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Giving Yourself a Decade

As my kids have grown older, we've had quite a few discussions about . . . oh, adulting.  About purpose.  And imposter-syndrome.  And tedium and routine and same-ness and is-this-all-there-is?  (Ahh . . . the 20s . . . )  My usual advice is . . . 

Give yourself a decade.

As in, look back at where you were a decade ago.  Sit there for a moment or two and think about how far you've come, how much has changed, how different life looks now . . . a decade later.  And then, think a decade into the future.  Project; try to imagine . . . because your life today is going to be THAT different from the life you'll be living in a decade.

I've been doing a lot of giving-myself-a-decade lately.  It's easy for me, because I have this huge life-marker thing going on this year: a decade post-cancer.  I love thinking back to the person I was before-diagnosis . . . and comparing her to the person I am now.  Realizing . . . how much can really change in a decade!

Like this, for example.

This is the view across my patio . . . right now.  The wisteria are exploding.  The air is so perfumed you can smell it in my kitchen.  The pergola and the swing and the surrounding gardens feel like they've been there forever.  


But . . . a decade ago?

Back fence design project 002 copy

Ummm.  Not so much.

A decade ago, I had just completed the Master Gardener requirements for the Garden Design certification.  I hadn't really started working on my plans for expanding my garden yet . . . when that stinking cancer diagnosis came in.  But I used those months during chemo to think and dream and plan.  It gave me something to do, and - mostly - it gave me hope for a future. 

My initial plans and sketches looked like this . . . 

Garden design process back bed 002 copy

(And while there isn't any wisteria in that design, it was always there in my head.)

Tom and Brian and my dad worked together to bring my plans to life.   Tom did the digging.  My dad designed the pergola.  Brian was eager to learn.  Together . . . 

More pergola 001 copy

they built it for me!

More pergola 008 (1) copy

Give yourself a decade . . . and things can really change!


Plans can become reality.  
Beauty can take root.  
Hope can flourish.


Whenever you feel a bit stuck, or think nothing ever changes, just . . . 

give yourself a decade . . . 


and see where it takes you!


P.S.  Before I had cancer, I doubt I'd ever have plunged into a major garden project like this one.  (And I'm not sure I could have convinced Tom, Brian, and my dad to become such willing participants, either.)  I would have gotten bogged down in the planning; I would overthink it; I would say . . . maybe-someday.  But having cancer really did change the way I thought about things, and it made me much more willing to go for it and take some risks.  It also helped me just . . . embrace beauty and create something for the future.