I had an epiphany today - one of those things that just happens, and then you realize the significance of it.
I was out in back, trying to be proactive in doing some work on New Year's Day prior to the rains hitting this Thursday. One of the things I did was prune back a Lavandula stoechas (Spanish Lavender) that has overgrown the retaining wall. I have no experience pruning, and have always been afraid of doing it for the fear of doing it wrong or killing the plant. But, it really was overgrown, so in I started.
And it hit me, as I was going through the first cuts, that I had done this before on the Lavandula dentata next to it. I was forced to last spring - it had died back, so I had to prune it back hard. Now, as I look at is, it has come up as I need it to, inside the retaining wall.
This is what it is to prune: to cut, seeing in your mind the end result even as you trim away the reality right now. Gardeners and garden designers who are truly successful do this all the time; the rest of us just stumble along.
Like gardening, so life. It seems especially appropriate to me that this discovery was made today, the day for traditionally setting goals. Those who are truly successful in their goal setting see the result as already existing, and then do the tasks necessary to grow into that space.
It's pruning with a purpose, see the end plant from the tangle in front of you.
So my challenge to myself is see what it is I want to be, and start the pruning and shaping process to get there.