From the Garden of My Mind

20160114_133643Just as common sense doesn’t grow in everyone’s garden, neither are we all born with a green thumb when it comes to cultivating a vision for the future.  To cultivate anything requires an attention to detail, knowledge of what is being nurtured, a bit of patience, and a smidgen of resilience (for when things don’t go as expected).  

There are plenty of ideas and dreams growing on our homefarm; envisioning comes naturally to us.  It’s in the journey from idea to fruition that we sometimes go off course.  Fortunately cultivating, or nurturing, a vision is a skill that can be refined with practice; with common sense, it’s not so easily done.


Johnny often says, ‘It’s a good thing we didn’t spend money on blueprints for that’ referring to when what we think is a good plan changes in process and becomes something altogether different.  It started with the renovating of our house and has extended to our farm and garden projects.  While these changes have always been improvements, it demonstrates my point that it’s helpful to know what direction you are heading in, to have a vision, and to be flexible about it all.

I believe Johnny and I are a case of opposites attracting and it working very well.  So when I recently heard us having a similar conversation as we had last year and the year before about what needed doing in the garden, it occurred to me to think about how we plan what we plan and how we then execute it-why hadn’t we already accomplished these things, I wondered.  While we agree on the vision, our approaches to realizing it are very different.

I over prepare, wanting to have a meticulously thought out plan with hopes to get things right the first time.  Johnny is the opposite, under preparing, not thinking projects through to completion before starting, liking to jump in and do things with the attitude that we can change, repair, or improvise if a problem arises.  These very opposite ways of thinking have not served us particularly well.  They’ve proven to be inefficient and have halted progress rather than moved it forward.  It’s true that we have accomplished much, but in hindsight it’s clear that my over planning can overwhelm us both with analysis paralysis- seeing the big picture, planning each area of it, making a lengthy to-do list and feeling frustrated when it’s not all accomplished in a wishful timeline.  His approach is not much better as time can be spent with little to show for it.

I’ve been working on a list, ’16 for 2016′, and it has been an eye opener for me how much I count on Johnny to fulfill the things in my vision.  He must feel defeated before he begins when seeing the overwhelming to-do lists I am so good at compiling, just as I have felt disappointed at our inability to complete them.  But spring is the season of growth and rebirth, and it energizes and inspires people to try new things.  We’ve made this years list.  It only contains three things, three necessary and achievable things.  Here’s hoping this new understanding and new approach will help us cultivate–that is, nourish, develop, and achieve–our ultimate vision.  You can count on updates in the future…

Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” —Carl Bard

Ah, Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood.  Those this side of the Atlantic mightn’t be familiar with the Public Broadcasting Station show.   I grew up on it and highly recommend YouTube episodes for anyone, adult or child.    Respect, self-esteem, social responsibility, honesty, and friendship are all themes explored through field trips, make believe, music, and constant audience interaction via direct verbal and visual contact.  Just brilliant!


I hope you find success in whatever you’re dreaming of.  No matter how difficult, no matter the obstacles, no matter the naysayers, believe in your ideas and in yourself.  If you want it, if you believe in it, then work for it–whatever you do, never give up on your dreams!

Melissa Xx


  1. Melissa I burst out laughing at the description of your approach vs Johnny’s approach. Laughing….because it could have described our approach too. Me – how much wood etc do we need to build this deck. How many footings do we need to support this so that it doesn’t collapse? Vs the other approach – lets just start nailing stuff together and it will sort itself out. 😄

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s good to be able to laugh at these things! I think many couples must be this way. I could probably lighten up a bit, take a leaf out of Johnny’s book… he gets in bed, rests immediately, much more chill and laid back. Or maybe that’s just a ‘guy thing’! Probably I should just meditate more 😛


  2. It must have been meant to be, reading this blog post. I was just sitting here asking my other half if some of the pigeon babies would be ready to go to train with friends in Florida. I knew the answer before I asked it, as I am the one with the calendar and the clock in my head, but at least he finally answered honestly. A disappointment, but not totally unexpected. Another couple who approach things very differently. Frustrating, but true! And so it goes. That is life!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, frustrating alright! And then I think, if this or that changed about him I could see other things changing that would be less desirable, trickle-down effect like. That’s just me thinking it all the way through to the end again, only this time it probably benefits him more than my to-do list, ha, ha!


  3. sailimo says:

    Lovely post. And recognizable: I am the one with loads of plans and rely heavily on him for getting most of them done! But am not too worried if it takes time, lots of projects are half done, many still in my head and I think the process from idea to completion should also be enjoyed! What would we do if it was all done? I know: you and I will come up with more ideas! Haha. It never stops, enjoy! Like your idea of only 3 for this year, may look at that myself. Love that word: smidgen! Xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • The ideas do just keep a coming alright. I’m more laid back about most things but really felt the pressure because of our desire to have a business and had my mind set on what we had always planned, Ah, Western society — we are doers, creators of our destiny, we make things happen…we don’t wait for it to happen. Silly me thinking we are in complete control of our fate! Time to go with the flow…


  4. Olga says:

    Love that video of Mr. Rogers’ focusing on the truth that we all have (children/adults) a garden in our minds.and it needs to be realized and nurtured. Wish you success in your journey of three.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Cathy says:

    Oh dear I see ‘myself’ reflected in this post in a very strange way. I am an amalgamation of the two of you – there are times when I have so many meticulous notes and plans lined up and then there are times when I get an idea (usually with knitting in mind) and it’s off and running without a thought as to if I have enough wool to finish! Luckily I come to my senses quickly and will add some contrasting colours to make sure lol
    The Golfer and I take turns with these characteristics where big things in life are concerned – he plans – I want to rush in. Then there are times when I plan and he says ‘wing it’. After 54 years of marriage we still laugh and say to each other – we’re heading for defeat if we overplan 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Melissa, I’m laughing now, we are the exactly opposite couple, my hubby is like you, love to follow all the steps of a manual and imagine the product before starting the task, not me, I’m like your hubby, going with the flow. Good luck with your garden, here lots of snow for long time still, gardening ‘outside’ only in May. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great post Melissa and I really like, that you are able to think and change your own mind, when you see, what is going on and this is not the best for all of you 😀
    I think that couples, who think and act opposite are great to supplement each other. I like planning too, but usually I just start the projects and see, what will happen. Sometimes I regret that I didn’t follow my plan and other times it ends up much better, that the planning as were in my head at first.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Murtagh's Meadow says:

    Another inspiring post Melissa. Like Cathy my husband and I are a a bit of an amalgamation of the two. One of my biggest faults is last minute planning which can lead to lots of stress! Setting a goal is always a good idea and admire you both for that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Karina, we are working on getting the balance right, harder to do when we are at such extreme ends of the personality spectrum, but easier when we don’t take it all too seriously. Things have a way of working out when both parties are willing to compromise a little here and there. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. My husband and I have similar issues when it comes to completing a new project. Me being the planner while my husband decides his course of action as he goes along. It’s a great idea to try something new and to have fewer obtainable goals.
    I love the quote at the end. It is so true.
    The video was fun to watch. I’ve never heard Mister Rogers sound that way. Cool. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Such a catchy starting line.. 🙂 Awesome ending quote! I agree that its always good to hold on! This was a nice read. All goods to the garden.. 🙂 Opposites sure go well! 🙂 That was so much of a mixture in my comment! I just wanted to say it all.. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person


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