I LOVE to work in the yard… like, love love love love love it… but, it’s hard to get around to these days with a growing business, that pesky baby, and all the other stuff I have to do. With the kids finally getting a little less needy, I’m slowly catching up on 8 months of being behind and this past weekend I was granted some much needed outdoors time. It was the kind of ridiculous hot that surely melts every ounce of fat on your body into liquid form and lets it pool at your feet (if only that were true!) and I was in a complete flurry knowing how much needed to be accomplished and also how limited my freedom of time.
I have vegetable beds and flowers and showy plants and fruit trees. Over the last eight months, I’ve lost some of the more sensitive ones to heat or lack of water or lack of pruning. What I haven’t lost, however, is the weeds! These things are AMAZING. No Kidding. I had weeds overtake plants. I had weeds growing in my gutters. I had weeds between the pavers of my patio. I even found a few growing out of the freaking stones on my house! When all the weeds were finally pulled and all the tender little plants babied and coddled, I sat down to have a cold beer and realized: If I ever come back as a plant, I want to be a weed. The weeds have it all figured out.
BE A WEED: How to Survive and Thrive in a World Pitted Against You
- Grow! Every Day, All Day, Just Keep Growing: “You’re growing like a weed” is a saying for a reason. Those pesky boogers grow fast. And they don’t stop either. I’ve seen weeds that I thought were just little things keep growing and suddenly they are like trees! The growth of my fancy plants is almost imperceptible year to year, but the weeds have noticeable growth day by day. So Grow! Every single day do something that is making you better, smarter, stronger- read books or articles outside your comfort zone, listen to podcasts, sign up for a class, learn an instrument, try something new. You know which knife gets dull? The one you stop sharpening. The same goes for you!
- Keep Coming Back for More; Be Persistent: No matter what you do, you will not win the war against weeds. I’m sorry, but you won’t. The second you stop spraying, pulling, mulching, whatever, they are back with a vengeance. Persistence is the key to success at anything! If at first something you are trying (see #1) isn’t awesome or you basically suck at it, keep trying. Whether you try it again or try something new, you have to keep coming back for more!
- Make the Best of Where You Are: I repeat, I found weeds growing in gutters, in pavers, in the stones of my house. They grow everywhere seemingly unaffected by their surroundings. No matter the circumstances, you have to keep growing (see #1) and persisting (see #2). Life can be tough and circumstances are not always ideal, but nothing can stop anyone from growing in some capacity. Your happiness and your satisfaction with where you are right now are completely in your control and that’s pretty awesome when you realize it.
- Share the Good Stuff with the People Who Understand: So many plants that we call weeds are actually edible and many have amazing medicinal properties. If only someone cared enough to learn, they would realize all these plants have to offer. But only the people who bother to understand get the benefits. See how that works? Don’t waste precious time and energy on people who don’t “get” what you have to offer. Instead share your awesomeness with people who care to learn about you.
- Take the Heat: In the heat of summer, when everything else is barely standing up straight, the weeds make life in the sun look easy. Whether it’s taking the heat for something you messed up or taking the heat to protect someone who can’t protect themselves, stand tall in the face of adversity. Often times, just giving the appearance of confidence will get the momentum going in the right direction.
I think it’s amazing that lessons for a good life are everywhere around us; they show up in the oddest places. The problem is you have to slow down, connect to nature and be ready to receive them. I can’t encourage you enough to get outside and get your exercise surrounded by family, friends, and nature. Grow some vegetables or a fruit tree. Visit a farm. Hike a trail. Everything you need for life is right around you begging you to put down your phone; to “Hang Up and Hang Out.”