Code Name: Succulent – Living on Reserves

Succulents really are amazing plants.
The ability to store up moisture and use it for weeks, even months
during a drought makes them incredibly strong, hardy and long-lived.
Most of them store it in the leaves and/or stems, so the small root
system many succulents have is simply for taking up water and
nutrients when they’re available.

The longer they have to live on
reserves, the weaker the plant gets, as one would expect. Some are
equipped to deal with drought for longer than others, but all will
start to get weak and wrinkly the longer they need to be

As I look around my house at the
succulents I bought when this project started, I find them looking a
wee bit wrinkly. Most of them haven’t had much (or any) water since
I brought them home, and they’re thirsty to replenish their stores.
It’s a mirror of how I feel at the moment – like my own reserves
are running on low, and I need to replenish them before my leaves
start flopping over. Luckily, I should be getting that chance in
another week or two.

The fact is, we all have times in our
life when we are forced to live on our reserves. There’s nothing we
can do to avoid that. And we’re going to end up a little wrinkly
too, but if we make sure our reserves are well-stocked when water and
nutrients are plentiful, it ensures that we’ll make it through the
lean times with less overall distress.

I’ll admit, when I started this
project, it was largely because I was always running a little to
close to “empty” for comfort. I needed to stock my reserves,
“just in case” something happened that required me to be
self-sustaining for awhile. Then two weeks ago, something did happen,
and I found myself calling on those brand new reserves far sooner
than I thought I’d need them. While I could have used a few more,
what I’d already done was enough to make a difference. Two months
before, the same situation might have had far more dire consequences
for my personal/mental health.

So for the last two weeks, I’ve been
unable to really participate much in social media
(chatting/interacting with friends), do much with my tea blog, missed
a nail art post, and haven’t read much of anything (I charged my
Kindle today in hopes of getting back to a story tonight, but it’s
been so long I’ll have to start over with what I was reading). All
of those things are “water & nutrients” for me, and the more
time goes by that I can’t get to them, the “wrinklier” I get.

Even so, I know that the situation
won’t last forever, and I’ve been able to do a few things
(mindless games, listening to some music while multi-tasking,
writing) that are sort of keeping me afloat while I wait for things
to balance out again. I think this week will be just a little better,
and the week after I should be able to refill the wells and start
living normally again.

More than anything, this whole
situation has underscored the need to live a succulent life, and to
keep my leaves stocked to weather whatever drought might come next.
Even with all that’s going on right now, I’m still happy and
hopeful, and looking forward to getting back to enjoying the things I

Are your reserves well-stocked? If
you’re living too close to the edge, what could you do that might
make it easier to weather the next drought?

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2 comments on “Code Name: Succulent – Living on Reserves

  1. Ardee-ann Eichelmann

    Ah Jamie, I live with one foot hanging over the edge all of the time. I just have to make do with what I’ve got. The reserves were boiled dry a long, long time ago. It is a good thing that you are making sure to keep your reserves in check because it is not a good thing to burn out. It leaves your scorched and a tad lifeless. I know I try to dance in the rain when that is possible and doing so helps to fill my empty well.

    Deep Peace,


  2. Carol

    Lately I feel like my reserves have all dried up. It’s like there’s a beaver dam holding back all that creative moisture. I just need to keep whittling away at that to start the trickle that will lead to the flood.