Spring – Kind of like the Witness Protection Program

One of my favorite parts of spring is seeing all the new life. Buds on trees, green grass poking out of the ground, flowers starting to sprout…

Somewhat like the Witness Protection Program, spring heralds a new beginning—a clean slate. My teenaged clients would call it a “do over.”

A week ago I sent an email to my friend Sandi in Georgia and told her that two doors down the swelling dogwood buds on my neighbor’s tree looked like a cotton ball explosion!

Unbelievably, two short days later, I wrote her that the buds were in full bloom. This process—bud to bloom—normally takes a lot more time, but we’ve been experiencing temperatures that are 20-30 degrees above normal. In fact, they’ve been record-breaking for this time of year.

In the Witness Protection Program a person is relocated to a different geographic location and provided with a brand spanking new identity, including social security number, house, car, and job.

If you could step into a brand new career—no questions asked—what would it be?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
— Laurie Buchanan

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© 2012 Laurie Buchanan– All Rights Reserved

67 thoughts on “Spring – Kind of like the Witness Protection Program

  1. I have already stepped in to a brand new career, but it has taken me longer to go from bud to bloom fully as you know.

    The weather in NJ/PA and many other areas is about the same way, the trees here in Vermont are a little slower the down south but the budding and putting out color.

    Of course now it is in the teens again…

  2. Hi,
    Spring is such a wonderful time of the year, life all around seems to come alive with colour, baby animals are also born this time of year, it’s as if life itself wakes up, just beautiful. 🙂

    I love the photos, and what a gorgeous flower, green in the middle with a touch of pink hidden in the folds, very nice. 😀

  3. It WILL be a grant writer. I will find infinite ways to support projects that enhance the lives of island residents. Like the WPP, a fresh start without the SS #. Thanks for starting my day off with that incognito feeling……………

  4. I am in the witness protection program (figuratively of course) 3 years ago I lived on the North East Coast, had a corporate job, wore dresses and suits every day in a mid sized metropolitan area, now I live in the desert South West, I’m a Life Coach, Energy Healer and aspiring author, I wear jeans and sweaters everyday and some days never even have shoes on, your post allowed me to see something very significant, I have stepped in to a brand new life. Thank you

  5. Wow, I don’t know that I would want to be anything other than what I am, but I would love to know I had that option, were I to need it.

    Warm weather here in Kentucky has also spead up the process of bud to bloom. It feels like you can almost watch it happening.

    Happy Tuesday to you—–


  6. I think I would like to be a comfortably well-off literary critic living on the Florida pan-handle, beach combing and painting for fun and profit. Gardening on the side.
    I think Spring has pulled one of her tricks again, we have just missed the front that brought freezing temps and cold winds to the mid-section of the Country. Three years ago we had the most beautiful early Spring, then woke up to a frozen, blackened Easter Sunday. I love Spring, but I don’t trust her.

    • Sandi – I want to live next door to when when that happens. And while you meant “gardening on the side” as a hobby, I’ll take it as “on the side between our two homes” so that I can enjoy your garden too (I promise to do my fair share of weed pulling)…

  7. Perhaps the swiftness of the “bud to bloom” phase illustrated in nature is a “clue” for us Laurie. . . perhaps evolution herself is providing the opportunity for a “do-over” at record speed – for all of us.

    For me stepping into a new career would look like this; it would be something that nurtured me, tickled my creative funny bone, accommodated my love of travel and paid well enough to afford me the luxury of financial independence. . .in other words I’d be being paid well to do what I love, which is pretty close to the way it’s always been for me.

  8. A really nice photo of one of my favorite flowering trees! A touch of spring, which we have not seen here yet. A do-over? I dunno – my career days are over, and I would not change being retired. I think sometimes about things I might change in my lifetime, but then I know that if I did I would not be where I am now. So I think I’ll just pass on the do-over.

    • Carol – That same tree is just two doors down and with all the wind we’ve had, all of the blossoms are littered on the lawn. Passing on the do-over means you’re at peace with yourself. A great place to be!

  9. Love the photos. Dogwoods are beautiful – from a distance. When my mom gave us one to plant in our yard, I discovered the hard way how allergic I am to them! As for a new career, I can’t think of any that I would find more rewarding than the one I have, unless it was to focus on my writing full-time! 🙂

  10. Lori, I loved the post and the pictures.However, I would not go into the witness protection program because I want everyone to know about my book and programs, so they can create more harmony in their lives! I love watching adults and children’s faces blossom with joy and recognition when they discover their Brain Colors!

  11. I thought I was in my do over career but all the signs are saying I am not springing forth; I need to figure out what to do next and if I can make that work or successful?

    In the meantime I am so loving this opportunity to read and review all these books…working on a fascinating book about how to change your brain and in 2 weeks I am reviewing the most stunning cookbook – trying to figure out how to put some of the pictures from the book up on the blog….I just hope I do not gain weight!!!

    fun post Thank you Laurie

    • Patricia – My husband loves cookbooks. He sits and reads them like I read novels. As for getting the photos onto your blog…I wonder if you could copy a few of the pages and then scan them? Or, perhaps photograph the pages with your camera? I’ll look forward to your up-and-coming post.

