boost.
So, what’s your ice cube?