12 January, 2021

Finding beauty in the weeds

Yesterday, I wrote a Monday post about a walk I had recently taken. You can read about it here. The key point was that I had found joy in the little things. Namely, trees I saw all the time, and weeds. Yes, weeds!

I thought again that this was one of the main things that helped me get through the dark days of loss. But not only the dark days. Noticing beautiful things helps make good days into great. It accentuates joy that I might  already be feeling. It deepens gratitude that I am already feeling. It is a lesson that I have brought with me into my No Kidding life. Yes, I know I talk about this frequently. But I think about it a lot too. I never knew at the time what an impact it might have on my life.

When I was young, I used to take joy in little things too, in the form of childish excitement. But as I grew into a teenager and young adult, I think I felt it less. Excitement wasn't acceptable as we grew up. I remember at one time being told to calm down. I never let myself feel or show my excitement in that way again. Not really.

But when I was grieving, I realised that I could take a quiet joy in things that took my mind off my grief. It helped. And it helped to be able to name what I was doing. A friend told me early on in second ectopic to roll with the feelings. That they'd come and go, and that was okay. That was, it turned out, good advice. Because in doing that, I was better able to understand those feelings, recognise them for what they were, and let them flow through me. .

The grief of loss, the pain, the fear, the jealousy, were each acknowledged. But at the same time, it helped to feel joy, and know it was joy or pleasure in the moment, without denying all those other emotions that were swamping me. It helped to feel gratitude, and recognise it as gratitude, knowing that things weren't so bad, that in some ways I was lucky, that there were things in my life that were still good. It helped with perspective. There wasn't just loss in my life. There was more than that.

Gradually, I became better able to understand, recognise, and actually own my feelings. My feelings weren't me - they were a part of me, but I could see they weren't permanent. Sometimes they helped, sometimes they didn't. But if I could recognise them, I could deal with them too.

Owning my feelings. Even the ugly ones. That has been part of the growth of coming to terms with, and living, a No Kidding life. Maybe it would have come to me anyway. Perhaps. But I'm pleased it has. It makes my life better. Easier. Filled with joy and gratitude. And I think (I hope) kinder too. Better able to understand myself and others. Perhaps that's the best gift of all. 

There is beauty everywhere. Even in the unwanted weeds. And it is there to help us.



  1. I have also learnt to find joy in the little things.

    Few days ago we got lots of snow, I was home alone and suddenly I thought that it would be awesome to make a snow man. I hadn't built a snowman for almost 40 years! I enjoyed so much doing it. It is very pretty.

    It is very possible that this is the only house with childless couple that has a snowman.

    And when you are able to find joy in simple things like that, life suddenly becomes richer and way more interesting.

    1. It makes me so happy that you built a snowman! Yes, you really understand this.

  2. I am so with you on this, and the practice has helped me immensely, too: "Noticing beautiful things helps make good days into great."

    I also love all that you say about owning your feelings. Even the "ugly" ones. Gratitude, beauty-noticing, and allowing the feels are all such necessary ingredients for contentment.

    I aim to view weeds differently on my coming walks, thanks to your post.

  3. I love this so much: "My feelings weren't me - they were a part of me, but I could see they weren't permanent. Sometimes they helped, sometimes they didn't. But if I could recognise them, I could deal with them too." Noticing the little joys helped me a lot, too. I love taking pictures of little unexpected beauties. I also love that weeds are just tenacious plants in the wrong place. I love dandelions, sunny little first food for honeybees, even though it's a weed so many hate! All in the perspective. Thanks for providing such great perspective!

  4. Excuse my childish excitement (lol), but I love this post!!! Owning my feelings while recognizing they're not permanent and enjoying the little things are pretty much what I try to do every day. Love this post!! :)

  5. Enjoying the little things is important. When I was in grief I started an Instagram account and took pictures of tiny but beautiful things like colored leaves on the pavement or the pattern of a frozen windscreen. Focusing on these things helped. It still does now with the Corona virus ;-).

  6. This is such a lovely post. :) I see Jess has written about dandelions above, and I'll admit, that was one of the first things I thought about as I read your post -- how when we're young, dandelions are just a pretty yellow flower that grows all over the place -- we don't think of it as a weed! ;) It's all a matter of perspective!