In our backyard stands a beautiful tree. A liquid ambar that is at least 15 metres tall.
It makes a shitload of mess for three months of the year, but bathes the back deck in gorgeous, dappled shade for 8 more. So we forgive it.
Not long before we moved here, the previous owner, for some unknown reason, cut half the tree off. Top to bottom, straight through the middle. Like splitting a piece of firewood.
Like it was never there.
It always made me sad – this beautiful, damaged tree.
Last week I was sitting in the early Spring sun
writing procrastinating, when my eyes fell on the missing half.
And I was filled with a ridiculous delight to see…
the missing half is growing back.
Little by little, tiny branch by tiny branch, the balance is returning.
Gradually, and with the right amount of care – light, water and time – it is regrowing, rebuilding, reconstructing the part of itself that was ripped away.
Today – I want to ask you: how is your other half?
We all have a heavy half. The half that needs to get things done, that’s responsible, accountable. It’s the half that makes sure the kids get to school on time, that you don’t forget to pack snacks for the doctors appointment, that pays the bills, that turns up to work every day, sweeps the floor and mows the lawn and cooks dinner.
But what about your other half?
The half that is passionate, creative, spontaneous? The half that jumps your husband unexpectedly, or wears red lipstick, writes poetry and reads for fun?
The half that fills you out and makes you balanced, well-rounded, whole. How’s that half going? Is it looking healthy and well-tended?
Let me preface this by saying:
I truly love my life. I love my husband and I love my kids – wholly, completely, unconditionally. I choose the welfare of them over everything and keeping our family unit strong is my biggest job. I take it incredibly seriously.
But since Isla was born, I have been that tree. Half of me was unceremoniously cut off. Top to bottom, chopped down, thrown away. As though she never was.
My kids didn’t do this to me. I did this to me. Because I forgot about my other half. As though she never was.
I threw myself wholly into parenting. And I didn’t accept help. I didn’t take time. I didn’t give myself the care I needed to be a strong, protective, well-rounded, balanced tree.
And the years that followed saw me lean dangerously. Had the wind picked up anymore, I would have fallen down – for good.
That scares me.
But thankfully, in a large part because of you – yes, you, reading this – I started to take notice of what I’d lost. What I needed on the other side. What I needed to become balanced and whole again.
Spending time on myself, spending time by myself, getting strong, exploring my passion. These things were missing. I’d cut them off, pretending they weren’t important.
But is is important. So, so, so important.
So here I am, working on my other half. And, lo and behold, I’ve started to grow back. Different, but better.
And I just wanted to say thank you.
Tell me, how is your other half?