TIME FOR AN INTERVENTION: We love you, but we also know you have a problem. Andre the doodler’s pointing fingers again. This is an illness, people; wake up and (don’t) smell the flowers!
The Twelve Steps start with admitting our powerlessness, and it’s all uphill, pushing a loaded wheelbarrow, from there:
- We admitted we were powerless over plants—that our lives had become unmanageable (even though the garden is looking really buff).
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity (or at least reduce our annual expenditures by 10 percent).
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves (and our beds and toolsheds, garden-book libraries and seed-catalog stash).
- Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs (give or take the part about the teeny obsession with pumpkins and Viburnum; best leave that bit out of these little confessional chats).
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character (but not the plants, please…can’t I keep the plants?).
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings (but leave the garden intact).
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all for having spent more on garden supplies than food, and having spent more time outside alone gardening than connecting with said injured persons.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others, or interfere with our alone-time in the yard.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it. Maybe. Maybe not.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His Will for us and the power to carry that out. (Good thing so much of gardening is done on your knees already, making this step easier and more natural-feeling.)
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to plant-aholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs. (Please note: This last one doesn’t allow you to go take their problem plants off their hands: That’s co-dependence, a whole other topic.)
Which step are you working? Me, I lost my way around Number 4 and am working the slogans instead: “Easy Does It,” and “Progress, Not Perfection,” specifically. It’s the best I can do right now, frankly, and it’s not even spring yet.
I need to go to more meetings, that much is certain. I suggest we meet at the garden center each week. Perhaps daily would be even more effective? Who’s in?