Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Fully Refreshed

I'm not very good at taking care of my houseplants, which is probably why I only have two. I forget about then until they droop over and are about to die. That's when they catch my attention.

This morning I was watering a bone-dry philodendron plant. The soil felt like it had been in the desert sun. I put the plant in the kitchen sink and let the water run and run. I imagined the roots saying, "Thank you! Thank you!" I might have been washing away all the plant's nutrients (shows how much I know about plants) but from my thinking, I was saturating the roots—giving them enough water that if they didn't soak it in in the first passing, more was coming.

As I was doing this I imagined people who have just retired from very stressful, demanding, and all-encompassing careers feeling so depleted, so dry, that they just need a refreshing shower to rain upon them. If this describes you, then give yourself permission to recover—to do nothing if that feels good to you. Imagine that you're a plant that needs to soak in a refreshing shower.

How much time do you need to feel revitalized? Only you can answer this question. Some people tell me that they take the first year of retirement to recover—to feel replenished. If you're coming off a few decades of stressful work, give yourself this time to recharge.

And then at some point, imagine that your roots are healthy and rich, fully nourished and ready to begin a new life. Too much water for my plant will do the opposite of what I want it to do—the plant's roots will rot and mold from too much moisture—too much of a good thing. I think the same is true after a period of time to refresh in retirement.

It's at this point that you can approach retirement with renewed zest and commitment to create a meaningful and purposeful life. Imagine that you're planting a fresh healthy stem in nutrient-rich soil. With proper care and conditions, it will grow into a vital healthy plant, and so will you.

Copyright 2017. Patrice Jenkins. All Rights Reserved.


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