Thursday, January 13, 2011

Forging the Best Path: Trisha Mulligan

Sometimes it's just easier to do the easy thing, even when you know it's not the answer.

Trisha Mulligan knows this well. She is an  herbalist and a gardener (Terra Flora Botanicals) who watches the pharmaceutical industry thrive because it is too hard for people to make changes they know are necessary, changes that require their own discipline and hard work.

Of course, like all of us, Trisha, a mother of two under 5, sometimes takes short cuts that derail her for a time, easy ways out. For example, she is considering, after a long marriage, finally exchanging her Irish surname (the last in her family's line of Mulligans) for her musician husband Tony Garnier's more famous one.

"Uch," she says over coffee and quiche at Parco. "I volunteer so much at my kids' schools, and it's just so challenging to have a different name than they do!"

Smart people know that sometimes you have to be flexible. What works for a time may not always work. We have to pay attention and, sometimes, make a change. A gardener knows that as well as anybody. Change is a constant among the plant world.

Trisha is great, dynamic and strong, which is why I wasn't at all surprised when she slapped her gold star right smack dab in the middle of her forehead. She is forging ahead with a new garden at the public school where she volunteers for her oldest, and making plenty of adjustments in her own life--temporary or permanent--in an effort to find the best path. Not the easiest path always, mind you, not the primrose path, but the real, honest, down-and-dirty route that might work best for her and her family.  

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