It’s June. Summer is here and the days are ripe and long. You may not realize it right away, but Act Two is the summer of life. You’re in full bloom. Your glow is bright, and shines long. You’re in the fullness of your life. And you still have a loooong growing season ahead of you.

In the seasons of our lives, Act Two is when the seeds we planted in Act One are coming into bloom. Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure that a good hunk of what I planted in Act One isn’t something to enter into a garden show. I planted a lot of bad habits. I planted self-defeat, self-doubt, detrimental conformity, and maybe a little stubbornness about changing worldviews.

But I also planted a deep love of the story, of happy endings, of believing people are basically good until screwed with so much that they turn crappy, and seeds of kindness and empathy that now make me get weepy at stupid Hallmark commercials (I know, my shame is laid bare). Our work, in this season of our lives, is not to continually sow new seeds from the same old seed bag.

This is the time to nurture those plants that have already sprouted–you’ve already grown into one stage of You, now prune some of the unnecessary bits and undernourished seedlings. It’s okay to dead-head those early blooms. They’ve done their work, graced the springtime of your life. But if you persist in artificially extending their lives, they will eclipse the second stage flowering you could be missing.

I’ll let y’all in on a little secret. I still have some early sprouts I’m having a hard time letting go. My closet is half-full of craft supplies whose crafts have fallen by the wayside in my life. I harbor some hope that I’ll pick them up again, but what is more likely to happen is the same thing that happened to my mother–they’ll lie fallow until they’re “vintage” and be discovered by my bored daughter one day, as she rummages around for something to do. Until then, however, I can’t quite bring myself to just give them away. It’s a fatal character flaw, I know.

Perhaps even more fatal is my stubborn insistence on clinging to an Ann Taylor column dress. My body is 3 sizes bigger than the dress, and, quite frankly, not even the same shape anymore. The dress is a classic style, probably not too outdated in the small details of cut that make a garment walk the line between up-to-the-minute style and timeless classic. But I’m never going to wear that thing again. I can’t even cut it apart to make a table runner. Clearly, the thing means more to me than a garment I have no place to wear and little chance of fitting in.

But maybe my daughter will wear it to a “retro” party at some point. In the meantime, it takes up space in my closet and a small part of my life garden, until I find a new plant to replace it.

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