Pulling Weeds by Bob Lowry

blue flowerBy Bob Lowry

No, not the ones in my yard, though I have plenty of them. 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 accepted 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 judgement or approach during my working days that caused my business to suffer. If I could just go back and react differently!

It might be silly or hurtful arguments with Betty that served no purpose. After my heart problems a few months 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 growing unchecked. Does the anxiety make any of this better? Of course not.

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 is 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 the birthdays seem to fly by more quickly each year. Hence my adoption of a more set schedule for my day that I wrote about last week. At this point, I need more structure.

What about follow through? That would be a close relative of settling. I have started, stopped, and restarting playing the guitar at least half a dozen times. While playing I enjoy making music. But, at some point, I find an excuse to put it aside. When I see the guitar sitting in the corner I tell myself this time will be different. I will keep playing. But, I don’t. There is now a time on the daily calendar to help with this set of weeds.

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.

What weeds need to be pulled from your life?

What are we waiting for?

By Bob Lowry

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