How do you measure success? An intimately personal measurement of completion towards a goal or desired outcome that ranges widely from individual to individual. For a scientist following a method, success is often outlined exactly as the desired outcome of an experiment. For a content creator, it may be recognition or engagement with something that has been posted. A gardener might find success in a plentiful crop of blooms one season. Even in some instances, success is defined by failure, the opposite of the expected outcome. As a perfectionist, the measurement of success has eluded me for many years as I have always felt like I should be doing more. This year, I challenged myself to find my definition of success.
I have humble hopes for 2022 and my very attainable new year’s resolutions. In the past, if I am being completely honest, I have forgone the tradition of creating goals for the new year entirely. I would take goals very personally, and a failure to achieve them would have a drastic mental outcome, no matter how valid. This year I have made a small handful of vague goals in hopes of building a more forgiving attitude towards myself and my life desires.
2022, this year will be different. There have been a lot of changes over the past six months, and I found the desire to make changes that will encourage me to continue to grow through the challenges I face. Yet, here we are, just a few weeks into January, and I am bending my top resolution (do not leave article writing to the last minute!).
Past Hannah would have seen this as an automatic failure and lost a modicum of self-worth that would place her in a downward spiral before moving on under pressure. Total failure was unacceptable. Here I am, sneaking some ramblings in at the last minute with a desperate hope that someone will read and connect to what I have to say. With the rough start to the year, I have adjusted my resolutions to “progress,” not “perfection.” I will be starting with this winter season.
Winter always looks a little different at the Garden Corner. After the holidays, things slow down just enough to allow us a deep breath before spring comes crashing in. Each year brings new challenges along with the typical seasonal changes that we have come to expect. Every year we buckle down with high expectations and prepare for the worst. At the very least, all of us know that there will be some form of “clean up” that the new year brings. With the reminder of progress over perfection, I have looked to see how I can apply that same clean-up feeling towards my personal life.
My first personal clean-up project was unpacking and creating a home in our new house. Hang the art, buy the couch, do what makes the house feel like a safe space to journey into creativity. True, I have not completed many projects, but I have found a sense of pride in keeping what I have done welcoming and inviting. I have found that this resolution has also bled into my work in the garden, specifically the houseplants (probably because it is warm in the house).
With the bleak weather outside, I have added color inside with the addition of houseplants. The cold continues to blow outside; however, beneath the layers of home sheltering the creativity, I have found a new group of plants to watch. Each day new sprouts are found, even in the dead of winter. Plants that have been nursed through their dormant season are beginning to perk up again. This same wonder can be seen in our houseplant section at The Garden Corner. My husband continues to joke that I simply must stop bringing my work home with me, as our plant collection grows beyond his understanding.
Admittedly, not many plants have thrived under our care, and we continue to try new things. It is okay if a plant dies, we are working on progress. Progress in trying new things, work beyond previous struggles, and work towards satisfying our new definition of success rather than perfection. That is a goal that nobody can measure but oneself. Who knows, maybe this year’s resolutions will be successful; the truth has yet to be measured.