This past weekend I was able to reconnect with an old friend while I was home, and we got into a long conversation over coffee about the great reflective aspect of each year’s end. As year’s draws to a close, I love to look back and reflect on all that I’ve learned through all of the joys and lows of various experiences. My friend and I were discussing how much had changed for us this year, when she mentioned “you know, I guess it is always true though, that the grass is greener on the other side.”
The familiar phrase reminded me of a quote that I had read from Robert Fulghum a while back, and I think it is relevant to share in my reflection of 2011. Fulghum writes:
The grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence. Fences have nothing to do with it. The grass is greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you may be.
I absolutely love Robert Fulghum for his ability to pack such profound notions into such simple statements, and this quote is a great example. It is a favorite for the two crucial truths it voices. One would be to stay present. So often we are living in the past or living in the future, saying “things will be great once such and such happens…” Time spent looking forward or looking back at the past ultimately means that we are missing out on soaking up the current moment. Basically, wherever you are, be there fully. The second truth would be that life is what you make of it. It is often tempting to want a different situation, surrounding, or experience than the one we currently find ourselves in. However, ultimately, we cannot control much of life but can control how we chose to react to it and what we will chose to do with it. Tend to the grass wherever you may be.
These are the two things that I have learned from the most, and goals that I want to continue to focus on as I look forward. What about you?