April 29, 2012

Yesterday I heard someone telling a story about his therapist who liked to say, “Always move forward.”  I liked the idea and wanted to think more about it so I wrote it down on a slip of paper and put it on my desk next to the few other notes that always seem to be floating around my workspace.  It seemed like something that might be handy to pass on to my patients.

Move forward to today.  Sunday afternoon.  Prime gardening time.  This is one of my favorite times in the gardening cycle.  We started our seeds in January in our indoor grow room.  (As you can imagine, the glowing grow lights from the second story of our house are the start of many jokes from neighbors.)  There they live in near jungle like temperature and humidity, slowing breaking through the soil, slowly growing, slowly turning from little wisps of green into the huge plants they will become.   Just after the last frost (as best we can guess) we move our little darlings outside so they can harden to their new environment.   It’s a rough transition for them.  Many go limp and look like they have given up the ghost over the first few days.  But almost all come back, stronger than ever.  Ready to go.

As so here we are at one of my favorite times:  time to lie out the garden.  The tomatoes are in (all seven kinds), as are the okra, collards, beans and corn.  But this is a Big Weekend.  This weekend we are putting in our 11 (!!) kinds of peppers, which will take up almost a third of our yard.  I guess you could say we are a pepper family.  One of my very favorites is the ají dulce, which tastes and looks almost exactly like a habanero but has none of the heat.   We almost didn’t get to have them this year because we couldn’t find any seeds but I finally was able to get some and start them, although they were about five weeks behind the other peppers.  And so here we are at the big moment.  What were once dormant seeds are now robust plants ready to be put in the ground.  We began by counting the pepper seedlings that are still with us.  But wait?  Where are the ají dulces?  Where are my beloved not hot habaneros??

Now yes, I am a psychologist.  But let’s get something straight.  That doesn’t mean I don’t carry some of my own bananas.  And something that can make me a little bananas is a plan that hasn’t gone according to plan.  My boo and I tried to figure out what went wrong with the ají dulces.  My boo is able to dedicate 100% of his brain power to this task.  I’d say I am at about 50%, as the rest of my brain is now being taken over by my awakening Crazy Freak Out Voice (CFOV).  My CFOV is starting to remind me that “This just cannot happen” and, with a creative spin, “This simply just cannot be happening.”  We walked through the steps of seedling care over the past few months and realized that he probably threw them out while moving the seedlings outdoors, mistakenly thinking that they were just some bad seeds since they had not yet broken through the soil.  He had forgotten that they were much younger in their growth and doing just fine.  But now we are almost in May.  Without so much as a seed for one of my favorite peppers.  My CFOV is going for her bananas, getting ready to strike!  How could this happen??  Hadn’t I planned sufficiently???

And suddenly, out of no where, the thought comes to my head:  ALWAYS MOVE FORWARD.  Yep, my favorite peppers are gone.  Yep, that sucks.  Nothing to be done here.  MOVE FORWARD.  And I’ll be darned if it didn’t (mostly) work.  Now admittedly this wasn’t a big thing.  No one was hurt.  Life will go on.  But I am not really known for being flexible when plans change.  And then here today it was just a little bit easier to get past it by moving forward.

So I think maybe I will try out this idea of always moving forward with some folks I see in my practice.  And like, duh, looks like I will be starting with me.


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