  12. Hi Laurie, I read this earlier today before the power went out and thought about it during our outage. I thought your question involved a new identity–ha ha–instead of a new career. So my answer has to do with what kind of new identity would I have? I would like to lose an attachment with an individual identity altogether. Instead, would love to identify with whatever was perceived. To see the chickadee, be the chickadee. To see the coffee cup, be the coffee cup. To realize awareness as emptiness and fullness instead of limiting that perception to a single individual. Thank you for the opportunity to ponder this.

  13. Laurie, this question is hitting close to home. I’m smiling at your description of a Witness Protection Plan and thinking that we’ve been part of it for quite a few years now. And we’ll soon be doing it all over again.

    A dancer, preferably ballroom and/or Latin. It makes my heart sing and my spirits soar 🙂

  14. Beautiful photos! Thank you for sharing them.
    If I step into a business…? I’d own a publishing house/bookstore, but in the current climate I want to be able to step out of the position rather quickly–say in about a week. : )

  15. Hi Laurie

    The witness protection thing is a kinda cute analogy, and it doesn’t quite work for me.

    For me observing nature shows life to be a titanic struggle for existence in most cases.

    In places where climate gets harsh over winter, many organisms have developed strategies involving dormancy to get through the worst of the winter, which gives a spring as they reawaken as conditions improve. In the tropics and low attitudes there is no spring, growth just continues as conditions allow. A friend in Myanmar has lost a D8 bulldozer that he left parked in a paddock for 2 months (everything grew that fast that the dozer was out of sight in the greenery).

    Here in NZ we have a slower growing season over winter, but we have no native deciduous trees. All the native trees hold onto their leaves over winter, and growth rates certainly increase over summer.

    I love watching timelapse movies of plants growing, and watching the battles for space and light between them, that all seems so peaceful on our timescale, but not at all peaceful on their timescale.

    I find it hard to imagine creating a new existence, and leaving behind all the networks of contacts I have made over the last hard century. Those networks are such a huge part of who I am. Breaking all of thse networks would almost be like death.
    There would be no way to remove them from my memories, and stay being me, and to have no contact with any of them ever again would be extremely difficult.
    Such a thing would be huge.

    I actually wonder if it would be possible.
    Last year when I made a trip to San Fran I was getting on the bus to Suasilito (? spelling) and someone said “Gidday Ted Howard”, and it was John Farquahar from Thames NZ – someone I hadn’t seen 20 years. Going through LAX 18 years ago Ailsa and I met 6 different groups of people we knew.

    So it seems like it would be extremely difficult for someone like me to disappear.

    • Ted – It doesn’t surprise me in the least that you’re known where you go — even on a different continent!

      Regardless, I wouldn’t want you to disappear anyway; you’ve got all those wonderful plans for humanity that need to come to fruition. I’m part of that humanity and clearly want to be on the receiving end 🙂

  16. Witness protection program? Have you experienced it? My only knowlege of it is from the movies. Ofcourse, the disparity between bud and bloom is much in appearance but could be swift some times. Lovely post!

  17. Wow, that’s a fast bloom! I already had to make a career change a few years ago due to health reasons, and now I’m faced with another change. I’m still determining a new path while I heal. Only time will tell.

  18. Oh that’s easy Laurie. I would be a lawyer. How many poor lawyers have you met?
    I rest my case…
    However after cleaning out my better off clients I would devote some of my time to defending those who needed legal advice but could not afford it. I guess that would make me a modern day Robin Hood, and you’d have to be Maid Marion.

  19. Oh Laurie I am so darn satisfied with my current life that it truly would have to be life-threatening to even have me consider a change of name, house, car and job. Truthfully, it may be next to impossible to top the fit I have for me right here right now in my life. Those dogwoods look amazing! We are still seasonally a little cool here but spring is coming regardless 🙂

  20. Laurie, we are enjoying a landscape of pink and white this past week, and it’s as persuasive a reminder of what is just around the corner as any other visual reference point.

    I’m happy with my teaching career, though there’s always that dream of having devoted more energy towards writing, music and art.

    Love the bloomin metaphor!

  21. Hi Laurie,
    Gosh it took me so long to get THIS career going I can’t imagine I’d ever want to do anything else! I’ve always been a writer – it’s just that the focus is anew.

    I am loving this spring – there is so much OF it this year! However, it’s the worst my allergies have EVER been so I’m walking around with pockets full of kleenex – but still loving it! 🙂

  22. I would be a travel writer! Want to know where to get the best Thai noodles in Thailand? Where is the best place to dip your toes in the blue waters? Just look me up! Is there anything different you’d like to do Laurie?

    • Bethyes, Yes, YES I can oh-so see you as a travel writer! If I could simply blink (not have to start from scratch in any way, shape, or form)…I’d have a New York Times Bestselling series that people are chomping at the bit for the next one, then the next one, and so on.

  23. Pingback: Disappearing | Ted Howard NZ's Blog

  24. I would have a career that gave me space to respond to my friends’ blogs on a more timely basis . . .

    I would be an explorer. While I am an explorer of mind and spirit now, I would love to take that quality and integrate it into my physical world.

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