Personal Musings

When you’re angry, pull weeds

Wisdom from my father-in-law

A few weeks ago, my wife set-up a Zoom meeting with her family back home. I wasn’t so much involved in the conversation, but I did hear a little as I passed through the kitchen. Something my father-in-law said stayed with me. It was simple yet wise:

When you’re stressed, pull weeds.
When you’re angry, pull weeds.

It was very zen.

Since it’s spring and the weeds are aplenty, I decided to give it a try. When done with mindfulness, pulling weeds is quite calming. I don’t see it as a chore or headache at all.

Pulling weeds is one of my go-to activities now along with sweeping. Give it a try next time you’re stressed or angry. Or, just pull weeds when you feel perfectly fine. Right after the rain is best.

Photo by Evgeniy Kletsov on Unsplash

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By Jeffrey Pillow

Jeffrey Pillow is an American short story writer, memoirist, and poet. He is the author of The Lady Next Door. His writing has been published in Urge Magazine, The Nervous Breakdown, 16 Blocks, USA Today, Sports Illustrated,, New York Times, Washington Post, and Richmond Times-Dispatch.

He grew up in the small town of Phenix, Virginia, population: 200, and now lives in Charlottesville with his wife, two kids, and a dog named Mozzarella Cheese. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia where he was a Rainey Scholar. This is his blog.

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