Sunday, October 25, 2009
Feed and Water your Relationships
This is my gorgeous flowering cactus, given to me by a favorite cousin-in-law who now lives on the west coast and whom I haven't seen in years. When Karen gave me this plant 18 years or so ago it was much smaller and had just a few flowers. I don't remember the occasion, but it was a very thoughtful gesture and having the plant in my kitchen prompts me to think of her often.
My cactus has flowered reliably twice a year, usually right after Thanksgiving and again in the Spring, for many years. It's survived a move, a couple of repottings, lack of sun, overwatering, sunburn, and near drowning in June of 2006 when I left it on the back porch while we had record rainfall here in New England. It's been knocked over, had branches broken off by passersby, and hit with a football, a tennis ball and whatever other kind of ball my guys would play in the kitchen when I wasn't looking.
For the past year or two, my old friend the flowering cactus was mostly dormant, flowering sporadically if at all, and looked pale and unhealthy. I realized, at last, that I hadn't been paying much attention to this old friend and it was suffering from simple neglect. After a few well-timed doses of plant food, water and summer sunshine (but not too much), it's healthy as ever and blooming like crazy.
It occurred to me that relationships, whether business or personal, can suffer equally from neglect, and can be revitalized with a little TLC. Thank your spouse for the delicious breakfast, tell your child he did a great job on that math test, email a friend you've missed, call the customer you haven't heard from in a while and ask how she's doing. You know what to do . . . .