The "Practical Spirituality" Newspaper

‘Not Now’ Syndrome

In Conscious Living on January 21, 2010 at 12:20 pm

It’s amazing what we put off. Mostly it’s unpleasant things like going to the dentist or doing your taxes. As I was gardening this morning I was reflecting upon this tendency – of putting things off until later.

Just recently I inherited a large quantity of plants from a friend who had sold her house. And so, our backyard lawn was laid out with many large plants and an olive tree that is about 8′ high.

And so, over the last few days I have set myself to task of planting and repotting them. In the course of doing so, I began repotting some of the more neglected plants and fixing up the last remnants of garden I have overlooked.

As I began working this morning, I observed how many times the instruction ‘not now’ came across my mind. As I continued working and completing the tasks, one after another, I noticed how many jobs that needed doing were given a ‘not now’ label. Which, in some cases would be detrimental to the health of the plants in question.

My mind was punching out the ‘now now’ statement again and again, like a machine stamps out metal parts in an automated process. Not now. Not now. Not now.

So I asked myself, ‘if not now, then when?’ And so every not now was met with activity and decisive action. Right now. And in short time, I dispatched a long list of odd jobs to the completed pile.

The most glaring of my ‘now nows’ was my planting of a Ponytail Palm, Beaucairnea recurvata today. Not a true palm at all, the Ponytail forms a large head of foliage that sprays out like a fountain atop a bulbous base. A spectacular example can be seen at Collectors Corner in Gardenworld here in Melbourne whereby the base of this behemoth measures some 15′ around the base. At least around the base that lay above the soil surface for who knows how big it is below ground.

Now why I mention this particular plant is because in 1989 I first fell in love with this plant and sometime later purchased one to grow in my garden and hopefully, one day, mimic the effect. Now, where this becomes a case of ‘not now’ is that I left the plant in it’s pot – for some 20 years now – and had I planted it when I first bought it – well, today I’d have a spectacular plant to show off.

Not now at it’s finest!

Todays Homework – What things do you put off until later? What are the good things in life that you are saying ‘now now’ to?

Pictured: Chorisia Speciosa, something I planted in 1990 at Gardenworld – it was the size of a pencil.

  1. Hi Brendan,

    Loving the articles, always food for thought. And I will be attending to a while pile of ‘not now’ things over the long weekend.

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