The Importance of Pruning

Today we spent the afternoon outside, because even though its barely March, it was 75.  As the kids played I grabbed my pruning snippers and started to cut off the old, dead leaves and branches away from our bushes and shrubs.  As I pruned I became more aware of the spring growth that is sprouting up underneath last year’s dead growth.  I had to take breaks, of course, to ensure the little ones weren’t eating gravel or sidewalk chalk, which they were.   If it’s not a stick of deodorant, then it’s chalk with those two, you’d think they would have inherited my good taste.  Clearly… not so much.

We ended up carting away two wheelbarrows full of dead branches and leaves to the back 40, behind our pond.  As I stepped back to enjoy our work, I found some serious joy from the look of the the soil in our front beds.  It had a deep, freshly-turned earthy feeling, full of possibility and life.

And of course, because I am developing eyes for this sort of thing, I saw my pruning as an object lesson that resonated with my heart and the thoughts I’ve had lately.  I’ve felt a consistent need to minimize and open my eyes to my life.  I want to fall deeply in love with my life as it is right now and not as I wish it was.  I feel like I need to prune away the habits and practices that are keeping me from that fresh, green and airy living.  I want to, through trial and error, figure out what is life-giving and what is just sucking time and distracting me.

I want to put pen to paper, or at least fingertips to keyboards and keep track of what brings me joy and what is just dead weight, what is healthy to growth and what needs a good ol’ fashioned pruning.  Now is as good a time as any.

Life giving and important

1)  Putting my iPhone down and playing with my kids- watching their minds work and create is a once in a lifetime opportunity, I hate the thought of missing it.

2)  Writing and sharing my heart in this space- your words and responses make my heart go pop, in a good way.

3)  Reading, both fiction and non fiction- I love reading, it brings me words and images of a world outside my own, bringing in new vibrance to the walls of my mind.

4) My Happy Hour- Most nights after 12 hours of my 1 & 2 yr old, when the clock says 5 and I still have about 2 hrs left, I pour myself a glass of wine.  It melts my shoulders and stress, and since my dad had heart disease I practically have an Rx for it, if only I could get a months supply on $15 co-pay.

5) Text-encouragement- I love to send my friends love notes, happy thoughts and compliments.  Serving and loving others fills me up, so I am keeping this practice.

Dead Weight, Needs to be pruned a bit

1) Too much TV.  What is too much?  It depends on the week, but I think we are moving in a direction of less, it keeps us from connecting.  We fill too many of our free moments with noise and screens.

2) Pinterest- I love this website, but often it just reminds me of a ton of great ideas that I’m not going to have time to carry out, and that bugs me.  So while this is a super helpful site, in my life, it could use some pruning.

2) Crafting- I enjoy it immensely, but all the supplies and mess just keep away from the writing, family and people which are my primary callings.

3) Overcomplicated cooking- I need to cook in bigger batches and simplify, although I don’t think I could go back to breakfast cereal every morning.  God help me I love a hot breakfast.

So those are the seeds of my pruning list.  What brings green and lovely life to your world?  What do you need to prune and haul away?  The practice is worthy and sustaining, so come on, share a bit.