Fast forward to 2012. After I lost 50 pounds, my friend Johnnie and I would have Paleo style lunch dates on Mondays, which was my day off. After 6 months or so of these, he said that if we were to continue eating lunch out regularly (sometimes...usually... adding a martini or Manhattan in there), it would be better to hike somewhere in San Francisco for a few hours first. Then we shifted to hiking weekly before our evening shifts at our respective restaurant/bar jobs, so we cut out the drinking after the hikes. I maintained my fat loss with the hiking and Johnnie lost fat as well.
Our hikes were located either in the city or in the countryside, sometimes crossing the Bay Bridge or Golden Gate Bridge. Being in nature fueled my fire, my prana, my life energy source. I loved taking photos of the plants on our walks (and still do). I was developing a relationship of sorts with the plants. They were giving me something indescribable and I was loving on them. When my friend Kara bought me my first fish tank in December of 1997, I ventured into the aquarium plant realm. Little by little, I gained confidence in myself to take care of things other than myself. I went to a garden store and bought an African Violet. My husband brought in an indoor tree and an orchid. We tended to these plants and it felt great. I upgraded from my 5 gallon aquarium to an 18 gallon aquarium. I took care of the 2 plants until they died their natural death. I had to remind myself that plants have a lifespan too. I mourned over the orchid.
I began to do research on house plants, and learned that most house plants live 2-5 years. They die because of external factors, overwatering, underwatering, not enough nutrients in the soil used, too much sunlight, not enough sunlight, improper drainage at the bottom of a pot, etcetera. With proper care, houseplants can live a very long time, and science is seeing an indefinite lifespan is actually possible. With proper prevention against plant stressors, they can outlive us! We need to learn when to trim back or propagate back our house plants so they may use their energy for growth and procreation as well.
During the pandemic, lots of folks were beginning to be more enthusiastic about their garden plants and indoor house plants. The world sheltered in place. We needed to connect with the outdoors. If that was not possible due to the many Covid 19 factors, we turned to bringing the outdoors inside. Sales of house plants went up. There is a wonderful feeling when we are able to see something flourish right in front of us, and we were a part of that bourgeon. Jeremy (Johnnie's partner) created a rooftop succulent garden at their apartment building. After our city hikes, we would stretch and hang out there amidst the enchanted garden. Their indoor plant life began to blossom as well. More and more personal satisfaction came as more and more plants entered their scene. Inspired by my friends, I decided to buy a few succulents and see what would happen in my home. My husband bought one as well. We received a cuttings with roots from Jeremy and Johnnie's plants. We got into it with gusto, just like everybody else in our circle of friends, and it felt good.
Houseplants are good for our mental health. They release oxygen into the air we breathe and absorb carbon dioxide. This cleans the air and eliminates toxins in the air. Houseplants can remove up to 87 percent of air toxin in 24 hours. Just by having them around, indoor plants improve our focus and concentration, reduce stress levels, and boost up our mood. Plus, they are a beautiful addition to any home decor. This is even before we doubly enhance our well-being by grooming them. Greenery brings the nature and aesthetic goods to us in a very personal way. They can provide a refuge from the outside chaotic world.
As a beginner, I bought cacti, succulents, spider plants, Pothos, African violets, and ivy. My husband brought in orchids. If a deeper connection with plants are in your future, I suggest you do your own research. Ask questions from the plant store employees. In my experience, I have found that most of them are quite knowledgeable. The library is another fantastic resource. Be bold! You won't be disappointed.