Weeds invade my garden at an alarming rate.
Weeds wind around the necks of delicate flowers, choking them, strangling them. They wilt and die. I briefly mourn their loss while realizing it’s better if they are gone. I don’t have the time nor the energy for weakness right now.
My gardens have always had weeds. That’s not new nor the reason I write this blog post.
Two months post-divorce, I’ve realized I simply don’t have the time to remove them all. Sure, I’ve got plenty of swirling emotions to harness and yank, pull and rip those sorry little suckers out by their roots. However, I cannot afford the hours it takes to keep it up. As long as the weeds are confined, I’ll delay the chore. This morning while playing with my dog, I noticed the weeds in my lawn.
Everywhere I look now, I see weeds: ugly, prickly nasty-looking weeds. My lawn, the soft green grass my children crawled in and I used to walk barefoot in, is destroyed.
As if the weeds themselves had wound their spindly, thorny stems up around my feet, spiraled around my body and curled around my neck, panic sets in:
How will I ever get rid of all these weeds?
How did I fail to notice the systematic destruction of my lawn?
If I can’t even pay attention and take care of my lawn, how will I ever pay attention and take care of my kids, my house, my life?
How will I make it as a single mom?
There it is. That question which constantly haunts me and circles around and around my head and heart until I am dizzy.
Whenever something breaks or goes wrong or pops up unexpectedly, I immediately panic and ask myself “If I can’t handle —-, then how will I ever make it as a single mom?”
With that fear sitting solidly on my shoulders, I push through each day and weigh each decision. I am weary. I am tired of being afraid. I am exhausted from constant worry and nagging self-doubt.
This has to end.
Yet, I simply do not know how to end it. I don’t know how to destroy the weeds without completely destroying the entire lawn in the process.
The pre-divorce part of me wants to pick up the phone, call a service, write a check and let someone else deal with it. I no longer have the funds to do that.
The in-the-process-of-divorce part of me wants to rent some gigantic Dr.Seuss-inspired machine and rip up the whole damn yard – by myself! Forgo an entire month’s worth of sleep and food, pop several bottles of caffeine pills, and get on my hands and knees to plant each individual grass seed by hand – by myself!- and start over.
The post-divorce part of me realizes that neither option is viable. The weeds are beyond my rudimentary level of lawn-care knowledge, especially considering I don’t even know how to mow the lawn.
I will need to ask for help. Again. I hate asking for help. I’ve always been cursed with a stubborn, independent streak. Yet, one of the biggest post-divorce lessons I’ve learned is that I do need help.
No matter how much Hawaiian tropic I smell in the air and no matter how many festive umbrella cocktails I drink, I am not an island. I can’t do this alone.
Decision made, I pivot back towards my front door to research weed control and round up some neighbors for advice.
I catch a glimpse of brilliant cherry red, my double knock-out rose bushes. Those I have not failed. They thrive. They flourish. They are brilliant, beautiful and resilient, like how I used to be, how I long to be again.
I forget my grass, the weeds, my seemingly constant fear of failure. I grab my pruning shears, don my gardening gloves and lovingly deadhead the roses. I lose myself in the promise of new growth.
I let the rhythmic clipping sound of my shears soothe me. I’ll deal with the unknown, the weeds, later. Sometimes weeds are simply weeds.
Thank you for reading, my dear readers! Thank you for sticking with me during my difficult year and time of transition. Please take a moment to share this post with others, leave a comment (some lawn care advice would be appreciated), like the Parenting Without A Parachute Facebook Page and subscribe. I really appreciate it!
If you are interested in reading more posts about my divorce journey, check out 5 Reasons This Single Mom Won’t Be Going on Match.com and Divorce: Filling the Holes.