It was my birthday recently, and in a celebratory mooch around the garden centre, I bought myself a plant. (Now, there's a sentence I wouldn't have written when I was 20!)
Anyway, this plant. It's called Pink Mist, and its a neat, small plant, with a number of determinedly upright long stems, on which sit round pink flowers, busily producing food for bees. I was impressed by how straight and tall the stems were, and how much energy the plant must be putting in to keep them that way. In contrast, the other plants in my garden seemed to be practically lolling, sprawling about in an almost unseemly relaxed fashion.
And then the rain started.
It poured, and poured. And then it poured a bit more. My poor Pink Mist became battered and bent from the onslaught, looking sad and bedraggled. The bees stayed away, and there was no more busy food production. The lolling, sprawling plants were, of course you've guessed it, indifferent to the rain, and continued their sprawling undaunted.
At about the same time as the rain began, we had a family bereavement, expected but sad. And, as always, the immediate sadness is accompanied in the weeks that follow with a torrent of other emotions, linked to family dynamics, past grief and the loss of what might have been. It was a natural and normal grief reaction, and I was exhaused. My moodscope score plummeted.
Now, my default reaction in situations like these is similar to that of the Pink Mist - put every last drop of energy into staying upright, determinedly carrying on with life as normal despite the storm. And I end up battered, squashed and unproductive. But this time I went for the lolling and sprawling option instead. I tried to be mindful of how I was feeling, to take notice of my sense of feeling bruised. This in turn meant I needed to give myself time and space to rest and heal, clearing my diary and pottering in the greenhouse instead. Finally, I found a friend who I knew would actively listen and encourage me to off-load.
And it worked. I'm regaining energy and enthusiasm, and my moodscope scores are picking up. So, my future motto - less striving for perfection, more mindful lolling and sprawling...
A Moodscope member.