Create Beauty Even During Tough Times

I bought daffodils and tulips early last October. Each day I would remind myself to plant the bulbs because time was running out. Soon the ground would be frozen and I wouldn’t be able to physically plant them. Yet, each day something got in the way. There was far more on my mind at that point than planting bulbs, especially ones I wasn’t going to see any joy from for MONTHS!

October and November were filled with emotional roller coasters that made daffodils and tulips the last thing on my list.

The biggest thing on my mind: our second round of IVF treatments. We anxiously waited for our doctor to tell us when and what medicines I would be taking this time around. We hoped that we would not have to worry about taking shots during the holiday season, but only time would tell.

Mix into that a tough decision. Go after my dream of being a full time coach or stay at my job for the security of a steady salary and medical insurance. Lots of questions ran through our heads! Do we have enough savings to let me grow my business? If this round of IVF doesn’t work, what will we do to cover the future cost of treatment? What happens if my business doesn’t get up and running like I hoped, could we still go forward with treatment?

Because those two things weren’t enough, the icing on the cake was during all of this I was also preparing for the last few months of my coach training program. Filled with oral and written exams. Remember all the emotions of graduating school? They were all there.

The last thing on my mind was planting bulbs.

No one would have blamed me or even noticed if I didn’t plan the bulbs.

One day in the middle of November right before a snow storm was supposed to hit Chicago, I took out a shovel and the bulbs. Roughly plotted where I wanted each of them to grow and dug right into the group. It was a bit of a sloppy job in my mind. I had no idea if I dug deep enough or spaced them out far enough apart or too far. Some of them got dug up by squirrels, who tossed them aside when they realized they don’t like daffodil bulbs. Only time would tell if enough were still planted and would survive.

Fast forward to now. It’s spring and I’m so grateful to my past self for taking those 15 minutes to plant bulbs. They have grown into bright yellow and white with yellow center daffodils and tulips with beautiful green leaves and colors just about to give us a show. I look back and realize that planting those bulbs was a gift I gave to myself and my husband. It was a gift that I had no idea would bring us so much joy and appreciation during a time where we are all locked down.

They are also a reminder to me that despite the circumstances around me, I can continue to plant what I desire in my life. What great timing for that reminder, right?

COVID-19 has disrupted a lot of our lives. It has brought up concerns that none of us were considering just 6 months ago. Today, I’m even more worried about my health, my family’s health and my friend’s health. I’m concerned about how to make a large transition in our lives with bringing a baby into the world on top of all the changes we face daily.

But then I walk by the daffodils and they remind me that I planted them when life was tough. It was a different type of tough, but it was still tough. I look at them and know that each and everyone of us can create something out of this. It can look like many different things. It might be taking a new look at our plans and deciding to still go for them. It might be asking ourselves the question what will we keep and what will we let go of from our previous normal. Or it might be something simple like creating a gratitude practice. Either way, we can take a moment to plant something new today and see it flourish over the course of the next 5-6 months.

Go and plant something because our world will look different over the next 6 months and you might just need the reminder of what comes out of making one little thing happen today that springs you forward tomorrow.

And if you happen to be near my home – I hope you enjoy the daffodils and tulips.

Article originally posted on LinkedIn.

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