Just Because It’s Growing, Doesn’t Mean It’s Growing RIGHT.

We have a Russian olive tree in our yard. Over the past couple of weeks, one of its lopsided, overgrown branches made its stealthy way into the path of the radio/antenna/dish thingy our new Internet service uses.

Don’t ya love the irony of the OLD and the NEW here?

 After three phone calls, the company sent out the service technician. He took one look at the the tree and said that was probably our problem. Out I went with a ladder, a handsaw, and a pair of clippers. Several hours, multiple scratches, and one bee sting to the neck later (I now have a swollen, painful lymph node the size of a ping-pong ball), I had removed the Internet-offensive branch as well as a number of others that were dead, suckers that needed to be clipped, or branches hanging too low to mow around the tree. It took a couple of truckloads to haul them all away to the “pit.” (My dad said he has a woodchipper, but I think my mention of it being a great way to dispose of a body made him hesitant to let me use it…)

(This is as far as I got. I’m waiting for a taller person, a taller ladder, and a better saw to take care of those last few dead sticks poking out the top.)

As with most difficult chores, this one came with a few valuable lessons that apply to life as well as yard work.

1. Dead things like to tangle around living things and twist and distort their growth.
 Recognize the “dead stuff” in your life and get rid if it, it’s distorting your progress!

2. Dead wood is much harder to saw than living wood.
 Dead stuff can be hard to get rid of, after all, it has made a place for itself in your life and thinks it deserves to stay.

3. Just because a branch has three green leaves on its tip does not mean it’s beneficial to the tree.
 Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is quit clinging to things that are barely alive… let go and move on.

4. Pruning is best done at regular, frequent intervals, not ignored for years and years.
 The longer you wait to purge, or prune, or otherwise perform regular maintenance on your mind, your emotions, your relationships, or your body, the more difficult, expensive and painful the process will be, and you’ll look really funny for awhile.

Don’t be afraid of the pruning process. It’s good for you.
That tree will thank me one day, I’m sure of it.

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