Life is like a rose garden.
Many years ago I asked for a rose garden for my birthday. I had done a lot of reading over the years about roses, and it was a lifelong dream of mine to harvest my own roses. I picked out fourteen different specimens and my husband had a raised bed installed on the sunny side of the house. It was a beautiful thing—underground irrigation, termite treated railway ties to highlight it, and an arbor in the middle so I could train a climber to hide the utility boxes. (The meter reader was less than happy with the thorns.)
Over the years I struggled to make the garden work. I fought bugs, black spot, drought, the rainy season… you name it. I spent hours every day dead heading, spraying chemicals, et cetera.
I am a stubborn person, driven by a high standard I try to live by. It takes a lot for me to admit defeat, but I realized that I was no longer willing to invest the time and effort into a losing proposition. I stopped spraying, and one by one the roses died, leaving one old feisty climber who will survive a nuclear war. I treat him with great respect, and fertilize and trim him back from time to time.
Life is like my rose garden. There are times when adjustments need to be made that are painful for us to make. But rather than view these adjustments as failures, we sometimes need to view the initial risk as a joyous and daring experiment. We cannot learn and thrive if we are stymied by fear or the specter of failure.
Whether a particular venture is a success or failure can only be judged by our personal standards. We must not compare ourselves to others. And, we owe no one an explanation as long as what we strive for is legal and a goal that does not physically hurt others.
I am not suggesting that we blithely go about our lives without considering commitments. What I am suggesting is that life, like my experiment with a rose garden, has to be re-evaluated from time to time. You need to periodically ask yourself if what you are trying to accomplish is a worthy goal, a good use of your time. Only you can answer that question.
The side of my house where the rose garden grew is now a bed of African irises. They require no chemicals and thrive in the sun, rain, drought—whatever Florida weather throws at them. I focus my attention on orchids, a plant that is more suited to the brutal summers and the humidity. I will never forget my roses, but there are many other flowers a gardener can grow. Enjoy creating your personal garden.