I live in my first real full-time actual house as an adult, which I believe I mentioned before. Being that it’s spring (well ok it was recently) and lately I have more free time than I expected, I’ve been doing yard work. Particularly, gardening. With garden tending, comes weeding. I’ve learned a few really important lessons that probably transfer to a lot of things in life.
1. Don’t oversympathize.
At first I struggled with the fact that weeds are indeed living things. I don’t even kill bugs, generally. Unless they’re a threat somehow. And in my house. I _really_ struggled when I realized that the entire back yard’s ground covering was covered with tree saplings. However, if I allowed my entire backyard to become a forest, I think my neighbors might become less friendly. So sometimes you have to suck it up and take out what doesn’t belong. Especially when there are trees growing in your driveway.
2. Gentle pulling is more effective.
Most weeds, even the ones pretty deeply rooted, come out a lot easier when you pull on them gently. Obviously you have to still pull it out of the ground. It takes patience. But pulling too hard can just pull off the leaves, or just the stem, making it even harder to get at the root.
3. Except Dandelions.
Wait for the ground to be soft after a storm, and then go on a dandelion hunt. If you happen to magically live in an herbicide-free area, keep the dandelions. You can eat their leaves. And their flowers, I think. Otherwise, those things are incredibly invasive and their roots are like tree roots. Ridiculous. So really the lesson is,
4. Sometimes you have to put your back into it.
So be careful. Take it slow. Get down on your knees. There are these cool gardening pads that protect your knees. Engage your core! It protects your lower back. Take breaks. And most importantly,
5. Have reasonable expectations.
You’re not gonna get everything. You need to split up the project over a few days, especially if you waited until June to do your weeding. Today’s was strictly the front ground-cover on the hill and honestly, that was a lot more than I expected. So make sure you know when to stop. Weeding can be a never-ending job.
This group of lessons is certainly not comprehensive for life, but I’m sure it’s relevant to several other things in life. 🙂