simple stress relief

Week #24
of our 2011 Project 52*
(*give or take a week here and there for vacations)
This month's theme is...simple!


What does one do when life gets too stressful?  This subject often comes up and there are millions of solutions available.  To each his own.

Mine is relatively simple.  I spend time in our backyard.  Sometimes, I sit and read a magazine while my son plays or rides his bike.  Most of the time, I deadhead.  What exactly is this activity you might ask...

Wikipedia defines deadheading as-
the removal of dead flowers from a plant in order to encourage the growth of new ones, and to prevent the production of seeds
In other words, I cut spent flowers from our rosebushes.  I select flowers that are past their prime, or are wilted, and cut them off.  This process is really all consuming - deciding which ones to give up in order to redirect the plant's resources to other buds that have yet to bloom.

I go plant by plant, surveying each bouquet (floribunda) or each rose (grandiflora) looking for signs of decline (showing impending or actual loss of petals).  Since we have about 20 or so rosebushes, this takes time.  I savor each inspection and also spend the time cutting dead branches.  I find myself drawn into the process and all of life's worries fade into the background for at least an hour or so.

This activity also has practical life implications.  That sometimes we take on too much, and we need to cut the items that don't really bring us the results we seek so that we can focus our attention on other equally important concerns.  I will admit that the time spent deadheading clears and grounds me.

Once I've cut out the ugly parts, I also spend a good amount of time choosing the best blooms to bring into the house.  I pick about 2-3 buds from each plant.

As you can see,  our roses were in full bloom at the same time.  All colors were represented.  

From the dark reds, the yellows, the yellow-oranges, to our corals.  I loved how it brought color into the house considering the weather was a bit ... ambivalent.  In fact, it started raining again right after I brought these babies into the house.

  I was able to fill 3 glass vases (small, medium and large) with blooms, and there were still a lot left on the plants for next time.   For the next time, I need to de-stress from a toxic workday.

A simple stress relief ritual.
A simple reminder that we have the power to redirect our energies.
A simple reminder that life is beautiful.


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