November 30, 2012

Lessons Learned: Autumn 2012

potpourri2

I joined the ranks of the self-employed in September. Like all work arrangements, there are benefits and drawbacks. One of the biggest benefits is that I have a little more time to devote to garden blogging. That makes me happy.

With the change, I've noticed a lot of my "lessons learned" this autumn have paralleled life and career lessons. Most aren't new, but are more like personal reminders. So, my entry for this season's meme is a little less practical than usual, and a little more introspective. For example:

spill

No use crying over [fill in the blank] ... spilled milk, garden potpourri, you name it. When life takes you in unexpected directions, particularly pleasant ones, don't lament the road you previously expected to take. Just enjoy the new path. Life is too short to look back.

echinacea

Really simple pleasures are absolutely the best. Why am I so pleased when I observe a brown, plain Echinacea seed head? Well, who isn't? But beyond that, I've learned to enjoy the simplest miracles--they never let me down.

combo3

Diversity is a good thing--whether we're talking potpourri, people, or special projects. I'm pleased to be working on several extremely diverse assignments. And they're keeping life fascinating and challenging.

combo2

Sometimes a dormant dream is nothing more than a promise waiting for the right time and opportunity to blossom. (Do you think this Cosmos seed head will germinate and grow if I plant it in the spring?)

combo

Planning ahead is helpful, but be open to new experiences. If you approach life with a spirit of curiosity and hopefulness, you're more likely to be at peace with the peaks and valleys.

zinniahead

Take time to simply appreciate what you have, and share your joy and blessings with others.

driedhydrangea

Sometimes the seasoned, faded [fill in the blank] is just as pleasant as the first blush.

potpourri

And one very practical, but sweet, new discovery: Dried seed heads from my garden create a lovely potpourri.

What lessons did you learn this autumn? Please share them by joining in this "Lessons Learned" meme. You can click here or on the tab at the top of the page, or simply share your link in the comments. Even links to past posts about your techniques, joys, and challenges are welcome.

To gardeners in the Southern Hemisphere: Happy summer!

This meme will be active until the solstice, when I'll post a wrap-up. Please also join my friend, Donna, at Gardens Eye View for her "Seasonal Celebrations" meme! And feel free to combine the two memes in one post.

36 comments:

  1. Lots of very wise words! I have been busy collecting seeds which I hope to grow in late winter so that I can plant in the garden when the last frost date passes. I am trying to get milkweed out early for the monarchs migrating north. I think seed pods make such wonderful photographic subjects! I have a busy weekend but have my post partially written. Will post next week. Welcome December...where has this year gone?

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    1. Thanks, Karin. For some reason, the seed heads have captured my attention this fall. I guess having a little more time has made me even more aware of the little joys. I'll look forward to reading your post--as I always do. Happy December!

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  2. Your potpourri photos are lovely! I love potpourri, not just because of the fragrance, but for all the interesting seed heads, dried blooms, and leaves. Your words to enjoy the new path are wise and very true! Sometimes we overlook the pleasures of the new path because we are always looking backward at the old.

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    1. So true, Deb. And thanks for your kind words. I love the look and the scent of potpourri--but I have to keep it away from my cats! :)

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  3. Great advice, and I wish you much success in your new endeavors. You sound like you have it all worked out, and it will work out.

    Love the dried seedheads.

    Jen

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    1. Thanks! We'll see. As long as we can pay the bills, we're fine. ;-) And I'll be having fun along the way.

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  4. Beautiful photos, I really like you pot pourri dish. I hope being self employed works well for you.

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    1. Thank you, Janet. Yes, it's a pretty little dish and captured the light well with the potpourri.

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  5. What beautiful lessons. It takes looking at the garden in a new way in autumn/winter to see its particular beauty, just as seeing simple miracles, new opportunities, and challenges in a new way, too, sometimes. Good luck with your new business. With your attitude, it sounds like you will be very successful.

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    1. Thanks, Holley. So far, so good. And as long as I keep kicking and making a little money here and there, we'll be fine. Going from primary breadwinner to support is an adjustment, but we've been able to share the load over the years, which is fortunate.

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  6. Wise words, though the challenge is often to put them into practice - especially the one about looking forward, not back. Like the photo of the dried hydrangeas.

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    1. Very true! As long as I can do that, my attitude is very positive. Can't look back!

