How to Create a Great Parrot Lifestyle - The Value of Time in Relationships. Felix, an African grey parrot, and influencer. Me, his underling, and best friend. Felix the parrot has been my friend for thirteen years now.

Part 5 - How to Create a Great Parrot Lifestyle - The Value of Time in Relationships

Part 5 - How to Create a Great Parrot Lifestyle - The Value of Time in Relationships

Time has lost its true meaning. Time/Space is still being defined. I’m talking about time in life while you are still alive, time. Respect and admiration of time and the investment of it. Master creators, spiritual leaders, artisans, writers, philosophers, stargazers, and inventors all embrace the sweat of the brow over time to create meaningful moments. Time is a mandatory element for creating value. We knew that once. 

Now time is a threat, a stress. Something to quicken, shorten, spend less of and save. Time has few respecters, but many manipulators and detractors. But the truth of its value has not changed. It still exists. Time still yields greatness to those who invest in theirs. 

Building a successful parrot lifestyle and relationships takes time. A lifetime of time.   

 How to Create a Great Parrot Lifestyle - The Value of Time in Relationships. Live in the now while working for the future.

I have a collection of bonsai. I’ve had them over twenty years now. I’m enamored with two trees. They started as one. I found an ornamental Ficus Benjamina in a garden center. When it was a sapling, the grower wound its trunk around a length of bamboo to force it to grow in a spiral shape. Spiraling correctly requires changing that bamboo at intervals of growth. Care needs to be given to the trunk. That did not happen for this tree. They left alone it to forge its growth around and into that bamboo. I found it tucked away, rejected in a corner. The width of the trunk and height suggested it had been forging alone for ten years already. It was close to dead, tiring of its lone forging. Its leaves were full of mites. But there were signs of health in the trunk and there were signs of promise. I’m all about underdogs. And I am most definitely all about signs of promise. I live in a state of perpetual hope. So much like Charlie Brown and his little Christmas tree, I took this tree home. 

It took a year to bring back its health. I removed the bamboo, removed the infested leaves, watered, and fed this tree. I checked on its progress. I inspected it for illness taking hold. I watched for insect arrivals. I invested time, planning, and consistent attention. The second year, I took the top of the tree to create a second tree from that separation. Air-layering the green canopy and heavily twisted trunk. The trunk grew a brilliant canopy structure. It took 9 years to end up with two beautiful bonsai trees from one abused, unwanted, stuck in the discount corner of the garden center tree. 

My bonsai remind me there is no such thing as a microwave minute in life. Microwave minutes belong in the kitchen. Our parrots require we remember this truth. Their lifespan can be as long as humans, but they don't wear watches. Your parrot does not care what time it is or what you have scheduled. Parrots just do as long as they feel the joy to do. 

Some ask, “How long will it take before my bird can (insert requirement here)?”

My answer: “I couldn’t say. You’ll have to wait for your parrot to let you know.”

Relationships require time. Great relationships require unconditional time investment with reasonable expectations. Bonsai life. Live in the moment while working for the future. You can’t shortchange the process. This journey with a parrot, large or small, is best enjoyed in the now. If you pay attention to the now, you’ll notice the relationship grow readily, and you’ll notice something more precious than the finish line. You will see them trying. At that moment of trying to win your attention, trying to talk, trying to share, or trying to achieve with you, your relationship blossoms in strength. You’ll feel it. It can be overwhelming.

Great relationships should be overwhelming to the heart. That’s what makes them great.

Find yourself in the middle of this series? Sometimes you have to go backwards, to move forwards. Part 1 - How to Create a Great Parrot Lifestyle - And Create a Great Lifestyle

Kathy LaFollett is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to


  • You got me on the paragraph starting “Relationships Take Time” and sentence “You Will See Them TRYING”💗 That second when you realize it with a hitch type sob and then tears. That connection will never be broken for me and my defending her or any Bird is loud and with purpose. I really feel sorry for anybody who doesn’t get it.

    Dian Hamadyk on

  • I never thought of it until I read your words just now, but many of my favorite memories of animals in our family who’ve died are of moments when they were trying, and those are endearing and precious, as you say.

    Susan Robinson on

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