After our heatwave, which left some shrubs with a canopy of leaves burnt brown, I went on a pruning spree this morning.

It was fantastic! Regular readers will know how much I love my garden, how I feel a real emotional connection with my plants, so it was great to get out there and snip away the damaged parts. Yes, there was crooning, along the lines of “oh, my poor thing, I am so sorry you got burnt! Don’t worry, I’ll trim off all the hurt bits, and you’ll grow back good as new.” (I know the plants can’t answer back. I just felt really sorry for them.)

When I prune, I’ve learnt that I have to take a step back every few minutes to make sure I’m not getting carried away. There’s a certain memory of when I helped out a fellow undergraduate by offering to cut his hair for him … Look at it this way, although he was most displeased with the results, he didn’t need another haircut for a long time.

It’s odd that pruning gives me such pleasure, because in pretty much every other aspect of my life, I’m not a pruner. It takes a lot for me to deliberately sever a friendship. I loathe throwing things away; the only way I can clear my wardrobe is to donate the unwanted items to charity. I compost our unused food. I recycle compulsively. And, while I wouldn’t say I’m a hoarder (but what hoarder ever does?) I must admit there’s a cupboard of boxes in my spare room which haven’t seen the light of day for ages.

Unfortunately, I tend to hang onto things emotionally, too. Of course, this goes hand-in-hand with the whole depression/anxiety thing, but I’ve become more aware of it lately. It’s funny: if you’d said to me a month ago, “You hold onto emotional hurts”, I would have replied: “No, I don’t, at least, no more than anyone else. I meditate. I practice mindfulness, and the ‘observing mind’. I go to therapy. I journal. I forgive. I move on” – but the truth is, I was kidding myself. I told my therapist a whole heap of new stuff on Friday, big stuff, stuff which had been locked in the cellar for a long time but which would leak out in flashbacks and frozen moments, and afterwards, I thought: “Wow, I’ve been doing therapy with M for years – why hasn’t this come out before now?”

So perhaps, for me, 2014 will be the year of pruning. It’s going to be financially straitened anyway, with me working the minimum the dearly beloved and I need me to work, so I can focus on getting well; but also, I now hope, a time of letting loose some of those hurts which have been dragging me down for so long. Perhaps also I can prune other, less constructive things in my life: the hours spent watching TV or procrastinating. Oh, and please, please let me shed lots of weight this year! There’s some definite trimming needed there.

As always, my garden has proved a source of wisdom and guidance. Do you have something in your life, a non-person thing, which serves the same purpose? I’d love to hear about it.

Be well,

DB xx


Filed under Out, Up

16 responses to “Pruning

  1. Ew, I hate gardening. I actually like plants and flowers, but I hate dirty and getting dirty in it, and all the creepy crawly things that come out of the dirt. Reading and writing are the things I turn to when I want to relax and have some me time.


    • Fair enough! I’m not fond of the creepy crawlies, but I just love good, honest dirt 🙂 Each to their own. I also read and write. Actually, I read and write a lot more than I garden … but there’s just something special about nurturing plants, for me.


  2. I’m glad your pruning went well and was inspiring too! I used to be a pack rat but more and more I’m pruning things in my life. It feels so liberating! 🙂


    • Yes, that “light” feeling is a good feeling. I kept thinking I’d use one of the five-day Test cricket matches this summer to go through the boxes waiting for my attention, but things kept coming up, and it hasn’t happened yet 🙂
      lol – just turned on the TV and there’s a game of cricket on – I don’t believe in messages, but …!!!


  3. Frances Chamberlain

    Yes, I too love gardening –and all the gardening metaphors, too.. weeding, pruning, blooming, etc.. Dancing and walking in nature, too.


  4. Hmmm… I wonder if D&A and hoarding play together a lot… my theory is – if OCD people came to my house I would either cure them or kill them,,, I have organized chaos… and way too much of stuff…

    Good posting… I need to do some pruning myself…


    • Thanks! I’d also be interested to know if D&A and hoarding are linked. Might put the question out there into the blogosphere and see what response comes back. Our companion bloggers are so helpful like that – I asked about medication change practices recently and got responses from around the world – just lovely!


      • Nice regarding replies… I know I have some medication changes which will need to be made… on too freaking many… but still need some adjustments…
        Companion bloggers… just getting to know a few…


  5. Pingback: The Good Stuff | In & Out, Up & Down: Dysthymia Bree's Musings On Mental Health and Psychiatric Wards

  6. Don’t worry about talking to your plants. Prince Charles does it and nobody laughed at him 😉


    • Um … I think some people may laugh at him! 🙂 I know one of my neighbours has taken to smiling at me in a Special Way when he sees me outside; but that’s OK, he’s the beneficiary of my gardening skills as we share a driveway.


      • I was trying to be funny but it didn’t work. Sorry. 😦
        In all honesty, I believe talking to your plants is good. It’s been proved that it helps them so don’t let your neighbour’s special smile get you down!


      • Oh dear, this is one of those times the lack of tone in the typewritten word has got in the way of clear communication! I did laugh at what you wrote and was trying to continue the laughter by pointing out how similar good old Prince Charles and I were 🙂 Tone is a problem which not even emoticons can fully overcome, isn’t it?
        I always love your comments; I think we’re on the same wavelength.
        And anyway, my neighbour (who lives at the front of our block) comes from a culture which doesn’t value the appearance exterior of their homes; so while he may think I’m a bit odd for crooning at my plants, I think he and his wife are a bit odd for making our collective street frontage look like Weed Farm. Lots of mutual tolerance going on.
        It’s all good 🙂


So, what do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s