The Zig-Zag Dance

Repotting plants has always given me small bursts of anxiety. The idea of taking a plant out of its home and giving it a new home makes me worried. I do all the things the books say I should do: I trust the plant will take care of itself. I mentally give the plant sometime to adjust and I do my best to encourage the plant to let it know that there is more room. I want the plant to take up more space and yet I worry.

This worry keeps me from repotting my plants when they are ready to change pots. The worry turns into zig-zagging. I zig over here and clean the oven. I zag over here and reorganize tupperware. When really my attention should be on this plant that is ready for the next step.  Zig, zig, zag, zag… sometimes I do this for weeks. Ignoring what I already know to be true, letting the plant sit there...waiting for me to be honest with myself.

I zig and zag because repotting plants is messy. No matter how hard I try the dirt goes places I didn’t expect. Even when I gear up and put on gloves I am left with tiny dirt specks under my nails and on my arms. Dirt scars. Change scars.

Sometimes in the middle of changing pots, I get the roots of the plants so twisted that I fear I took away the plants survival plan. Plants need to be rooted and then that fear comes back; I think “why did I even start this process”.  

When I allow myself to take action the whole repotting process only takes a matter of minutes. Even though while I am doing the actions it feels like years. And then as I clean up and look at the happy plant in its new home. I think “why didn’t I start this sooner- that was easy”.

More often than not the fear of change is bigger and scarier than the actual process of changing.  Anticipatory anxiety occurs when we are worried about a future event. This worry and fear can feel so intense that we become paralyzed and become stuck in inaction. So instead we zig, we zag and we go weeks without repotting our plants. We do not look at our own truth. We ignore that small but might call to “do the thing”, make the change, or just be honest with what we already know to be true. When we start to trust our own repotting process the anxiety will start to go away. When we allow change to take the time it will take, the moments will fly by even when the change has taken years. Small actionable steps will take you to from here to there. No zig zag dance required.