In the Weeds

When you work in service and your tables are filled, and food’s running late, and the bar’s backed up, and you just can’t seem to get a handle on, or ahead of your orders, you’re “in the weeds.”

And it’s really helpful to let your co-workers know when you’re in the weeds, so they can can help clear a path.

But, you have to say something.

I’ve been in the weeds for weeks now…maybe months.

I stopped writing.  Stopped yoga.  Started my days with emails and long (very long) silent commutes where I churn and gnash about what I’m not doing, how I’m failing, and how utterly foolish I’ve been for trying.

What’s interesting is that while I’ve been exhausted – emotionally passed out – in these weeds of mine, the actual weeds all around my house have been thriving.

This summer’s heat and drought, combined with our neglect created the perfect conditions for these long, ugly disasters to settle in.

The red brick walkway carpeted in rough green, the front flowerbeds filled with fried dandelion leaves and knee-high grass that resembled hay, the shamrocks stuffed under the lattice that started to push up and through the first row of cedar shakes.

Tired and intimidated, I made my way out front on Saturday and started to pull.  Beginning felt awkward.  It was hot, and the weeds were in so deep that I really had to root down to pull.  Many times losing my grip, and winding up empty handed.

I stopped for water.  Stopped to put on music.  But, I didn’t have to stop for my husband to lend a hand.  Somehow without even being asked, came over to help, and to acknowledge that I had the harder job that day.

I agreed, and meant it, when I said it was okay.

So much stuff came up.

Colonies of fire ants, and big shiny black multi-legged creepy things, worms, and caterpillars, and stuff that smelled, and stuff that looked rotten, and there was this one really (really) deep hole that clearly some animal called home, and I was just praying that whatever it was had either moved on, or at the very least had stepped out for the morning.

This is what happens, when you let the weeds grow.  Things settle that don’t belong here.

Truth: all those scary, creepy, fiery creatures deserve a home.  They’re all beautiful and wonderful – but none of them were ever really intended to wreak havoc on my entry way.

They were just feeding off my scared complacency.  Doing what I was doing.  Settling in, where no one would notice, while simultaneously scurrying along – waiting for it all to uproot.

That’s why I didn’t stomp on any of them.  Just wished them well and hoped they would use the disruption to find a better place to live, work, and be.

Days later the backs of my legs are still sore from all of the pulling and tugging, all of the starting and stopping, but at least I can see a path.


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