the green things good for you


I sat at my desk reading a blog about slowing life down and how it is essential.

Centering an entire day around productivity or effectiveness as a goal equaled very little focus on other people. On relationships. 


I read the above quote written by a woman named Tsh Oxenreider (correct spelling, no joke) as I texted on the smartphone and sat on-hold on our main business line with a customer.  I was checking off my to-do list on my desk calendar.  Multi-tasking.

It was 8:30 AM and I had happily patted myself on the back; day seven of my forty day Lenten journey.  I considered how much calmer and happier I was by observing my driving etiquette.  I have given up my road rage antics behind-the-wheel for Lent and every single day I have caught myself.  My children have been good at keeping me accountable and several friends encourage and cheer me on as they lament their own battles of the road.    I normally curse the powers that be when this traffic light turns red; as I journey downhill to the freeway entrance.  This morning I sat at the stoplight and admired the view of the valley before me.  I quickly snapped the shot just as my light turned green.


My girlfriend calls these instances, God winks.  I was predestined to stop at this light and admire the community views.  And when I accelerated onto the freeway to brake lights, I didn’t even grumble.  Cars angled to exit the freeway parking lot and I allowed them to cut in.   I happened to lean to the left; spotting the emergency vehicles on the other side.  Within minutes I was traveling to work, my freeway clear.  The looky-loos had all exited and my work commute was fast and pleasant.  I arrived at work smiling.  My desk had been cleared the day before.  It was going to be a great, productive day.


And then I read the blog above.  Ouch.  I had just checked off to-do lists amongst my calendar squares and highlighted tasks.


But before I had time to think, the in-laws arrived to visit.  We have taken over the business from them and the father-in-law entered with greenery in his arms.  He has been busy in retirement and one of his loves is gardening.  Soon my work area became a farmer’s market with the fresh greenery created from their own backyard.  Whenever we visit my hubs’ childhood home, I jokingly ask if I can go shopping in their backyard.  But today, these wonderfully green things were being delivered right to my front desk.


The aroma of dried oregano permeated my workspace .  I chose not to mention that I had just vacuumed the day before.

Time flew by.

In the forty-five minutes I ran errands, unbeknownst to me, my phone rang and chimed; buried beneath packages and paperwork.   I patiently waited for an elderly woman to cross the parking lot and even allowed people to cut into my driving lane.  It was in this quiet time, whilst driving, that I remembered the quote above.  How the busyness of life barrels past and my relationships with others, suffers.

I thought of two of my dearest girlfriends; both supposed to be visiting doctors today.  Both resist and both are scared.  In my mind I imagine false positives.  But I allowed my thoughts to go darker, what if?  What if my time was limited with these women?  How would I find the time to be with them?  I made the mental note while stopped at, yet, another stop light, to follow-up with both to make sure they did what they were supposed to do.

Returning back to my desk I furiously faxed and answered emails.  It was then that I noted my phone had rang and chimed while I had been out.  Thankfully, my thoughts were correct.  False positives.  But the question still lurked in my mind.  When will I make the time? 

Because really, for Lent, improving my driving etiquette is do-able.  Making time, slowing life down… Hard.  Why?  Things like efficiency, productivity and finances tend to drive our busy lives.  In an idyllic world I could enjoy the greenery, the rolling hills that announce the arrival of spring.  Being outdoors enjoying these views would be good for me.

If I asked the hubs what green things would be good for him his mind would immediately conjure the almighty dollar.  Being financially independent.  Large savings accounts.  Sure, he’d think of vegetables; particularly brussell sprouts (yech) or spinach.  I gaze at the large head of cabbage upon my desk that will be used for my St. Patrick’s day dinner of corned beef and cabbage.   He’d think of recycling and sustainability in saving our planet and reducing our carbon footprint.  Of creating gardens and home cooked meals with non-processed foods; from scratch.


The hubs hugs the money tree at work. 

But when you strip away all the material trappings and schedules, titles and bank accounts…you can’t sustain without human relationships.  With God.  With Family.  With Friends.  Without these things life would have no meaning.

sustainable.  adjective. 1 : able to be used without being completely used up or destroyed. 2: involving methods that do not completely use up or destroy natural resources. 3: able to last or continue for a long time.  ~ http://www.merriam-webster.com.

What do you idolize?  Is it sustainable?
And so I ask myself why?  Why all the busy-busy?  I decided to recount my day to discover what part I could give up.  Because now I am considering changing my Lenten journey goal.  If I can learn to give up time doing busy things I can enjoy the life details that pass me by.  I need to make the insignificant things become less and the significant ones become more.   Because I know, that day will eventually arrive.  The day when a dear friend, family member, maybe even myself, will count my life in hours and minutes.  And the memories  won’t be of granite counter tops, pristine pools, fancy cars and large bank accounts.  Nope.  Not even.
My mind will see  vivid emerald green; my favorite color.  The sun that warms my face, the growing limbs that wrap around my sagging waistline and roughened hands that grip mine.  I’ll feel the shoulders that allow me to lay my head and the tops of freshly shampooed heads.  The aromas of coffee amidst laughter,  lipstick on wine glasses and early morning sunrises on trails; overlooking the verdant valley below.  The only material items I’d cherish.  Books.  Photo books.
I need to enjoy my human resources and sustain them; for a lifetime. 

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