Re-framing perspective

Patience. The ‘Woman Who Lives in My Head’ has none.

Together, we watched breathlessly as the flower spike on my Cattleya orchid slowly emerged from its curled leaf cocoon and reached for the sun.

Over several weeks it grew to 40 centimetres, the longest flower spike I’ve ever had on this particular plant. Gradually the tip swelled into buds, whose outer casings turned soft translucent pink.

Patience, patience, I implore The Woman Who Lives in My Head. No matter how many times a day we examine it, the progress can only be described as glacial.

But patience and time are uneasy bedfellows.

Time is not linear, nor is it fixed. Rather, it bends and stretches like a rubber band. The concept of time changed when Einstein put forward his theory of relativity. I won’t pretend to be across his theory but simply wish to illustrate with the notion of the watched kettle – or – the developing Cattleya bud.

Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.


The lesson for me is, no matter how much we might wish it otherwise, Nature marches to her own drum-beat. We can accept it and bask in the miracles, or we can rail against the natural order of things, trying to hurry it up, to no avail.

As soon as I took this on board, my perspective shifted. Before, I felt as though I was in limbo, forever waiting. Waiting to take another breathe, putting everything on hold while waiting for an end result, instead of enjoying (while living) the process.

I had a shift in perspective. I hear the Woman Living in My Head snigger, as if she’s always known this. Some truths are deeply known but not necessarily observed on a conscious level.

So, having been in self-isolation for weeks now (who’s counting?), I realise while I’ve been waiting for things to bloom, or waiting for them to come to an end, depending on whether it’s my orchid buds or COVID19 isolation, I’m missing out. I’m ‘waiting’ my life away, not truly living my life; merely skating over life’s surface with my eyes firmly fixed on some distant and unknowable horizon, missing all the little miracles along the way.

We are all living what will be a momentous history for future generations. I would like to think we are on the cusp of huge positive change, a vast global re-framing of perspective. But I’d settle for small positive change as long as it signalled a growing trend into the future.

In the meantime, I resolve to give up waiting and opt for living, appreciating and being grateful instead.

Since you may not have patience enough to wait for my Cattleya blooms, here are last year’s flowers

24 responses to “Re-framing perspective

    • Hello Jenny! I understand you’re one of my dear friend Ann’s friends. Thank you for subscribing to my blog. I’m glad my thoughts resonate with you. How are you managing in isolation? I hope you have a garden and some books to console you. Do visit some of my blogging friends. There is lots of uplifting content out there. Stay well!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Oh dear Robyn. The Woman in My Head must be her sister!! This is such a lovely piece- and so wise! Last year’s flowers were stunning. I can’t wait (!!!) to see this lot. Xx

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh no! Does she move the furniture around when you’re sleeping or put bad words in your mouth or tell you things about yourself that can’t possibly be true? Yep. She does? They’re sisters alright

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Timely reading for me, especially since I now have more slow time than ever and still I dont attend to “all the little miracles along the way.” It is good when persons encourage each other. Your words and the pictures from your garden do that for me tonight, Robyn, as I try to block out the news. So I hope tomorrow I will take another look at the blossoms in my yard that I thought of digging out today, and did for a while– the little purple flags above the grass that signal invader violets. Perhaps I’ll see their beauty, at least for a day. Miracles right there underfoot. Later there will be time for dealing with the lawn, if not the news.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello Albert! Thank you for your lovely words. I agree, having others share and encourage each other is the best medicine in these trying times. I think restricting your exposure to the 24/7 news cycle is wise, however tempting it might be to just switch on and see what next enormous development has taken place.
      Sometimes a fog like malaise settles over me and I find the motivation to do anything has deserted me. It’s like swimming through treacle. Those are the times that connecting with others like my blog community lifts me up.
      So go outside and take photos of those little violets to share. Revel in the wonder of nature – she’s fighting back. Stay well. Your friend, Robyn


  3. I love the ‘Woman in my head’ or your head. Wise words indeed. It is frustrating being kept at home, but safer than what could happen, so I’m being patient too, even if now and then I feel like being naughty and driving to a beach. And those flowers are well-worth waiting for.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Dear Robyn’

    Once again – such wise thoughts. So often I wish my life away rather as you suggest I pause and enjoy each moment along the way. In many cases I am happy to take a step in a moment or even freeze for a few moments.

    A dear friend has suffered chronic fatigue has suffered for many years. She was a vibrant woman who worked with textiles in Gippsland where she taught and travelled extensively to exotic remote places to share her skills with the local folk. Once her illness struck she re-arranged her life. She looked and enjoyed the little things, a flower in the garden, the purple tulip she had sown several weeks ago or a few stitches in her embroidery as she sat in the window and looked at the garden outside. She kept a journal of her emotions and learned to live with her ;limited bounds. These have gradually shrunk but never is word shared in despair or anger, rather she lives in the moment and relishes each and every one.

