On Jasmine, Change Cycles, & Spoiled Wine…

A couple of weeks ago, I found two jasmine vines at the grocery store (in the plant department, of course). I love jasmine, but I tend to have a hard time growing it as a houseplant. Most of the time, that stops me from buying, but there were only two, and it’s pretty rare to find it around here at all, and in a moment of weakness, I brought one home.


Jasmine plant with dying leaves & new shoots.

I wasn’t really all that surprised when leaves started to shrivel up and die, even though I paid pretty close attention to it and took care not to over-water it or let it dry out. I figured that would happen, but it did kind of bum me out that it happened so quickly. Still, I kept it, because sometimes plants go through an adjustment period where they act like they’re gonna die and then spring back to life just because their environment changed.

Sure enough, a couple days later, I spotted new vines coming up among the dying ones. And this week as I was doing my Sunday “plant check”, I noticed that the new vines don’t seem to be dying. Yet.

I don’t really consider this “pessimism” – more just “realism”. I’ve killed enough of these plants to know that the chances of keeping one alive long-term aren’t good. At the same time, my naturally optimistic nature really, really wants to believe that this time, this one will be “the one” that I grow into a beautiful, healthy, strong jasmine vine that will eventually bloom and set off my allergies like crazy (life tends to balance like that…).

The whole changing of the leaves/out with the old/in with the new is relevant in many ways to my life right now, from the day job, to the writing, and a bunch of matching internal philosophical upheaval. Things and thoughts evolving and sometimes even going in directions I didn’t really see coming. With the changes come many decisions to make and…”things” that must be dealt with. It’s normally a stressful time, and there’s really no way out but through.

This current cycle of change seems different though, somehow. It’s still a bit stressful and I’ve fallen way behind, but mentally I feel like I’m keeping things in better perspective, which is helping me to cope in a healthier, more “zen” manner. Yes, I still feel the stress, but there’s this underlying calm as well that keeps me focused on what could be if I can hang in there and get to the other side. Change will never be my friend…I love stability and routines far too much for that. But at this particular point in my life, I feel like I’m able to embrace this time for what it is: a period of transition that will eventually yield to a positive outcome.

Or so I hope, anyways.

Unlike the wine we bought a few weeks ago to restock our wine cooler. I left the box of several bottles on the dining room table, because I hadn’t gotten around to adding them to my stock list yet. I finally got them added and we opened one up last week and…it was horrible. Another and another and another and…you get the idea. All different wines and labels, all apparently ruined by sitting for a week in the hot sun that comes in my southern dining room window.

Mea culpa. Needless to say, we went and bought yet another “stock” for the cooler this weekend, and I got them cataloged and into the cooler post haste. Often my laziness leads to more efficient means of doing things, but in this case, it just led to a bunch of spoiled wine. A sad, somewhat expensive lesson to learn, but I won’t be lazy putting the wine away again!

I know I’ve been skimping on the blog posts lately, and it’s because every spare moment I get lately, I’ve been spending either recovering from a mentally exhausting day, or working on drafts (sometimes both). Things are settling down a bit though, and I’m hopeful that this week I’ll have more mental energy to spare, which will enable me to get back on the blogging wagon, so to speak. I hope. If that does happen, watch for a special announcement coming this Friday (if you don’t see it, you can safely assume I’m just brain-dead again this week – it’ll happen eventually!).

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