Finding balance – needing physical and emotional space

IMG_6785Weeds are a mainstay in gardening. We gardeners complain about them, share ideas on how to get rid of the worst of them. It can be a daily task if you let it – pulling and pulling, digging and digging for roots knowing that if you leave even a small a bit that weed will grow back. It will sit there larger than before smiling at you. A mean little grin so happy to make your gardening life miserable.

I thought I would have hours of time this spring to get ahead of the family of weeds in my gardens. Since I was not working and basically here at home daily I was sure this would be easy. A little clearing of weeds daily will keep things under control this year. But …   (there is always a but – right?)

Little Man arrived in our lives and now at 11 months. He and the weeds control my daily activities. If the weather is right and the timing is right little guy will fall asleep on the morning walk. Then I can pull a few weeds while he continues to sleep. A great plan that has worked out exactly once in the last 6 weeks. IMG_7433

These weed bug me. They can upset me and make me feel frustrated. If I let them they can make gardening a pain in the rear end. They can send me right over the edge.

I realized yesterday that I could look at this differently. They are there and I can get to them when I am ready and have time. I am not running a “show” garden. No one is even looking at the back garden except me. There are no visitors to the house, no one standing on the deck checking out my weedy garden. There is no one upset with me about my weeds. So why am I letting these green plants upset me so much.

I need to breath and relax. I know that all the tension of our world right now has spilled over into my thinking and emotions. It is easy to lose perspective on things.

This week and last I had two different people doing the same thing – losing perspective over very small events and I joined them in how I responded.

One was at the hardware store – I was looking for child proof latches for the kitchen cabinets. We can’t enter the store so we have to tell the guy what we need. He goes and gets it and then we pay. I thought the child proof latch for a cabinet was pretty downloadclear. His response, in a stern voice, was “Lady there are all kinds of latches back there. I can’t bring them all up here just give me the code number of the item you want.” Not having a code number I tried once again to be more clear. He, even more upset with me, informed me I was to go home look it up, call and see if we have it and then come back here.”  With that he walked away.

I walked away upset and a bit teary eyed. I felt yelled at and that I had done something terribly wrong. On the walk home I took a few deep breaths and thought this through. He was stressed and edgy. This new way of working in a hardware store is not easy.  There are lots of people needing things and not always clear about how to describe it. He was struggling and it came out at me. I heard the tone of his voice and got defensive and upset. We both had lost it over a child latch.

The second was a call I got while I was sorting out how to use Google Meets for my book club. I am familiar with Zoom and Jitsi but wanted to try out Google Meets. I had my husband on, tried to reach a book club member (no go) and connected with GoogleMeetZoomGridExtensionFeaturemy son who was out walking and was connecting to this video chat while walking with his wife. In comes a call and I can’t sort it all out fast enough. So I don’t answer the call. It seemed like the best thing to do. Finish the meeting.

I finished the Google Meets trial with success and then called them back. I started with an apology for not answering and told them what I was up to. They got upset with me. Why had I not call them for the Google Meets trial? Why don’t I ever call them? I tried to explain and was hit with “don’t give me that excuse – you always have an excuse.”  Wow – I tried to sort this out but it ended in the person ending the call. They were going for a walk!  (Probably a good thing!)

Again with a few breaths and time. I realized once again here is a person who had had a stressful day, was calling to unload and I had gotten caught in the middle of her frustration. Her anger led to my being defensive and upset, again very quickly. In fact, it was too quickly. It was not a big deal but to her it was at that moment.

Our emotions are running thin. We look good on the surface. We seem fine but it does not take much to unearth a volcano of emotions that spew all over who ever happens to be around or whatever we are trying to do.

The new normal will take time to adjust to for all of us. There are many of us who are struggling way more than we realize. Many of us who were stressed for what ever reason before this began, about two month ago. So on both sides we need to give each other space, time and above all breathe.

The weeds, the hardware man and my friend on the phone are not the issue. We are working through big changes. We may each look ok on the outside but inside we are tumbling and struggling to bring things back to some kind of normal. While this goes on we each need to be kind, we need to think about what others are or have experienced. We just need to give each other both physical space but emotional space to heal and find our new sense of balance.

Be Kind! images

About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, help in schools and write. Life is good!
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3 Responses to Finding balance – needing physical and emotional space

  1. jumpofffindwings says:

    My husband said, “I think your return to daily yoga practice is really making a difference.” I then said, “It’s not the practice; it’s my intention: BE KIND.” You walk away and gain that perspective. Fingers crossed many others emerge from this experience with such insight.

  2. peggyjoan42 says:

    Yes, the key word during stress is – “Be Kind.” I know that is often easier said than done. Life definitely can be stressful and many people we come in contact with are unkind. Hang in there.

  3. I too wrote about human response today. I see so many not thinking about others, not choosing kind. I realize everyone is on edge, but we still need to be our best selves for those around us — or stay home! Don’t worry about the weeds!

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