Pulling Weeds

At our house, my husband does the outside chores, and I do the inside stuff. Throughout most of the year, I feel like this is a terrible deal for me, as there is ALWAYS laundry, dishes, cooking, bathrooms, floors, laundry, dishes…you get the idea. But, outside work comes and goes with the seasons. 

Since I have the summers off (seriously, being a teacher is THE BEST), Will had been asking me to weed the flower garden for a couple of weeks. I kept forgetting. Honestly. I just never remembered to do it. Then, it was the day before his parents came into town to visit, and he REALLY needed me to weed the garden (and clean the house top to bottom, including all the bedding, and grocery shop…). No big deal, I had all day.

I started with the inside of the house, and made that presentable. Then, I headed out to start pulling weeds. I wasn’t really dreading it because I figured it was a nice way to work on my tan, and I was quite certain my kids would leave me alone so that they didn’t get roped into helping. And, Will had insisted that it should only take 45 minutes. Perfect.

And then…I started pulling weeds. The temperature was approximately 86 degrees. It. Was. Hot. One and a half hours in, I wasn’t even close to being done. Some of the weeds were so huge and scary that I wasn’t sure I could pull them out without getting seriously injured! I REALLY wished that I had worked on weeding the garden a little bit at a time. If I had, it wouldn’t have gotten so out of control, and the effort it took to make it look great would have been so much less.

This is when I realized that pulling weeds is just like living a healthy, active life. If we work on it a little bit each day, it doesn’t seem so overwhelming. But, if we let it go for too long, it can get to the point where it seems like we will never be able to recover. The end goal seems out of reach. 

I also thought that this lesson fit perfectly for maintaining friendships. They take work too. Sometimes if we let them go too long, it seems like it’s too late to get it back to how it was. But, if we put in a little bit of effort along the way, we can keep those longtime friends. 

One full afternoon of pulling weeds taught me a few things, all in one. Basically, it can be summed up by saying, anything that you want to make work in your life needs to be worked on on a regular basis. Whether it’s a healthy life, lasting friendships, or a beautiful garden, you need to put in effort. Don’t try to do it all at once. It doesn’t work that way.

Sparkle.Pounce.Put In The Effort. 


Comparison is the Thief of Joy

This morning as I lay in bed, checking my Facebook, not quite ready to take on the role of “Mom” for the day, a friend posted that she got in a 4 mile run before heading off to work. It was about 7:15 at that point and I felt instant guilt that I didn’t set my alarm to do the same. The night before, I had briefly considered getting up for a run before my husband left for work, but decided I was too tired. (Seriously…I’m a teacher on summer vacation, so this excuse makes me throw up a little…HA!)

Well, as luck would have it, my hubby said he didn’t need to leave for work until 9:00, so I threw on some clothes and headed out the door for my 2nd post-stress fracture run. The sun was shining, and it wasn’t hot yet. It was the perfect morning to hit the dirt roads for a quick 3 miles. 

I was feeling pretty awesome for the first HALF mile. Then, I suddenly felt sluggish, couldn’t control my breathing, and honestly just wanted to take a walk break. But, I pressed on, reminding myself how exciting it was that I could FINALLY run again!

Around the one mile mark, God sent me this little angel. 

She was just creeping out onto the road and scared the bejeezers out of me. So, of course I had to stop and take a picture. And picture taking doubles as perfect “catch your breathe and chill out for a minute” time.

I had planned on doing a 1.5 mile out and back, but when I got to the 1.5 mile mark, I realized that if I just went another 0.2 miles I could see the lake, so I went the extra distance, and gave myself a little pat on the back for not being a sissy. 

After the turn around I was really starting to feel worn out. My Nike Plus app was updating me on my pace, and I was happy to know I was maintaining pretty good speed, but man, I was feeling it. The urge to walk was really creeping in.

And then, God sent me another little surprise! This time, it was in the form of a shirtless, ripped, 20 something fella. You know who’s not going to take a walk break with that running towards her?!…This girl! Nope. I kept on running. As we approached each other he gave a big smile and said, “Good job!” and I said the same. And, for a moment, I forgot how tired I was.

Then, I came across my turtle friend again. That turtle had only made it half way across the road. I had run over a mile, and she had only made it half way across the road. And that’s when it hit me. My 3 mile run today was REALLY hard for me. Three months ago I could’ve run 3 miles without even hardly working up a sweat. But today, it was a legitimate struggle. It didn’t really bother me that much, because I know it won’t take that long to work up to where I want to be. But, I know that for a lot of people that are just starting out, it’s really frustrating for them to struggle SO much and to see that it’s SO easy for others. And that’s why it’s so important to only worry about you and where you’re at.

I kept on running and thinking about that fast guy and that slow turtle, and about how I want to be able to run 3 miles again without it being hard. And I thought about how thankful I am to be able to run again. And I thought about how I want people to realize that it’s hard for EVERYONE who is just starting out, so don’t be discouraged. Just do the best you can, and don’t compare yourself to anyone but who you were yesterday. 

Because when you do that, you end up creating the best version of yourself.

Sparkle.Pounce.Be The Best You.