Every year, my mother sends me beautiful pictures of her garden (she literally has the most beautiful gardens in Bosnia). When I get them, my heart skips a beat.

Growing up I would watch her spend hours upon hours tending to her garden every spring and summer. Bosnia has four seasons, so right before the ‘snarling’ winter would arrive… she would dig up and package each and every one of those plants and store them safely in the basement until the end of the winter freeze. Then, every spring she would bring them all back out to plant again… and then buy more to add to her already amazing assortment.

As a teenager, and later as a young woman, I had a hard time wrapping my brain around why my mother would invest so much work into something so temporary. All of those plants and flowers that required hours, days, months, years of tending to, for what seemed like a momentary reward.

Over time though, it became clear that it wasn’t really about the outcome for my mom (although her face did light up after she won the ‘Best Garden’ award in our town). Instead, it was about the journey it took her on. It was watching those plants grow, flourish, and bloom as a result of her hard work. I finally understood that was what made her own spirit flourish. Even now, you should hear the way she talks about her garden and see the way her eyes light up when she looks at her blooming magnolia tree.

I realized that I was actually not any different. I put just as much time, love, and care into every single one of my screenplays and films, without knowing if my work will ever even leave my computer or make it to the big screen.

But… you should see the spark in my eye when I finish a screenplay or wrap post-production on one of my films! It shines bright… just like my mom’s beautiful eyes turn a deeper and brilliant shade of green as she watches her plants thrive.

So, every time I get frustrated and feel like I’m spinning my wheels, I pull out those pictures of my mom’s garden. I reflect on her selfless work and the love she still pours into each of her plants knowing that her time with her plants will be short-lived. It is then that I remind myself that it’s not about the outcome as much as it is about the joy of creation.

Elizabeta Vidovic is an independent filmmaker and owner of Almost Normal Productions since 2010. She has since written, produced, and directed six short films and two feature films. She is a mother, wife, traveler, and… lucky to be loved by the cutest Maltipoo in all of LA. Her favorite thing is being at a table full of great food surrounded by great people.


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