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Challenge: Summer Fun

I'm too pathetic to raise a gardenia...(and other BS that will ruin your summer)

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I love gardenias. As a flower, they are practically perfect in every way. Their scent is at the same time relaxing, energizing and intoxicating to me. So much so that I convinced myself the smell of them cured my morning sickness with both my pregnancies (and I had HORRIBLE morning sickness!) I.Fricken.Love.Gardenias...but I’m too pathetic to own one.

I did almost buy one this morning though. My son and I were at the garden center buying “hearty herbs” and flowers off the clearance rack. Everything in my cart was no less than 50% off and/or had already started flowering - because those are the ones with the lowest risk factor. As we made our way to the checkout, I got a whiff of the most lovely gardenia smell ever...and then I saw it. It’s leaves were shiny and bright emerald green and there were 5 perfectly white flowers blooming on top, begging to be sniffed. The care card said it was a “Hearty Hybrid” developed for colder environments...AWESOME! I live in the arctic tundra of Eastern Pa, so this one should be even more perfect than EVER! I picked up that heavy, sturdy bouquet of a plant and looked at it for a long time. I buried my nose in the soft white petals and my mood instantly shifted to my happy place. Then, little teen broke my trance as he sighed and protested the ridiculous amount of time I was costing him away from his wifi connection:

“What are you doing?! Are you buying that or not?! What is the big deal?! Make a decision!”

My kiddos words rang in my ears as I looked at the perfect plant in my hands...then put it back on the display where I found it.

“Why are you putting it back? I thought you looooooooved gardenias” [insert massive eyeroll here]

I do. Which is why I can’t get this’s too pretty and perfect for me to get it.

“Oh, Yeah, you’d just kill it. So, let’s get these other plants home so you can murder them instead. Gotta go, gotta go!”

And THAT, dear friends, is why I don’t own a gardenia - My most favorite flower on the planet. Because even though I have a beautiful container garden on my deck and windowsills full of flowering, thriving plants, I’ve been told (and it’s become a running joke in my house) that I kill plants. “The brown thumb”, “The anti-gardener”, “Captain Roundup”. Sure, there was that one aphid issue a few years ago, but other than that, I really am not a plant killer...but I have been told I am so many times, that now, I believe it. How ridiculous is that?! Someone has told me something that is NOT true for me, so often that I have taken that BS and owned it! As a result, I have absolutely zero of the one flower that brings me joy...but I do have a garden full of clearance, perennial or plastic plants that no one pays attention to.


So here’s what happened...that short convo with my kiddo haunted me all day long (seriously, it did...I’m not kidding) I kept thinking about how I had allowed that lie to prevent me from enjoying my yard and how denying myself something I love actually pissed me off more than if I had just bought the damn gardenia, enjoyed it for a few weeks and then let it die! The ironic metaphor I kept hearing in my head was:

“YOU decide what grows in your garden by what you allow to be planted there and how much attention you give it.”

So, today, I went back to the garden center and I bought my beautiful gardenia (plus a really cool pot to put it in) and I’m going to use this one perfect, shiny, smell-a-licious plant to empower me to change my story. Now, the next time someone tells me I “kill everything I touch” or that “plants shake when they see me coming at the garden center.” or “You’re too fat to wear that bikini in public” I’m going to smile and respond “That’s not true for me. I have a beautiful garden [body] and I know it.” And that will become my new story. Who knows? Based on this new thought process, I may even decide to start loving exercise! .......HA! just kidding...that’s not happening. “The public” will just have to learn to appreciate this curvalicious body sans the P90X, thank you very much.

What I have learned is this: Your truth, your story, your choice. That’s it. If the story you’re telling about yourself is making you unhappy or keeping you stuck...change it. Just ask yourself: What are you growing in your “garden”?


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