PSA: This is just a lesson I am learning right now
My wife can kill a house plant with the skill and poise of that dude from Assassin’s Creed.
She tries so hard (and I cheer her on from the background), but I just don’t think it was meant to be.
She waters them…
Cares for them…
And they die.
But there’s this one set of cut hydrangeas that we’ve had on our windowsill since our wedding two and a half years ago.
Don’t get me wrong, they’re dead as shit. We’re not miracle workers. But instead of decaying, flopping over, and growing mold like all the rest of our attempts at a green thumb, they simply dried up. They held their form, turned brown, and froze in time for maybe ever(?)…
I’m not really sure what we did because we’ve had different cut hydrangeas since this bouquet but they did not turn out this way (they ended up soggy, floppy, and gross).
But I love this dried hydrangea bunch. Not just because it’s from my wedding (I have a lot of cooler mementos from my wedding than dead flowers), but because it fulfills that aesthetic itch for a house plant on my windowsill.
The best part is, we didn’t even try.
Entropy is a lack of order or attention (gradual decline into disorder). My wife and I’s plant care methods are driven by entropy. The consistency is something that a plant craves but we were never able to deliver.
That’s why we have a windowsill full of half dead plants.
Except for the dried hydrangeas.
The hydrangeas took no planning, no organization, and no care. In fact I often forget about him completely. But he’s outlasted every single other plant (the ones that require that stuff) to enter our household EVER.
So how does this relate to real life? There’s got to be some kind of “moral of the story,” right?
Lately I’ve been thinking about the actions we take, habits we build, and ways that we choose to spend our time.
Writing everyday has been phenomenally fulfilling for me, but it’s been hard. It started out easy, but every day brought a little more resistance to the table until I felt like I was really forcing myself to sit down and write every night.
But I would take days off, and instead of feeling rested, I would feel that longing desire to create deep inside of me just asking to get out.
Bring it back to the hydrangeas:
It’s easy to try and systemize our desires; to try and make habits out of everything. But this can get really draining.
Taking care of a plant seems really easy until you realize that you can’t water that shit 3 times a day everyday for the rest of your life.
Sometimes, the absolute best things in your world are the ones that check off all your boxes (the hydrangea is technically a houseplant on my windowsill), with the least amount of discipline, willpower, and work possible (again, I don’t have to water the hydrangea because it’s already dead).
I’ve come to realize that my creative itch is around to stay. Any attempt to “systemize” scratching that itch is only going to lead me to frustration.
Some days I’m going to wake up and want to write a book.
Others I’m going want to paint a picture of a duck or write a song about turtles.
Whatever it is, it’s giving that creative itch attention. And any attention that I give that itch is going to prevent the itch from getting worse (entropy…am I right, guys?).
So screw the systems, screw the habits, and screw the order.
I want to find the things in my life that fulfill my desires without all the unnecessary work. I want to reap the benefits of “not trying” and right now, that looks like scratching my creative itch in whatever way that I see fit.
Follow up PSA: This of course changes with the seasons. If I truly did want to write a book, a tremendous amount of discipline would be required. I’ve written about organization, discipline, and hard work in the past and I stand by those words. But there IS in fact a time and a place.