I Am Thinking About Weeds



No, not the ones in my yard, though I have plenty of them at this time of year. I am thinking of the weeds in my life I need to pull out and discard. Just like the type in a yard, these “weeds” tend to grow and multiply if not removed as soon as they appear.

Experts say there are approximately 1,000 different plants that are classified as weeds. The good news is I don’t think I have that many personal ones to worry about. The bad news is that when I notice a problem, it has already put down pretty substantial roots.

A few examples? I could start with anxiety. I mean the common garden variety of worry or apprehension about something that did happen, is happening or may occur. That could include remembering mistakes in judgment or approach during my working days that caused my business to suffer. If I could just go back and react differently! Or, what if Covid comes back? Will we all survive another major lockdown or disruption?

It might be silly or hurtful arguments with Betty that served no purpose. After my heart problems half a dozen years ago, an earache that won’t go away, and an overall dip in energy caused by some of the new medication, I find the weeds of anxiety over my health can grow unchecked. Does the anxiety make any of this better? Of course not, probably just the opposite.

Even though I maintain a self-image of being rather tolerant and without obvious prejudices, I often catch myself making statements about people or situations that are hurtful or simply wrong. As much as I find various forms of labeling others to be counterproductive, I commit the same sin much too often. The weeds of being judgmental or biased grow out of sight until they are exposed by the bright light of an action or thought.

Too much of my life is given over to the weeds of settling, that is settling for less than I should.  As I get older, I find it much too easy to become lazy. If doing something seems too hard or time-consuming I am becoming an expert at rationalizing why I should wait, or skip the activity completely. “I will deal with it tomorrow or next week” is not a good habit to develop, but it is especially disappointing as birthdays seem to fly by more quickly each year. Next month I will be 73. Me?

What about follow-through? That would be a close relative of settling. I have started, stopped, and restarted various activities or projects too many times to count. Usually, I rebel at being a beginner, a subject I have written about several times before. In other instances whatever burst of dedication prompted me to do something, seems to seep out, wither away.

A slacking off on my physical conditioning and regular exercise are weeds that I pull constantly, only to find a fresh batch has grown unnoticed after a few days or weeks of skimping on my gym attendance. There is a direct correlation between physical health and quality of life. I know that yet those pesky weeds are still there.

The encouraging news is that the lawn of my life is mostly healthy, green, grass. The weeds are a blot on the overall look, though not so much that I am not enjoying the heck out of retirement. Even so, pulling those weeds is part of living. 

Has anyone seen my gardening gloves?