Pruning Back

* Disclaimer: as coincidental as this may seem, this post has nothing to do with Friday’s Thankful Tree post. 🙂

My life has spun out of control. I’ve bitten off more than I can chew, but I think I can take on more. What is my deal? Ah, yes, I’m a people pleaser. Dang, I thought I had learned how to say no by now. Well, for sanity’s sake, it’s time to get out the pruning shears and decide what needs to go. See, I’ve always heard about gardeners pruning trees and roses, but I had no idea why. I’ve read scriptures that talk about pruning as well. I sort of got it, only if to motivate me to keep on keeping on. It wasn’t until I read Found Adrift: 40 Days of Recovering Grace that it hit me. Author Pauline Creeden has a chapter that discusses pruning and why gardeners prune. I had an aha moment.

Found Adrift: 40 Days of Recovering Grace

There’s only so much nutrients in the soil. Only so much sun the plant can absorb. If our tree has nice leafy branches but no fruit, it isn’t going to draw more nutrients and begin producing fruit. All those leaves are soaking up what’s available. It must be pruned. Then the tree will have the opportunity to feed a new branch with the possibility of producing fruit. Okay, so Creeden explained it way better than  I could.

So I’ve been pondering this for awhile. We only have so much time in a day. Most of my day is spent doing duties of a stay-at-home mom: taking care of the kiddos, working on their ABCs and 123s, cooking, cleaning. Plus I’ve got outside commitments x5, only one related to writing. If I’m not careful, the extra commitments invade my time to write and work on other career related goals. I’m not so dim-witted to think I’m alone in this. We’re all running in circles like hamsters in wheels.

This brings me to the tree. What kind of fruit am I producing? Are these branches sucking my time and energy, but leaving me with nothing but pretty green leaves? Some of these branches have to go, but which ones? These are the questions I’m asking as I look at the coming new year.

That said, I am saying goodbye to Yo Ho A Writer’s Life For Me, for now. I’ll be changing my blogging schedule to twice a week instead of three times a week. I might post from time to time on writing, but blah, who wants to read about that, right? Or write it. Ha!

So what say you? Do you feel like a hamster in cage? Do you have some branches that need pruning? Please share, I love hearing from y’all. Besides, talking about it might help put things into perspective or at least give us some accountability, right?


7 thoughts on “Pruning Back

  1. E.K. Carmel says:

    Well said. I like your analogy – and it is so, SO true! I think we all get to this point eventually. I know I certainly did a few years ago. Life is much more enjoyable if you have the room to take a breath instead of constantly going and doing.

    • J. L. Mbewe says:

      Thanks E.K.! Well, I can’t take credit for the analogy, but it fits perfectly. I’m hoping to find that balance and breathe again. Once I figure out my priorities, then cut away. Its not that I don’t enjoy my commitments, they’re all good, they’re things I want to do, but I just can’t keep up which makes it harder to cut back. ha!

  2. Catherine Johnson says:

    Great post! I want to go to twice a week too, but I’ve just joined poetry Friday, help!

  3. […] A realization that I need to cut back and focus my energies. […]

  4. gretchenwing says:

    Love this metaphor. When I was teaching I “pruned” housekeeping. I just decided I’d rather spend my weekends playing with my kids than vacuuming. Now that the kids are out of the house I have fewer branches to worry about, so my house is much cleaner. 🙂

    • J. L. Mbewe says:

      Thanks Gretchen, yeah, my house is a lot less clean than I would like, but you are right. I’d much rather spend time with the kids. Of course, my five year old is wanting to earn money to buy a toy, so he helps me vacuum. 🙂

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