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  7. Congratulations on entering the self-employed world. It's a whole new universe really. "Take time to simply appreciate what you have, and share your joy and blessings with others." That is certainly the truth. Have a beautiful ate fall day.~~Dee

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    1. Thank you, Dee. I know you have a lot of good advice on that topic. It certainly has been a beautiful fall here. It feels like September in early December!

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  8. You will enjoy your new found freedom of being self employed. I wish you much luck. Your seed heads made a beautiful post as did your words.

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    1. Thank you, Donna. The flexibility and the extra time are the two biggest perks. Life is good.

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  9. Such wonderful lessons and using those seedheads is a wonderful idea. I am so glad you are happy and things are going well...I can't wait to have my own schedule...not sure what I will do with it but it won't matter...I especially love the idea of the dormant dream...I will be linking in next week Beth.

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    1. Thanks, Donna. I'm pretty busy with various projects, but it's nice to have a more flexible schedule. Planning my Seasonal Celebrations...

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  10. hi beth, i've always found all life's lessons mirrored in the garden, and you have stated some here very poetically, with beautiful illustrations. I'm sure you will love the flexibility of being self employed, and if you have more time to blog, we will gain, too.

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    1. That is such a nice thing to say--thank you! And I'll have more time to interact with wonderful garden friends like you. Thanks!

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  11. What a lovely post, Beth! So many wise lessons that we all would do well to learn. I find, too, that the garden often offers lessons that parallel life lessons. Best of luck in your new career!

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    1. Thanks, Rose. The winter will be long, but I will make myself venture out as much as possible--especially on sunny days!

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  12. just enjoy the new path - that is the direction I am deliberately working very hard on. Sometimes I wobble a little. Hissy fit.

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Diana. [Smile] I know new paths can be a bit challenging--I've done my share of shifting over the years, too. ;-)

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  13. I too love dried seedheads!

    In fact, this year, the frost-killed flowers in the garden, don't seem sad at all. It's fascinating to watch them slowly decompose and go back into the soil. Meanwhile, they make fantastical shapes, catch the leaves and keep them in the flower beds as mulch, and provide shelter for animals and insects. (I spooked a grasshopper the other day hiding in the remains of the French Marigolds!)

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    1. Exactly! Oh gosh, that poor grasshopper! I'm thinking about poking some Echinacea seed heads into peanut butter-covered pine cones, and then putting them out for the birds. I'll let you know what happens.

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  14. All so true, and some of them are lessons that it took me a while to learn...but I'm a stubborn sort. I've never thought to make a potpourri with my garden flowers though, I might have to try that next fall.

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    1. I definitely have to relearn these things! Habits can be hard to break, even when we know we should be doing something different. The potpourri idea came to me when I had so many beautiful buds in the garden this fall--with no chance of making it to full bloom. So I gave them a chance to bloom indoors all winter long. :)

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  15. Elizabeth, I love cosmos and think the seeds that you collected are mature (they are black) and will grow in spring. And the ' potpourri' of dried seeds on a very nice plate looks nice.

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    1. Oh, good! I can't wait to try it. Thanks--I've always enjoyed potpourri, but I have to keep it away from my cats!

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  16. Liz, changes are a good source of improvement and you sure will do perfect in your new situation, I am half and half myself, and there are ups and downs but you are now designing your life and you show the positive attitude, that s perfect start

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    1. Thanks, Lula! I like the idea of half-and-half, too. But I know that can be challenging, too. Most of all, change is good and keeps us motivated and challenged! ;-)

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  17. My post is up, and I quoted you 'Enjoy the new path' that is a lesson I am in the throes of learning!
    http://elephantseyegarden.blogspot.com/2012/12/advents-dozen-for-diana.html

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    1. Thanks for joining in, Diana! Even when we choose the path, sometimes it's hard to keep moving ahead in a spirit of joy and optimism.

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  18. I hope your self employment goes well. I'd like to get a position at the schools with fewer hours, but enough to still qualify for health insurance.

    Your seedheads are pretty.

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    1. Thank you, Sue. A part-time job with bennies would be great! I love the freedom of setting my own schedule and having a lot of diverse projects. But I couldn't do it if my better half didn't have benefits. For a while, I carried the bennies with my job. So it's nice that we've been able to share the responsibility and spell each other.

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