Every spring, my birthday gift request to my husband includes a trip to a local nursery. We spend hours looking at plants and flowers, loading up a cart, and then coming home and filling containers. I love taking those baby plants, releasing them from the confines of their little cups, and setting them in the new, rich soil. They look so optimistic, these little things in big containers. Almost like they’re not the right fit. But over time, with the right care and attention, beautiful growth emerges. Leaves and stalks and blooms come spilling out and overtake their planter with color and vibrancy.

I’m learning, spring by spring, what works in my yard, my climate, and what doesn’t. What can survive the heat and what can’t. And before I know it, April, May, and now June have come and gone and the remnants of our labor are either thriving, or lost.

Throughout the season, I monitor. Sometimes containers get moved to sunnier or more shaded areas, and that tiny adjustment can mean the difference between one bloom or three.

My flower bed, on the other hand, is full of bulbs. Lillies, irises, glads, amaryllis – all I have to do is weed it, mulch it, and occasionally water it. The planting there is done. The bulbs have spread and spread, and what started out as a handful is now a full flower bed.

The flowers I get every spring are usually annuals. They’ll bloom for one season and then they’re done. You have to enjoy them while they last. The bulbs produce flowers every year, and multiply with each passing season. Both are beautiful. Both bring something lovely to my spring and summer seasons. I can sit for hours looking at the blooms, watching the butterflies and bees flit and buzz around them.

I am in the planting phase of something new in my life. My own business. It’s exciting…. and exhausting. But I’m learning, every day, and will continue to, about what works and what doesn’t. What flourishes and what fizzles. I read a lot, experiment with ideas, research everything, Google, talk to anybody that might know something valuable, or just get excited with me so I can keep watering this proverbial garden I’m trying to grow.

Sometimes I think I try too hard. That flower bed in my front yard? It took me years before I finally accepted advice from a friend to just simply set out some bulbs. I couldn’t believe how right she was until they started multiplying.

All I know to do for my new business is just to write. Write. And write some more. Last night, I was reading over some papers I wrote for college a couple of years ago. I re-impressed myself with what I know I can do.

There’s part of this that I have to just set out, and let it be what it will be. And there’s parts that have to be worked, watered, and watched. Either way, I can’t make things happen any faster than they’re going to. My business, like my plants, will grow in its own time and in its own way, if I faithfully tend it.

I feel like, for the first time in my life, I’m on EXACTLY the right professional path. I can’t wait to see the blooms.