About 4 months into my first job I got a plant from one of our new business reps for the holidays. A Christmas Cactus to be exact. Which looked just like this when I received it:
Vibrant shades of green. Healthy. Full of leaves. (Are they called leaves on a cactus?). Overall, pretty beautiful.
And you know what? Despite my inner office cube, harshly lit by the all-too-typical corporate florescent lighting, and the fact that most days I could barely fit in time to feed or water myself, that little bugger managed to survive through-out my entire time working there. Over 4 years. During which, on numerous occasions, I couldn't help but congratulate myself on my responsibility and overall genius as a plant owner. What great watering skills I had acquired! What great attention I had paid!
Well, it turns out Christmas Cacti actually have the potential to look like this:
Who would have guessed, right!?
The night shift cleaning lady, that's who. She took the cactus from me late one night and relocated it to the windowsill of the empty window-office-with-a-view across the hall from me. While I spent a couple weeks wondering where in the world my beloved plant had disappeared to, she was tending to it. Watering it. Keeping it in the sunlight it so desperately needed to reach it's full potential. A few days before my last day at Element, she proudly returned the plant to me, now brimming with gorgeous blooms off of every leaf tip. (I mean, seriously, if they're not called leaves, what are they called!?)
Well, look at that!
I don't know exactly why I thought about that today, but it made me realize something important. Sometimes we think what's sitting in front of us is perfectly good. A success. At it's full potential. The best it ever could be.
And it turns out that we just don't know any better at the time.