    Thank you for the wisdom you have shared once more again dear Robyn. I’m sure others will likewise the richness of your thoughts.

    Love Elly Mobile 0459 333 313

    On Sat, 4 Apr 2020 at 11:34, Big Dreams for a Tiny Garden wrote:

    > Robyn Haynes posted: ” Patience. The ‘Woman Who Lives in My Head’ has > none. Together, we watched breathlessly as the flower spike on my Cattleya > orchid slowly emerged from its curled leaf cocoon and reached for the sun. > Over several weeks it grew to 40 centimetres,” >

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello, Eleanor ~ I, too, have had Chronic Fatigue Syndome, so I can relate quite readily to your friend’s situation. Yes, CFS demands a change in attitude as well as lifestyle. Yet, after 30 years, I still try to take on too much, then wonder why, suddenly, I am so tired. Part of my problem stemmed from Hypothyroidism (that’s LOW levels), but now I’m treating it with Synthroid Rx which makes quite a bit of difference. Still, I must pace myself. As Robin advises, I must teach patience to “the woman in my head.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dear Jo, I had no idea you faced such long term chronic health issues. It must have been a big challenge for you.

        If there is something positive to come from that it’s learning to be patient and pace yourself.

        Elly is a very dear friend who has faced great challenges too. She is a published author and we shared many happy times when our children attended school together as little ones. It’s lovely you reached out to her.


    • Hello Elly! So nice to see you visiting my blog again. I loved the story of your friend. She is a perfect example of what we all need to consider. It’s interesting how hearing her story and experiencing this lock down/isolation makes me grateful for things I took for granted in the past. Stay well my friend. With love Robyn

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Robyn ~ Thank you for your wonderful post! (Do read my response to Eleanor, above.) I’m afraid I’ve wasted so much time during this quarantine. At first, I simply settled down into spring projects and worked in the garden until this most recent cold front (the proverbial pre-Easter chill?). Then I settled down with my husband in front of CNN News, hour after wasteful hour, numb with the numbing news updates from Dr. Fauci of the Center for Allergies and Infectious Diseases. He is so down-to-earth, sensible, straightforward, never downplaying the Coronavirus Pandemic yet without fear mongering.

    On the other hand, during this strange Lenten fasting from church, I’ve prayed more deeply, more fervently, learned to “participate” in online streaming of daily and Sunday Masses. I am DETERMINED to keep Holy Week HOLY at home, sequestered with Hubby and Charlie, our darling Cocker Spaniel. Eventually, this time of pandemic will wear itself out and drift away.

    The “Time of pandemic” phrase brings into sharp focus the title, LOVE N THE TIME OF CHOLERA by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I read a borrowed copy several years ago; now, I wish I could borrow it again. Great read.

    Keep safe and well, Robyn!
    ~ Jo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Jo, I know what you mean. I think we all feel a little unsettled without the regular routines that frame our ‘normal days’. I would love to have your pre-Easter chill (there I go again, wanting something I don’t have instead of appreciating what I DO have). The weather here for April is unseasonably warm and humid.

      I have seen your health expert on the news and thought the same. He even comes right after the president with contradictions. I wonder how he hasn’t been fired!

      Aren’t we such a resourceful bunch of mammals? We have adapted so quickly to home schooling, buying online, carrying on our interests and commitments online. We have gin distilleries here producing hand sanitiser and small factories converting to produce protective equipment with the aid of the army. We have choirs, book clubs and medical consultations being conducted on line. It makes me very hopeful. So I’m not surprised faith communities are also doing the same. My sister keeps in touch with hers via iPad, taking part in services.

      I loved hearing of Charlie. I had a black and white Cocker Spaniel when I was very small. Lovely breed.
      Have you thought of using the Audible app for that book? It’s nice to have someone read to you. Alternatively, you might get an eBook version. I do remember the title but can’t recall if I have read it. Geraldine Brooks wrote about the plague in Year of Wonders. Worth reading too. She is a prizewinning Australian author.
      Lovely to chat Jo. my thoughts are with you in these challenging times. Stay well.


  6. Wow, thank you

    Warm Regards

    Julie Viney
    Accredited Practising Dietitian
    Food and Eating Behaviour Therapy
    Graduate Certificate of Counselling Skills
    Lilydale, Victoria
    T: 0407 329 722


    Liked by 1 person

  7. Welcome Julie! Thanks for dropping by. Please feel free to comment and join the conversation. I am interested in your area of expertise so I’m sure you will have some valuable contributions to make. Do you have a blog?


  8. Nature will go on, whatever we do. All we have to do is realise we are part of it.
    Lovely flower – like others, I look forward to seeing this plant’s new blooms, whenever it feels like getting some! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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