Have you ever stopped to check out fun facts about trees? Odd question? We are surrounded by trees of all different sizes, colors, and shapes every day of our lives and I can guarantee you most of us have never stopped to ponder upon the great wonders of these living plants. These are some of the most amazing organisms in the world.
Did you know that the different parts of a tree grow at different times throughout the year? Typically, most of the foliage growth happens in the spring, followed by trunk growth in the summer and root growth in the fall and winter. Humans are like trees in this aspect. We grow in different ways at all different parts of the year, sometimes physically, sometimes emotionally, and other times mentally or spiritually. Every day is an opportunity to look in the mirror and accept the things we cannot change and improve upon the things we can.
For my little family, 2019 was not only the closure of a decade but it was a reckoning of the ways in which we had held ourselves back, the pain we had caused to not only ourselves but those we love around us, and the doors we walked past because we were afraid of what was behind them. I cannot count how many times we sat down and shed a layer of truth behind the smiles we portrayed to the public.
See in 2020, I did not want to do the typical new year, new me bullshit, followed by resolutions I was going to break in the first 90 days of the year. As I sat across from Kevin last night and we discussed our last decade of knowing each other, I realized that resolutions are simply things you say out loud you want to achieve but after a month into the new year you tend to forget or the effort stops. When a tree grows, it doesn’t shed layers of all the turmoil the tree has been through. It just adds more rings and sprouts more branches. Leaves fall but they grow right back in the new season.
In life we fall, but we always manage to get back up again. We have a choice in life to accept what path in life we have taken and continue on that journey or to reroute the GPS. It does not mean that the previous route you were on disappears but staying on the wrong route becomes more of a personal choice rather than an option.
My dad once said to me that it’s not about what you have done but what you do afterward. I can walk into 2020, carrying the burdens of what I did not do or what I wish I had never gone through in the last 10 years, or I can add another ring to my tree and sprout another branch. Life and Love is about what you make it and who you make it with. As humans, we are all going to make a stupid choice or a mistake in our lives but that does not have to deter your growth.
When you cut into a tree and study its’ rings, you see that trees story, its’ pain, its’ joy, its’ journey through life. Regardless of the storms that have hit it, the men/women that have abused it, the animals that have scratched away at it, the winds that have blown its’ branches down, or the fires that have burned it, trees continue to sprout and grow. That is what 2020 is about for my family. It is about continuing to grow despite what we have been through together. It is about learning from our mistakes as parents, as two people in a relationship, as a son or a daughter, as a sibling, as a friend, and as an individual.
My tree is not done growing. As we walk into another decade, I welcome whatever life wants to throw at me because like a tree, I will stand tall and continue to share my story and my journey. I don’t need a resolution to continue my growth. Instead, my family has decided to set short term and long-term goals with a plan of how to execute them. We have decided to be honest and list out the areas we failed at over the last few years and the areas we excelled and brainstorm ways to improve upon those failures and emphasize those we were successful. No longer, will I beat myself up for not sticking to a resolution but instead I will embrace change in all seasons, while also knowing that everything happens in its’ own time. With proper nurturing, our tree will continue to grow.