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Don’t Just Stop and Smell the Flowers

Chloe’s garden was brimming with bright flowers and buzzing bees. She spent a little time with her plants every morning in her gardening outfit – a large brimmed hat, a sturdy beige apron, a basket slung over her arm and shears in hand. Chloe had a natural knack with her garden and had expanded it after she moved in. It was already the best garden on the block and since my house was next to hers, mine would always look like a poor cousin.

I had incorporated some of her strategies into my routine. I sometimes went out and checked on my flowers, usually without a hat or apron, pulled at a few weeds at times and stole glances at her pretty flowers. I wasn’t jealous of Chloe’s garden. It represented her skill and attention. She deserved appreciation for creating such beauty and I knew it gave her pleasure. Her years without a proper garden made it all the more important that she have the garden of her dreams now.

I had decided that getting my degree was my dream. I hadn’t talked to anyone else about it and felt that keeping it to myself was probably a better idea. I didn’t want a lot of questions about why I was doing it or what I expected when I finished. I hadn’t really figured all of that out yet. I just knew that I wanted to finish something for myself.

My friends seemed mostly happy with their choices. I occasionally worried that there was some reason that I couldn’t be content when I already had a lot. But then I remembered that Gail still wanted to be a nurse again and Edie had her writing. The silent siren of being more and doing more must be a bug that bites a lot of women; we must just not talk about it enough.

Since I made my quiet and personal decision, I noticed that I feel a little calmer with how my life if playing out. My children are great and Steve seems to appreciate our life here in Monterey Park. I will have to stop at the registrar’s office soon to pick up the fall course book. Maybe it is time to take some classes to really challenge me. Complanency can’t be good for anyone.

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