At home in the work place.

I decided to take a plant to work, to place it on my desk and hoped it would help me feel at home in my new surroundings.

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It’s true.

I read in last month’s copy of Psychologies Magazine - the edition with Keira Knightley grinning at me on the front cover - an article suggesting: taking a plant to work can make your new area feel more like home. Hmmm…

I gave the idea a try, sometimes theory is wonderful, practice can be harder, and I have to admit I was resistant to the idea, because my work is a ‘hot desk role’, no fixed desk abode, so where on earth was I going to place the plant.

I bought a Fuchsia, cute little thing, in bud without bloom. I carried the plant around with me all week, and it attracted a lot of attention. Sadly, not the most positive attention. Some people did say, “hey I like the plant”. Others chose not to see it. And, one did say, “why did you bring in a real one, why not just bring a plastic one, it would be lighter to carry around everywhere.” I have to agree, they were right. Dragging around a plant in a pot, it was heavy, and I often wondered whether the pot would hold the water. What if it spilled all over my bag? My phone and more. The plant became a bit of worry. It was a huge responsibility. I considered leaving it in a room, and returning for it later, but what if others didn’t look after it. I pondered over whether I have trust issues.

This was supposed to be a cute idea, but, all I found myself doing was feeling burdened and weighed down by the responsibility of the plant. How ridiculous was I being?

However, to me, that plant was a piece of home and I didn’t want to leave it behind or see it accidentally harmed. There was too much emotion attached to the plant. I have to admit, all of these thoughts were a distraction from the learning of the new job itself, which could be considered a light relief, if I tried to look for a positive in the experience. I also learned that when I am at work, I prefer to leave the emotional attachment of my personal life at home.

I do believe taking a plant to work is beneficial if you have a fixed abode, and have no plans to go away on a long holiday, or maybe, you can trust another colleague to water and care for that plant in your absence. 

For me the plant will stay at home, because I like to come home to it, and appreciate that I have a responsibility at work to focus on task and my responsibility at home is to look after the things I have chosen to invite into my life and be responsible for, so many people, pets and plants regularly found in the places where I know they will be safe.

So, what do I do instead? What can I take to work that will remind me of good times and give me a positive feeling, a happy state of well-being and make me appreciate that even at times when I feel alone, I am not alone, because I have you? I took a picture of it, for you all to see, because I want to share it. This piece of my home-life is very important to me. I placed the photo in the poster image for this blog, for all to see.  When I have a moment to myself, I don’t need to water it, or feel burdened by it, I take out my magazine, take a deep breath and read an article that will lift my sense of well-being for the rest of day.

Thank you. 

As for the other things that are going on at home, that I can't take to work. I'm going to leave you with a recent photo taken from the garden. I am proudly watching two fledgling pigeons grow. Isn't nature amazing.


Julie Spencer

Ambassador, Psychologies Magazine

Proud Ambassador for Psychologies Magazine. The magazine encapsulates so many of my core values: being kind, have compassion, look after your health and wellbeing, be professional and be supportive of others. A little self belief can go a long way. I have studied as a mature student and achieved a degree, then a Masters. I went into a writing frenzy and spent 3 years writing in solitude. I was a stay at home mum, too. What I learned: being alone for long periods of time is bad for your health and wellbeing. Thanks to a little nudge from Psychologies Magazine I am reconnecting and rebuilding my C.V. I'm a creative. I have lots of ideas and I need to constantly realign my focus onto one project at a time. Until recently I had a real fear for public speaking, but after reading a book that suggested I acknowledge my fears and challenge them anyway; with the support of the Psychologies community I am working through my fears and journalling my life journey as it unfolds one blog at a time.

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