Checking In: The Orange Tree

Checking In: The Orange Tree


It’s been raining like crazy and I’ve lost track of how many consecutive storms we’ve had in a row!

So far we’ve made it through without any major incidents, except for yesterday, which was when our poor orange tree fell over.

Despite being happy in the same heavy pot for nearly 14 years, it toppled over after some seriously intense winds yesterday afternoon. The pot cracked into several pieces.

El Hub came home a little early from work to go to the hardware store to pick up another pot, and when I brought up the subject of perhaps using the opportunity to plant the tree in the ground, he asked, “Tell me, would YOU like to dig the hole? Because it’s gonna take a few hours digging in the rain to make it deep enough.” Um, no thanks, young man!

He and Connor went out to go buy another pot, and they ended up choosing one with a pretty teal gradient.

Anyway, earlier that afternoon, shortly after we discovered the tree had fallen, Connor said something that surprised me.

“Why do bad things like this always happen to us?”

Hearing her say something like this really surprised me. It felt like a punch to the gut.

I grew up in a somewhat pessimistic household, and the negativity colored how I felt about myself and the world around me as a young person. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I started seeing the glass as half full and that was only after lots of hard work at retraining my brain.

It’s been a journey, but for me it’s been worth it. Viewing the world through this half-full lens has made my heart lighter and my life generally better, and I’ve tried to pass this onto Connor, starting from a very early age. My hope is that teaching her this will allow her to move through the world with a strength and confidence that I didn’t have until later in life.

I took her aside and explained the tree falling over wasn’t some sort of punishment. It was just an effect of the wind and the weather. When the wind is strong, sometimes a pot just tips over. Weather is just weather. It’s neither good nor bad. It just is.

I also tried to convey to her that our thoughts and our words are very powerful, and that when we say things like, “Bad stuff always happens to me,” it can reinforce the belief that bad things will happen — and that can be a dangerous thing for a person. I told her that we have to do everything we can to protect what our minds think and what words we choose to say out loud because what we believe becomes true for us.

Was it too deep of a conversation to have with a seven-year-old child? I don’t know. I do hope some of it sank in, though.

One thing I’ve found interesting about being a parent is that it can be very triggering at times. It usually happens in situations when I realize what kind of reaction I would’ve gotten from my main caregivers as a child. Sometimes I wish I could go back to little me and give her the care, guidance and support that Connor gets.

Lil’ me

Anywho. We’re all like the orange tree in the pot, I guess. We’re snug in our pots doing our thing, but sometimes, a storm comes along, and for whatever reason, we topple over. But then our people come along, and they help us find another pot, replant us, and we keep on keeping on.

We just keep going and we keep growing.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

Karen

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