“An ignored life is like an ignored yard – it can quickly grow out of control.”
Many people spend more time maintaining their yard than they do maintaining their lives. When I first moved to Vero Beach, I was amazed by the manicured yards filled with a blanket of 4-inch thick grass, lush shrubbery, and vibrant flowers. This was very different than the yards I ever had in Tallahassee, but they still had to be maintained too.
An ignored life is like an ignored yard – it can quickly grow out of control if you let it. Keeping life under control requires constant work.
Here is a maintenance list for a well-manicured life:
1. Maintain life’s lawn. Think of the lawn as our foundation, or our home. Just as our lawn provides a safe place to play, our life requires a safe, healthy place too. The same way we look for ant hills and harmful objects, we too should constantly be looking for harmful things that enter our life’s lawn and remove them.
2. Trim life’s hedges. Sometimes we need a little shaping up. When we are healthy, our muscles are more pronounced and shapely, but as we let ourselves go we lose our original shape. This applies to our spiritual lives as well. The things that once defined us can quickly become lost or overgrown if it’s not maintained.
3. Prune life’s trees. Pruning trees can be pretty drastic. It’s always hard to cut things out of our lives, but many times cutting something off allows us something new to grow. Whether you need serious pruning or a simple trim depends on how long it’s been since you’ve let things go.
4. Fertilize your life. You can always tell which yards need water and fertilizer. A healthy yard actually looks healthy. This applies to our lives as well. You can’t expect your life to grow healthy if you are not getting the nutrients you need. If you neglect or abuse your body, it will become just as obvious as a dying plant.
5. Kill life’s weeds. We all know certain weeds can choke out some of the most healthy plants. Just because you are strong doesn’t mean you are resistant to the weeds in life. Whether it’s junk food or addictions, they grow just as fast and can take over a healthy life quickly. The only way to control them is to remove them entirely.
6. Clean up after life’s storms. We can’t always control what happens. Life’s storms can come quickly, cause a lot of damage, and leave behind unwanted debris. Although it can be overwhelming at first, it’s important to pick up the pieces and get our lives back as quickly as possible. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to repair the damage.
7. Enjoy life’s lawn. I’ve been analyzing my own life lately and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the changes I need to make to my own life – and one of them is taking more time to enjoy life. We can get so bogged down in maintaining our lives and lifestyle, we forget to actually make the time to enjoy it. Whether you need more rest, more relaxation or more time with friends and family, it’s crucial you make the time to enjoy life as each day is not promised.
If your life has gotten out of control or needs some minor shaping up, maybe it’s time for you to do a little ‘Life Work’.
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