Prune in June: For Life Not Just For Roses

Prune In JuneWe are now officially in the second half of the year. I don’t know about you but it was a genuine shock to me, when I really thought about this. Before we know it, Spring Carnival will be upon us and we’ll be planning for Christmas.

This really makes me shudder. Where has the year gone?

I made an error at the start of this year. I didn’t make any plans, or set any goals. So I’ve been flippin’ around life dodging dodgeballs, putting out fires and generally just enjoying the ride. But I don’t feel like I’ve achieved a great deal in these last six months.

I’ve been writing a bit about living a considered life. The more I think about it, the more I believe this to be the right path for my family and I. Flying by the seat of my pants is damned fun – but the journey is mostly circular, rather than linear. Without a plan, destination or goal I feel like I’m going round in circles. I think plans are good, even if they change – having a plan helps me feel more energetic about life.

There’s a saying that gardeners use as a reminder when looking after roses, that I always think of at this time of year: “ Prune In June”. It’s a nice way to remember to cut back old foliage and dead buds; to allow regeneration and to make room for the spring blooms.

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A little like how I feel at the moment.

I like it and I think we can apply it to life. June is the start of winter here in the southern hemisphere, so it’s easy to shut the doors on the world, hibernate and regenerate a bit.

Here are some things that I’m going to try and focus on in the second half of the year.

1. I’m no Pollyanna, but I’ve been a bit shocked by how much anger people have in their hearts. I’m going to try and focus on not engaging with that. It brings me down and makes me a feel a bit sad and, if I’m honest, a bit sick. It’s hard not to be drawn in to this – moral outrage can provoke some quite extreme behaviours.  No one wants to be swallowed up by other people’s anger. This will probably require me to disengage a bit from somethings I enjoy, but I figure this protection mechanism will just make more space for things and people with less anger.

So, doors close… others open… new blooms, so to speak.

2. I’m going to get out of the house and interact a bit more with real people. I work for myself, from home. So sometimes I feel a bit like the four walls of my home are closing in on me, and I want to run away. But I don’t really want to run away, I love the life I have carved out for myself. I’m very fortunate to have my life, I know this. But sometimes the cabin-fever is too much. Real people, real interactions. We are instinctually social creatures, some more so than others, so it seems counter-intuitive to not make room for this. The School of Life offer some fabulous events, as do The Wheeler Centre and the National Gallery, so more of that nourishing human interaction I think.

3. Checking in with my family. That might sound a bit strange given we live together between those aforementioned four walls, but the daily grind can mean that things can be happening under my nose that I’m not even aware of. Freeing up some time to just hang out – free play for kids and grown ups alike, is a great way to connect.

Beautiful things happen when you all find your flow together. 

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4. Although this is a bit boring, I’m going to set some professional goals. When you work for yourself there’s no one to answer to – no KPIs to meet, no outcomes to achieve, no overarching project goals. So it’s easy to faff around. But having some professional goals gives focus and direction. I find I achieve much more when I work towards something.

Research tell us that having a goal will make you happier and more fulfilled. 

 

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5. Kill the imposter syndrome. I think when you work alone, especially in a creative field, anxiety can rear up in many guises. Sometimes I suffer from Imposter Syndrome and if I’ve spent too long on my own, it can be crippling. I won’t go in to the peculiarities of my own version of this, and anyone who has suffered the same or similar certainly won’t need me to, as they will understand. But my most recent experience of this had me hanging up my typewriter and looking for a job doing data entry. This cultish experience of external validation can be absolutely paralysing – it sucks the life out of even the most robust personality. I’m yet to find a way to really manage this infrequent, but reliable visitor, but I’ll be looking at different strategies, so if you have any that have worked for you, please share. Setting some professional goals is part of this, so I at least have something measurable that I can draw on to talk myself down.

 

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Six months is long enough for shit to happen – to get caught up and stuck in, and even defined by those events. ‘Prune in June’ is a nice way to start anew. It makes way for possibilities.

To be buoyed by possibilities is a powerful thing – we just need to clear the way. 

What about you? Do you feel the need to ‘Prune in June’?

 

Comments

  1. says

    Prune in June. It is so aurally pleasing and also immediately rings true. I had the same realisation a couple of weeks ago, that we are half way through the year and that this is a good time to think a little bit more about how I am spending my time. This will be the final 6 months of 11 years that I have spent at home looking after a little child as my youngest is off to school next year. I am feeling very sad but I am determined to spend more time hanging out with the little guy and looking him in the eye. Good luck with your gardening! Dani

    • collette says

      That’s me next year Dani. I like that this mid-year check in means that all the things we thought about at the start of the year can still be achieved, with a bit of focus.

  2. says

    I’ve been feeling the need for a bit of a reset as well. I’m kind of drifting a bit with my creative work, I’ve gotten into some lazy routines with the children, just feeling a bit aimless. This was a nice reminder to get back on track!

    • collette says

      It can so easily happen Amy – especially when you’ve got little people to look after. Winter can be a bit of a drag, but if you’re re-energising some goals and your routine, it doesn’t have to be all bad. xx

  3. says

    I like the phrase, Collette! I set some goals – more prosaic ones, though (diet, exercise, relaxation techniques, etc), as well as plans around work, family and so on (which I haven’t shared, because they involve others) because I agree – without having goals, it’s easy to drift (which can be good for a while, but not forever). I like the way you’ve framed your approach though. Really given me something to think about. Good luck with your pruning 🙂

    • collette says

      Yes, how are you going with your goals? This weekend will give me the time to consider what I want from his second half of the year and get it all down on paper. Perhaps the Queen’s Birthday weekend can be my annual Prune in June time. Would love to hear how your goals are going and any tips you might have if you lose focus.

  4. says

    I’m also panicking about how quickly this year is going Collette. Life does seem to speed up after a certain age doesn’t it? I had so many plans and I need to be more realistic with myself: things take longer than I think they will. I also have a lot of pruning to do. Pruning = prioritising for me! xx

    • collette says

      I know – so many things to do, everything takes so long! Summer in your part of the world, is also a nice time to clear some space. Enjoy your sunshine and pruning. xx

  5. rachelfaithcox says

    hmmmm, imposter syndrome has made a habit of regular visits here, too. I have a big project that is begging to be attended to. I know it is in me, I know it can be great, but oh the fear! I’m a bit late to prune in June, but i reckon I can try in July. he he!

What are you thoughts?