This is the post that I intended to publish last Monday. Ironically, the title was already “Monday Mistakes” and I forgot I had it ready, so I wrote what I posted last week instead. This is a follow-up on my weed and feed attempt from 2 weeks ago.

The weed and feed deed has been done. I assure you that the blacktop in front of us as well as the driveway will not be sprouting weeds any time soon! However, the middle of the yard should have weeds aplenty! My husband tried in his non-teacher way to tell me how to get started. But these seeder/spreaders are unforgiving; once that high dollar stuff is being fanned across the ground, there’s no bringing it back. Controlling the speed with one foot and one eye on the speedometer; the fan toggle with right hand, steering wheel with left hand, and my other eye trying to turn with my arthritic neck to check on the progress (the open/close handle wanted to jog shut from time to time) was a multi-tasking that I hadn’t done in many years. I’ll spare you the rest of the details, and just hope that I haven’t killed precious things in my effort to take out the unwanted weeds. Does this sound familiar?

Yes, in fact, we can do more damage than good if we do not balance the bitter with the sweet. In my dandelion driven distraction, I forgot to put the cat up; fortunately by the time I actually got started, the dew was all dried so I have hopes that he didn’t pick up the chemicals with his paws. In my haste, I forgot to decrease the distribution width on the first swipe, then I misjudged the radius of my turns and didn’t cut off the fan, so there is much overlapping, and that is not the end of my mistake list. But I had the best of intentions. They say roads are not paved with good intentions.  I was nearly finished with what I knew was not a good job, when I thought about the BIRDS!!! I love them more than pretty grass, so what was I thinking????? Now I will be watching for their welfare for days, with my stomach in a knot until I know that they are OK.

Have you ever put forth a great deal of effort in helping someone, only to decide in the end that you did more harm than good? Yes, so have I. It’s that balance thing again. Carefully selecting enough constructive criticism while being sure they know you care; and providing the encouragement they need is a daunting task. I have recently been in such a situation. After much encouragement from my heart, and sincere prayer for someone, I found that there was still something holding that person back. She just wasn’t able to get over the mountain in her path, but she seemed to be making so much effort! It was breaking my heart. Then when I observed what I’ll describe as slipping back over loose rocks that were sure to trip her as she climbed, I made one last  effort to give a hand up.

Regret seems to love me – it comes to sit with me often.  I just have to remember that my intentions were good when I worked to remove the weeds and fertilize the lawn. My methods were not as well thought out. But we just can’t throw the baby out with the bath water. I learn from mistakes; forgive myself and others; hope for new beginnings; and keep on loving. I believe I can feed, without the weeding next time. Encourage, without offending. Lesson learned.