With all the rain and warm temperatures that we have had this growing season, our hydrangeas and other bushes have just burgeoned. I realized that if I do not prune them back now, there might be a problem during the winter and into the spring. In the past when I missed the opportunity for fall pruning, I found that the first real snow or icy rain would bend and possible break the canes and branches. Preventive pruning and shaping are key to healthy plants.
It makes me think of the things in my life that I may need to prune: attitudes, time management, commitments, lifestyle choices. Not that we know or can predict the future but sometimes we do have an inkling of what is coming down the pike. It might be that there is a known change on the horizon- a new member of the household, new home, home renovation project, new job responsibilities, a move or new living situation with family members. For those situations, it might be necessary to prune back on commitments in order to be more flexible to whatever may arise.
In the upcoming months we will have numerous home renovation projects as well as I will have scheduled surgery. I have been preparing for the projects by getting much of the prep work done now because as it would happen, I will be on physical restrictions for the time when I would've been doing the prep work. I know that if I don't cut back with other activities I won't be prepared for what lies ahead.
I haven't ever had this specific combination of events before but I have had others that as things unfolded, I chastised myself for not working ahead and being more prepared. In most case, what I needed to do (in hindsight) would've been possible if I had only cut back on something or pruned out an attitude of laziness.
"If only", becomes my refrain:
"If only I had cleaned the fans before I put them away would it be much easier when I need to get them out on the first really hot day of spring."
"If only I hadn't been so prickly when she asked me a simple question we wouldn't be in this strained relationship."
"If only I had pruned back the hydrangeas then all these branches wouldn't have broken."
"If only I hadn't committed to teaching this class, we could've gone away."
"If only I had run more I would've been prepared for the 5K."
What about you? Have you ever had the "if only" mind discussions? Did you learn anything for the future about making choices, cutting back or pruning out activities or habits? Are you aware of any impending life changes? What can you do to prepare for them? Do you need to cut out certain activities before you can take on new ones?
"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Wise words spoken by Benjamin Franklin. He may have been speaking about fire prevention but applies to so much more. (Fun fact- he was the one who invented the lightning rod but never sold it, just provided the instructions on making one so that all people would benefit.)