Bloom where you are planted

Bloom where you are planted. I read this phrase from an article that cited it as advice the author’s mother gave her. Sometimes, we go places where we must. Maybe you are a trailing spouse or the child of a family whose breadwinning parent moves a lot. Maybe the better job offer you get is in another place. So, you go and get replanted.

Now, the path forward is up to you. You can cry, bitch and moan. If you are young, you can throw a tantrum. If you are old, you can become colder or invest only in your work and less in the community. Or, you can bloom. You can look at the opportunity to make the most of the situation. You can invest with water, sunshine and effort and bloom.

My wife will lament about how good certain former neighborhoods were. After she does this, I say it was nice because you were in it. You made it nicer. You welcomed people to our home and made new friends. You invested in the neighborhood and bloomed. And, we (and they) bloomed as well.

Although our kids have moved away, with one return exception since COVID-19 altered his travel plans to teach abroad, we had a house that welcomed our kids’ friends. As a result, we seemed to have a constant state of flux with all the guests that came to play and hang-out. Neither of us would have it any other way. Hearing your children and their friends laughing is the greatest sound any parent can hear.

I chose the investment word not to mix metaphors, but to encourage folks to invest time and energy in their new place. It is like marriage – if you invest in your spouse, it will make the marriage last. If you don’t, the marriage, or in this case, your time in the new community will suffer.

So, it is up to you. Bloom where you are planted. Make the most of any situation. How you react to any change is truly the greatest power you have. Don’t cede that power. Bloom.

16 thoughts on “Bloom where you are planted

    • Roger, so true. Some communities are more guared toward newcomers. You have to demonstrate over time your appeal to others. A friend said this about a German community he lived in, but once you are accepted, he added you are more dear friends. He was traveling back for a wedding when he told me this. There are places like that here in the US, too. Keith

      • Roger, very interesting. I guess the vesting schedule is longer in rural communities. I recall Malcolm Gladwell, the author, who was asked about his ability to look from an outside perspective at the inside story. He said “look at me.” His father was English and mother was Jamaican, so he was always viewed as an outsider wherever we went. So, it provided him an outside perspective. Keith

  1. Words of wisdom from a wise man. Sometimes easier said than done, but worth trying. I’ve lived here for 22 years now, so it’s home no matter what, and I love the diversity of the neighborhood!

  2. Good and thoughtful advice. I’ve not moved around a lot, but in each new place I find myself, I work quickly to learn the special history of the place. It helps to loosen the ground for roots to grow.

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