Calling It Quits
This spring I thought I would try growing some new plants. We’ve got a small bed out of the way in the back yard. It was here that I planted a variety of sunflowers. I envisioned big bold sunflowers backing up to the fence. I imagined looking up from the swimming pool at those happy sunflowers. The seeds germinated, grew about a foot capturing the attention of the local deer which promptly chomped down the young plants. But not all the plants, you see we have three large Rose of Sharon bushes that hid about a dozen plants. From their hiding place these plants thrived until a couple weeks ago when the deer defoliated the plants leaving big ugly stalks.
Not only had the deer ate the sunflowers, but they helped themselves to all the leaves on the cucumber plants, leaving spiked stalks and a few cucumbers. The deer were only part of the problems with this bed. I had also planted a few tomato plants among the flower seeds which were turning into one hot mess. The cucumber vines had wrapped themselves around the tomato plants. The wildflower mix produced weedy plants with no flowers and the Japanese beetles ate holes in the leaves of the perennial hibiscus. It was a fiasco.
I have this stone that my friend Terri gave me which says “xxx which I placed in this garden bed about a month ago. At the time I could see potential beneath the haphazard mess. Now, I looked at the garden and realized that it was time yank out some of the plants. I thought I would transplant the sunflowers, maybe move them down by the lake. As I dug out all the plants which were as tall as me, I considered hauling them, planting and watering them in. I realized that we would still have to contend with the deer. Without a fenced in area these plants had little chance of survival. It was time to give up. I threw all those plants into the woods and cleaned up the garden bed. I staked the tomato plants and yanked out the unmanageable cucumber stalks.
The more time and effort you invest in a project or relationship, the harder it is to quit. In business we examine return on investment. In essence this is studying the correlation between the investment and its cost compared with the gain or return from this investment. If I pushed aside my dream of huge vibrant sunflowers it was easy to see that these plants took up my time and garden space. The plants produced one small insignificant flower. ROI made the decision obvious-throw away the sunflowers! ROI, Return on Investment is a business tool I’m going to use more.
“When to quit:
1) Quit something you don’t do well to start something you do well.
2) Quit something you’re not passionate about to do something that fills you with passion.
3) Quit something that doesn’t make a difference to do something that does.”
- John Maxwell