I need to protect myself. It’s my responsibility as an adult. I need to steer clear of things that damage me, or cause me to have feelings of despair, or anxiety. I cannot go to those dark places anymore. No matter my situation, I just can’t allow myself to go there.
Therefore, I committed myself to not check Facebook. To ignore the Recommended, Trending, and Related sections on Youtube. To not open any News website. Or at least limit my exposure to once a week. News reading on Sunday mornings only. Or something like that.
Instead. There needs to be an „instead”. We don’t rip voids into our habitual fabric. We replace with options. We replace with better.
I put my smartphone aside. I get up from my couch and walk across the room. That’s 2 1/2 steps. I arrive at two of my three houseplants. The one on the right is a Chlorophytum comosum, also called ribbon plant. I run my hands, one by one, over some of its leaves. They are thin, almost like blades of grass. I stop, and hold one of the bigger blades softly, gently between my thumb and my index finger. The older leaves are a bit longer and wider than the newer ones. And their outside edges grew a white border, as of lately. The expression of their genetics. They grow. They develop. They express who they are. I squat down and bring my face closer to the grass like houseplant. The uppermost layer of soil is dry, but right underneath I can see it’s still moist from yesterdays watering. There’s a whole bunch of new leaves. And some of the older ones already became dry and brittle, and changed from green colour to brown, hanging wrinkled and loosely over the rim of the small pot. The plant seems to like its new pot. My eyes are engulfed in this beautiful medley of light green, dark green, mild white and light brown colours.
I feel peaceful and content from checking on my plants. To see whats new. And I feel good about being able to keep these three plants alive.
Now, finally, after a big detour down the terrors of social media, I understand what my grandma loved so much about her morning routine of catering to her plants.