In the restaurant industry, when you get buried in the kitchen and fall behind, we say that we are “in the weeds”. It is a bad feeling to be in the weeds and every chef/cook I know has been there.
It can be overwhelming and paralyzing — which of course, makes it worse. Often you can sense that you are going into the weeds before it happens. But there is an inevitability to it and often nothing you can do to stop it. And sometimes you don’t even know until you are buried that you are there.
If you are lucky and sense it early enough, you can call for help. But sometimes there is no help to come — because the whole kitchen may be in the same place.
This week I was working the line and we were all in the weeds — and it took 2 1/2 hours to recover. To be honest, it was as bad as I have ever seen it. In the midst, you have no idea how you are going to make it through… orders keep coming, there is no relief in site, you can’t keep up, and it all is going down.
One of my chef instructors at school had some good advice for what to do when you get into the weeds. He says, “put your head down and just work through it.” In other words, don’t get to analytical about it, don’t panic, don’t freeze… just keep working as fast as you can — and outlast the weeds. This same instructor has another piece of advice: “remember, it is just a movie”. In other words, it will only last 2 hours (the length of a movie). That is, hang in there and it will end eventually.
This is all good advice.
It strikes me that the same is true in life.
We often feel like we are in the weeds of life — overwhelming, paralyzing, etc. It is easy to want to give up, stop going, freeze.
Sometimes the weeds can be financial… or relational… or spiritual… or vocational… or…
But it always feels the same.
And sometimes all you can do is PUT YOUR HEAD DOWN AND KEEP GOING. And remember, IT ONLY LASTS A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF TIME… (a movie… a mini-series… a season…)
It helps to remember these things when you feel like you are IN THE WEEDS.