Growing Like a Weed

Apparently, it’s hard to be 3 1/2 years old. It comes with a lot of “I don’t want to” and “I’m not going to” and more generally, “Argh” and “Noooo.” On a recent morning after Mr. D didn’t want to get dressed, didn’t want to go to school, didn’t want to talk about it, I ended up in a full sweat just getting my kids dropped off to school. I used the blessed silence on the drive home to cool down and reflect on growth. My conclusion – growth is not comfortable!

While I might not throw myself on the floor naked crying, I think my inner dialogue when it comes to growth might follow a similar sound scape. My recent venture into podcasting has given me a lot of examples to draw from.

I’ve had to learn how to edit sound. When I asked a friend what software he uses, he said garage band software. I thought that meant some software that people use to record songs in their garages – which may be true but what he meant that the app is actually called Garage Band.

And that’s just the first in a whole line of mistakes I’ve made figuring this out. I’ve wiped out entire recordings that I put together and had to start over. I’ve clumsily figured out how to splice. I’ve looked up YouTube videos to find exactly where that button is and then forgotten by the time I got back to looking at my own screen. Even though learning software is what I do for a living, it has been a whole lot of searching for the words to search for because I don’t know the name for what I want to do.

All the while, I’m frustrated, irritable, and feel like quitting. And this doesn’t even touch the whole part of learning to ask the right questions in an interview, listening while making a conversation go full-circle, or have any idea where to go next. That part has been easier because Vicki and I are doing it together. I don’t want to speak for her, but I’d say that while we are still wading our way through uncertainty, it feels like good company.

I recently heard the advice that we need to know our motives in order to keep fueling our growth. In the case of podcasting, I have several motives beyond basic intuition and curiosity. It seems like a natural extension of writing and feels like the right way to go. But the motive that keeps coming up for me is that writing, and specifically promoting our writing, is hard work. I want to promote others so that when they write, create and publish something, they don’t feel as if they are all alone out there promoting it. As I’m struggling to write a teaser paragraph to create interest, which is not my sweet spot, I keep going because of my motivation.

So even though there are times I do want to throw a tantrum like a 3-year-old, the advice about knowing my motives is very good – it keeps me returning to the tablet to try again and again.

And I’m guessing that I’m not alone. Whether we are learning pickle ball, or how to knit or collage, play mah jong or plant tomatoes, we might be more motivated or willing to do it when we remember we’re doing it in order to spend more time with partners or friends. Or to improve our mental and physical health.

For all those lovely examples of growth, I have plenty that aren’t based on happiness. I had to grow through failure, being wounded, and tough financial circumstances when I got divorced. I wrote a book about my dad after his death, which was in large part growth that was rooted in deep grief, love, and loss.

Just like my kids who aren’t given a choice as to whether they will grow up or not, we are sometimes catapulted through life. Then we have to figure out which way to grow. As Eleanor Roosevelt said:

In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.

Eleanor Roosevelt

As I think about growth, our theme for Heart of the Matter in this month of May, I’m inspired by all the flowers, grasses, weeds outside giving me examples. Somehow, somewhere, a little seed knows how to push itself through the dark, dense dirt towards the light. Not to anthropomorphize too much, but I can imagine there are moments in that growth path that aren’t too comfortable either.

I’m also cognizant of this quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald:

“Our lives are defined by opportunities, even the ones we miss.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Check out our beautiful HoTM growth quote tree that Vicki made – downloadable as a .png file!

Please visit my personal blog I’ve got a related story about growth on my personal blog today, Old Routine, New Fit. I also post on Wednesdays at the Wise & Shine blog. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter @wynneleon

(featured photo from Pexels)

50 thoughts on “Growing Like a Weed

  1. Oh Wynne! What an opener for this month!! You lovely person have scored as big as the Kraken this morning. I am a fan 100% of this post (although not a hockey fan really) 🙂

    I won’t even try to list all the good parts, just say it is perfect and honest and wonderful and I love it and you! Thank you for being one of our team leaders and for pushing yourself in a good way behind the scenes to grow this blog!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Wuhoo – the Kraken!! Cheers to you for working in that reference on a Monday morning, Deb. Impressive. Let me just say that sometimes it feels like I have to play a best of 7 series – and it’s only the first round of playoffs. Not sure if that metaphor works but it felt fun… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It works for sure! I think in the end you will be displaying your own trophy for the mantle as you master each step of this process and come out on top!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my goodness…you know how I feel…you don’t give yourself nearly enough credit for letting your curiosity and ambition lead you as you’ve learned how to be a sound engineer…despite moments like this, that are oh-so-relatable : “I’ve looked up YouTube videos to find exactly where that button is and then forgotten by the time I got back to looking at my own screen.” Oh yes…”that button”. I’m not doing the editing…just cheering you on and I have a hard enough time finding ‘any button’ some days. Yep, yep, but we push forward, don’t we? Cheers to you for kicking off our month of noodling on ‘growth’, Wynne! xo! 💕

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Agreed on all points, Wynne. When I conceptualized the job of interviewing and being interviewed, especially while serving as an expert witness, I realized I needed to be in three places at once: remembering what had been said, staying in the moment, and recognizing signs of where we were headed. Perhaps that will help a bit with podcasts.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Wynne I think you’re doing a great job – you and Vicki are working together, complementing each other as you work on HoTM and from my experience working with you both on the podcast that went live on Friday, you are both super-organised with an efficiency that impressed. You kept our conversation flowing even when I got confused or had a fit of the giggles. You were calm, unflustered and helped me to calm down and regain my composure.

