Just 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!