This is a guest post by Joanne Miller. She is my wife and affectionately known as Queen Mother in the 48Days community. She writes, serves the needs of others and spends time with her grandchildren. She doesn’t use Twitter or Facebook but has more connections than anyone I know. If you’d like to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.
If you drive through any of the Southernmost states when the landscape is lush and green you will be amazed at the carpet of kudzu. An extremely invasive plant that has been dubbed, “the vine that ate the South”, kudzu can withstand extreme conditions of soil and weather and is very stress-tolerant. Many years ago, when introduced to the United States from Asia, kudzu was often used as an attractive cover for porches, arbors and garden walls. But kudzu is extremely invasive. Little-by-little…..up to a foot a day of growth…..it can eliminate anything in it’s path.
What’s the kudzu in your life? What one thing (or maybe more) has squeezed the life out of your dream? Have distractions covered up your passion so it is hardly any longer recognizable? What are common forms of kudzu?
The first thing that might pop into mind would be the television. What started out as an amazing form of entertainment that enabled more people to tune into the arts and hear the news, the television has become an intrusive part of American culture that sucks up more time in a day than most people care to admit. Recent Nielson statistics (March, 2015) shows that the average time spent watching television in a day is 5.11 hours…..resulting in the statistic of over nine years of TV viewing per person in the U.S. Yikes! That’s a lot of years that could have resulted in writing a book, traveling, learning a new language or myriad other possibilities.
In considering my own kudzu, the first thing that comes to mind is my intense desire to have everything around me in proper order. I want my house in order, my desk in order, my life in order and THEN I can concentrate on my writing, which is what I most want to do. I love to get deep into writing mode. It is like the icing on the cake for me. However, I can spend so much time “perfecting the cake” that I never get to the icing. My house, my desk, my life…..are never as orderly as I would like. So, for me, the kudzu is my obsession to orderliness.
Facebook, for many, has become competitive with the television in sucking up hours in the day. Our fascination with virtual connection has taken us down a road of communication that has little to do with real relationship. Our cell phones, iPads, lap tops and even our Apple watches have become so much a part of our daily lives that we have forgotten how to carry on a conversation looking eye-to-eye and listening intently.
Another common form of kudzu can be in taking care of others. If you have a servant’s heart or a tendency to be a people-pleaser, you may be addicted to volunteering to do everything that comes along the pike. The “no” word rarely escapes your lips so you are continually on call for anyone who needs help, needs attention, needs nurturing. Ok, admittedly that is another issue for me.
Kudzu is hard to control and permeates it’s surroundings like a virus. It often kills the object it overtakes. Isn’t that much like the distractions in our lives? How often have you had a dream or a goal that got swept under layers of kudzu and, over time, strangled out your passion?
Recognizing you have kudzu invading your life is the first step to eradicating the problem. What could you do to eliminate the smothering, tenacious, and potentially deadly kudzu in your life and allow your dream to breathe again? Perhaps it’s time to pull that strangling distraction up by the roots and face it head on!
So what is the kudzu that you’ve found creeping into your life?