    As for your technical/sound engineering skills … obviously I couldn’t see what you were doing via Teams, but I was aware of you tinkering, but all I can say is you edited the recording so that the finished product is seemless.

    I appreciate that there is no doubt still a lot to learn, and skills to develop … I believe we should always be seeking opportunities to learn … but take time to look back and take stock of all you have achieved and how much you’ve learned and grown already.

    You’re doing a great job and have been such a source of encouragement to me, I’m happy to be your cheerleader 😊 😘

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh, thank you, Brenda. I’m so grateful to you for being my cheerleader! And I really appreciate your view of how the experience unfolded because it really helps to know how it feels on the other side. Thank you for letting me know what I’ve done well AND cheering me on for seeking opportunities to learn. Lovely! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. As you’ve shown us, one of the greatest keys to personal growth is a willingness to make mistakes. And, I think, the more the more we fail, the less uncomfortable it becomes. You and Vicki are doing such a fantastic job!! 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, I’m laughing (in a really good way), Erin. My first quick read led me to the take away that Vicki and I are getting really good at being comfortable with failure…. 🙂

      I really appreciate your encouragement, enthusiasm and participation. You are right, willingness to make mistakes leads to growth and more comfort with failure. And I believe that being surrounded by wonderful people who keep us going also helps us to grow, learn and keep going and that’s definitely the case with this team!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh no, that’s not what I meant at all!! 😂 You both are doing amazing! As others have mentioned, there’s not hint of discomfort when peering in from the outside, and I admire your willingness to admit that it’s challenging, and you’re learning. I’ve failed over and over in life and I now look forward to it… there’s always a lesson, and often a good laugh. 🤣

        Liked by 1 person

  6. “ I want to promote others so that when they write, create and publish something, they don’t feel as if they are all alone out there promoting it. ” – thank you for doing this from a new’ish blogger, motivated initially by personal betrayal, deceit and heartbreak and a need to journal. But I can’t write can I?! But I’m trying and I’m still here 🙌🏽 mostly enjoying other bloggers’ posts 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love your statement of intent and resilience, Margaret! You are trying and still here – and I think that’s all I can say for myself too. It leads to good things, I think! So grateful for you becoming a subscriber and being part of this journey!! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. You hide your fears well Wynne. I would never guess that you’re worried about any of these things. You’re a professional through and through. What a great lesson for us all. We think we’re making mistakes, we can tell everyone else our struggles, meanwhile no one else is noticing. Ha, ha. What a great way to kickstart the month on growth. Thank you so much Wynne.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Such a great observation about our screw ups that no one else notices, Brian!! Exactly!! I love being part of this great team and I so appreciate your encouragement, laughter, and companionship on the journey!

      Liked by 2 people

  8. We learn (hopefully) from our mistakes. That makes us grow. There’s another book that comes to mind that one of my writing mentors recommended to me years ago: “Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes Into Stepping Stones for Success”
    by John C. Maxwell.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I do agree that the challenging times are when we experience the most growth. I have often said that about my cancer diagnosis and treatment. I experienced more learning and growth in those months, and in the years that followed, than I ever thought possible.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, Michelle, that must have been uncomfortable growth! But you make such a good point that it comes from challenging times. We don’t grow just sitting around in our easy chairs!

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Like this a bunch – “In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This is a wonderful theme for May, Wynne – and I so wish sometimes we can all just drop to the floor naked and throw a tantrum without people calling the police on us. It would feel so good!

    I agree with you that through the discomfort of trying something new, that is when we are able to grow – and to stretch. It’s very much like weight training. The resistance helps us build our muscle.

    Looking forward to reading the articles about growth this month!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know what I’m talking about with that naked tantrum!! I’m laughing about people calling the police. Yep, it wouldn’t be pretty. 🙂

      Weight training – what a great analogy. Yes!

      Thank you for your amazing support, my friend! So grateful to have met you on this journey!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. You’re definitely not alone — all the things can add up and be very tantrum-worthy! I agree, growth isn’t always based on happiness, unfortunately..Glad you’re figuring out the ins and outs of podcasting and giving so many interesting voices a platform.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Another one of your wise and pithy blogs, Wynne. I fully understand and sympathize with the urge to have a naked screaming hissy fit over technology—learn it one minute and forget it the next—aargh, nooo—don’t make me! But the point of having a motivation strong enough to keep it together and going strong is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Without purpose, I’d just keep the blood pressure rising amidst rolling tantrums. Sometimes, it’s the only thing that keeps me going!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Julia – I love this, “Without purpose, I’d just keep the blood pressure rising amidst rolling tantrums. ” What a sentence — yes, yes, yes! Thank you for being here to cheer me along! ❤


  14. I feel ya’, Wynne, at least when it come to the tech stuff. Examples: (1) I knew/know what garage band is, but only because it’s one of the preloaded apps on my new iPhone; (2) videos I’ve recently recorded on my Iphone’s camera don’t seem to have sound so doe this mean I should use garage band instead? (3) I’ve never figured out how to open a .png doc after I’ve saved it. I’d like to save the one for May from this site so do you have any guidance to help me do that?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Those are some great examples. One thing I’ve noticed about videos on my iPhone is that they replay with the sound muted and there is a little icon on the bottom to turn on the sound. I know that because my son turns them on all the time claiming they are broken. 🙂

      An interesting question about the .PNG file – thanks for asking it. It should open in a web browser. Are you downloading it on your iPhone as well or another device. Let me know and I’ll figure it out!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s