Monday, I walked into the office to see my brand-new plant looking pretty dead. I had just bought it on Wednesday and here it was, dead. I had killed it. I had killed it in 4 and a half days.
I was immediately ashamed of my dead plant. I moved it to the other, less visible side of my desk. I wondered if anyone had seen my poor dead plant through the window on my door. OMG what would they say about me? I worried that they would know I was a plant killer. Poooooor sad little plant killer. “Mmmm mmmm” they would say, shaking their heads. “couldn’t even take care of a plant!” or worse “millennials!” I heard their non-existent judgments whirling around in my head. Then my inner voice started in. It may have been worse than the made-up stuff everyone else wasn’t really saying about me. Instead of “She can’t even take care of a plant” it became “I can’t do anything right” and “why do I bother” and my favourite millennial one “If this is #adulting, I’m out”.
I had taken two sick days off and then it was the weekend. Hence the 4 days of plant neglect. I always feel guilty about taking sick days and my dead plant justified all of my reasons for being guilty and feeling selfish for taking time for myself. Not only was I actually not feeling well, I had just found out my dad’s brain tumour removal surgery had been scheduled and was coming very soon. Until then it was some not-so-real thing in the not-so-soon future. Now it’s a week and a half away. It didn’t seem real and now suddenly it’s too real. It’s a lot happening at once but in my mind, taking those two days to take care of my health was selfish and something to feel guilty about. I even had a victim in front of me to prove it! Does anyone else ever feel this way? How do you manage? Do you take days off when you need to, if you can?
All these feelings felt justified because now I had murdered a poor innocent polka dot plant. A poor innocent polka dot plant that could have had a better life with someone else until I went into that plant store, plucked it from the fancy green pot it was in where it looked so happy and murdered it in four and a half days. Where does a person go from here?
All of the above thoughts went through my head very fast. Almost as fast as it took for me to see the plant and move it to its new hiding place. I guess I just wasn’t a plant person, even though I wanted to be one. I would never change.
Once I was done being about as dramatic as my dead plant looked, I remembered something the person at the store said. “The plant becomes droopy when it needs to be watered”. I told them I was new to plants and had asked for advice. At the time I didn’t know what they meant by “droopy”. The pile of death that was once my plant that was sitting in the pot seemed far beyond “droopy”, but I thought why not just see if it perks up a little. I poured in some water and tried not to pay attention to it.
An hour later there were signs of life! I went back to the picture I had initially taken to send to my family to let them know how quickly I had killed my plant (I like to make them proud whenever I can) and compared the picture with what I now had in front of me and there had definitely been a change. Gordon wasn’t dead!
Hour by hour Gordon came back to life. I watched her grow back up and stand tall. My inner voice was pretty disappointed that I wasn’t as much of a loser as it thought I was. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that the voice is not really me. It’s a bunch of things I’ve heard over the years but none of it is actually true. I had proven it wrong once again.
This experience has taught me a great lesson. 1. I CAN keep a plant alive for at LEAST 5 days. 2. Polka dot plants are pretty resilient (and also very dramatic). I may have also learned a little about kindness and patience.
At 4 p.m. I moved Gordon back to her rightful place on my desk and took the final photo. I sent it to my family with “#mood” because it was the end of the day and Gordon wasn’t the only one feeling a lot more perky.
“Be kind to yourself, and others, for that is the foundation of love” Brendon Burchard
#millenials #nevergiveup #mentalhealth #selflove #kindness #patience #selfcare #wellness #negativeselftalk #positivevibes #beadonor #MontyPython #GalaxyQuest #polkadotplant #mood #adulting