THE LAST STRAW

RETIREMENT COACHING – DEBBIE DRINKARD GROVUMWith a little sadness and a lot of relief, I raked the last layer of straw over my community garden plot, preparing it for the next gardener.  After losing the weed battle and getting a few e-mails from the community garden administrators gently telling me my garden plot was looking needy, I decided to relinquish my plot.  Properly maintaining it took more time than I was prepared to commit.

First Harvest – I initially thought of my community gardening experience as a failure.  Although I harvested some beautiful produce and flowers, at the end of the season my garden plot was weedy and unproductive.  However, the more I thought about the experience the more I realized how much I had benefitted from it.  I met some great people and learned a lot about Florida gardening.   I also learned that I loved the idea of gardening more than I loved the actual work involved.  My gardening experience wasn’t a failure; it was an experiment. 

Final Harvest – Experimenting is a great way to explore new directions for our lives.  When we experiment, we have both successes and failures.  But failures serve an important purpose. Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed.  I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”  Scientists don’t give up when something doesn’t work and neither should we.

According to Edwin Locke, goal-setting theory pioneer, fear is the main thing that keeps people from accomplishing their goals.  Fear of failure prevents us from trying new things and not trying new things prevents us from discovering what inspires us.

In the second half of life we leave some roles and activities behind and open up space for new endeavors.  New space in our lives gives us the freedom to explore new places, new activities and new ideas.  

When I was young and picky about what I ate, my mother would urge me to try new foods by saying, “Try it; you might like it.”  I would add to this advice, “Try it; if you don’t like it, try something else.”  

1.         What experiment calls to you?

2.         What have you wanted to try, experience, or learn?

3.         What is holding you back?

4.         What is the first step? 

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