Thanksgiving quote let us be gratefulLet’s be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. – Marcel Proust

Part of being a good friend, is wanting our friends to be HAPPY – and doing what we can to encourage, inspire and assist them.

By now you know I recently moved into a new house. So this is my first spring to discover and experience all the flora and fauna. I have a “back 40” thats a nice combination of green grass, ground cover extending to a wooded area. Deer regularly visit. There’s plenty of room for the dog to run and a fire pit for evenings with friends.

There’s a lot of honeysuckle and brush growing in and there’s a clean, distinct line between lawn and the ground cover. But when I mowed the lawn I discovered my beautiful green ground cover hosted a healthy contingent of Poison Ivy.

I’ve experienced its effects before, and because of that I am even more susceptible to it. The recovery was uncomfortable but the experience taught me a valuable lesson on recognizing its leaves of three before it had a chance to play its game with me.

Such a simple metaphor for our experience. You’ve got a good life, lots of friends, a wonderful family, and a lot of good things going on. You’re happy. Then there in the fringes of you recognize some poison ivy growing. If not taken care of early and quickly it can cause you some real discomfort. Your ability to recognize the threat to your happiness is only as good as your resolve to take swift action against it.

The poison ivy in our lives comes in a variety of ways, often disguised as people or situations that seem pleasant and harmless enough, but can bring about a good deal of discomfort and distraction in seeking the happiness in our lives if we’re not being vigilant.

There will always be poison ivy in our lives, those irritant that grows just outside the lines of what makes you happy. While you may never be able to eradicate those things from your life, you have to be prepared to recognize them and rather than hoping they’ll go away on their own – which they won’t – do what it takes to control them.

poison ivy happinessFor me, it meant long pants, long sleeves, boots and gloves, some specific poison ivy eradicator and several hours of quality time in my back 40. By dealing with my poison ivy as soon as it was discovered and growing, its arrested development will give me great peace of mind when I invite the girlfriends over for cook outs and evening fires throughout the summer months.

No one ever said tending garden was just about planting the good seeds. There will always be the weeds, some just nuisance, some more threatening, to remind us that we have to work to cultivate and grow the happiness we all want in life.

Any girlfriend advice for poison ivy? The plant or those things in your life that make you unhappy? SHARE!

Have a great spring week girlfriends. And remember: leaves of three, let it be.