"Fortunate are the people whose roots are deep."
--- Agnes Meyer Driscoll
This month, I decided to do a little digging to check out my roots: The Roots of Me. I wanted to start looking for answers to questions like . . .
Who am I?
What roots me to my environment?
How can I create healthy growing conditions so I can thrive (especially as I age)?
In the garden, I'd just take out my little shovel and take a look at a plant's roots. Not so easy with . . . myself. So I set up a little exercise. Early in the month, I started an open list in my journal where I could jot down random things as they came to mind that might help me build a picture of . . . who I am . . . down at the roots.
It was kind of fun, actually . . . to start really thinking about I AM. (And, yeah. The Who song ran through my head all month long. It was my constant soundtrack.)
I listed things that are easy, "label-y" kinds of things . . .
I included various personality "categories" . . .
Questioner (who tips Rebel sometimes)
Aries sun, Sagittarius moon, Gemini rising
I listed things I like . . .
"I could eat cheese every day and never tire of it."
"I like appetizers better than dessert."
"I like checking things off my to-do list."
"I love poetry."
I listed things I don't like . . .
"I hate to be misunderstood."
"Things I hate: small talk, manipulations, deceit/lying, chaos, rudeness, cruelty, and compromising my values."
"I don't like stories where animals are at risk. And I am not a fan of stories set in prison. Or torture. Also war movies are not my genre."
I listed my tendencies . . .
"I'm always trying to figure myself out. I'm very introspective."
"I get done what I set out to do. Eventually."
"I'm not a perfectionist, but I do have high standards."
"I'm an introvert, for sure. But I'm an 'extroverted introvert.'"
I listed things I'm good at . . .
"I'm good with creative problem solving."
"I see the forest AND the trees."
"I'm good with color and proportion."
"I'm comfortable with ambiguity."
I included things that . . . well . . . probably bug other people . . .
"I can be stubborn and a little impulsive."
"I'm not fun to be around when I'm hungry."
"I'm not a fan of confrontation, but I can be very direct."
"I'm bossy and I like to take charge if allowed. If not allowed, I'll step back. But I may not engage. And don't expect me to take orders."
And I listed goofy things about me . . .
"I like to plan parties and give them, but I'm always worried no one will show up."
"I'm one of those people other people stop to ask directions of. Even as an American . . . traveling in Europe."
"I don't mind knowing what happens beforehand in books, movies, and TV shows."
"I don't mind public speaking."
Over the weekend, I typed up my list and printed it out. In the end, I had come up with 99 things that answered the question . . . Who am I? I had Tom check it out, and he thought I'd created a pretty thorough and accurate list for myself. (And he knows me better than anyone so I think he'd know.)
This was a really interesting exercise. By taking a good look at the roots of ME, I feel like I'm in a good place to move forward . . . strengthening my own root system, figuring out how to create an environment where I can thrive. I'm not trying to change anything, really. Just trying to understand myself and take care of myself.
As any gardener knows, happy roots = happy plants.
(And aren't you glad I didn't make you read that whole list!!!)
If you want to follow along with my word journey this year, you can click here to find all my posts related to "root."