Sanity Snippet: Prodigious Peppers

As of October 24, 2021, Sanity Snippets are snapshots of my daily life, those things I’m doing—such as reading, writing, biking, photographing, and gardening—to maintain sanity while living in the most regressive state imaginable. Alabama.

Richard L. Fricks

Prodigious as in “causing amazement or wonder” as per the first Merriam-Webster definition.

I picked these jalapeño and bell peppers yesterday and am still in awe of the productivity given their mom’s slow start last May. It seems the tiny three plants I purchased at the local feed and seed store grew steadily for the first few weeks. However, the fruit producing stage took months. But, once it kicked in, we’ve twice and sometime thrice-weekly harvested the best peppers ever. Just last night, I sliced one jalapeno into a bowl of homemade vegetable soup. It really spiced things up. Wonderful.

Question. Are you anything like these peppers? I know I am. Often (maybe all the time), I’m a slow starter. Maybe because I’m cautious by nature. Or I could be downright scared. Of what? Of failing? Yes. More narrowly put, I fear not measuring up to others. They aren’t slow starters, are they? They don’t spend weeks and months reaching that ten-mile biking goal. They don’t take a year to complete a novel. No, as soon as they ‘set-out,’ they produce.

Oh, okay, let’s admit you and I aren’t the only ones who take a little time to produce. And that’s okay. In reality, our only competition is ourselves. We each determine our goals and develop our unique paths.

It’s that way in my writing. Most days I’ll do anything to get out of sitting down at my computer and putting words on the page. This morning, I even swept and mopped the floors (well, part of the floors). Now, that’s desperation.

Back to those amazing peppers. Look at the photo again. Now, look at my first five paragraphs. What do you see? Not so fast. I know the peppers are more beautiful. But, to me at least, I’ve just been productive. Yes, I’m a slow-starter, but I stand dead center of my productivity journey. I’m close to completing my eleventh novel since stepping onto this path in 2015, with the next one in the composting stage.

That doesn’t mean I’m ahead of you or that I’m anything special. We create our own meaning. We set out our own plan[t]s. We choose what’s most important.

If you want to grow some outstanding peppers, you can. If you want to write a sentence, a paragraph, a short-story, or a novel, you can. Nothing is easy. Everything takes time and focus. And a bushel of determination.

You are a prodigious pepper. Take your time. Be patient but consistent. Before long, fruits will emerge.

And when that happens, please don’t forget to celebrate with a bowl of homemade vegetable soup.

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Author: Richard L. Fricks

Former CPA, attorney, and lifelong wanderer. I'm now a full-time skeptic and part-time novelist. The rest of my time I spend biking, gardening, meditating, photographing, reading, writing, and encouraging others to adopt The Pencil Driven Life.

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