Who knew that mowing the lawn would change my life?
Well, maybe change is a bit strong…
Impact? Yeah, impact. Ok. Who knew that mowing the lawn would have an impact on my life?
Why, you ask, would something as benign as lawn mowing have an impact on my life? 2 reasons:
1. I had never, until about 10 days ago, cut grass. I was the baby of the family, a cheerleader and “book smart”. Translated, this means that my mother was afraid I would, quite enthusiastically, run over my foot with the mower while daydreaming about calculus (or a new cheer routine. Or both.).
2. I read way too much into everyday experiences. It’s a talent of mine.
So here were the wife and I, brand new home owners with a beautifully cared for lawn. And no tools to continue that care. My dad (my go to guy for…. everything) said not to worry. We had over a month before cutting the grass would really be necessary. Then in walked global warming. Ohio spring became more like Tennessee spring. And cutting the grass was oh so necessary about 3 days after that conversation. He took pity on us and came over to cut it – once. I didn’t ask him to do it a second time because I already knew the response: buy your own. So we did.
We decided to get an electric mower. Not only does it lend credence to my euphemism for lawn mowing (vacuuming the lawn), it also solidifies our place as the resident hippie lesbians of our little corner of suburbia. (Militant, hippie lesbians comes in the fall.)
Ten days post-purchase I have cut grass 3 times (front twice, back once) and learned 7 things along the way:
1. Walking in a straight line, even while sober, is hard. So don’t get pulled over.
2. Sunny April afternoon lawn mowing solves the problem of pre-beach tanning.
3. Green is not my color.
4. Homebuyers should shop in the spring and mow the lawn of any house they want to put an offer on. Concerns about “enough yard for Junior” will be bagged with the clippings. Unless Junior is 16. Then he can have all the yard he can mow.
5. Skip the pushups and the self-propelled feature. My arms haven’t seen this much action since I was driving an ’82 Suzuki Samurai sans power steering (in ’99). I’m comin’ for you, Angela.
6. Dandelions, which seemed so beautiful when making my little girl bouquets years ago, are the devil. Prayer (weed & feed) is the answer.
7. I’m still capable of living my life.
See, I wasn’t sure if I could actually, physically, mow the lawn. Not just because I was a sheltered priss for 30 years. But because, for the last year or so, my body hasn’t felt like it’s capable of much of anything. This illness which defies naming has driven me nearly mad with pain and confusion and, most of all, doubt. In the past year I’ve doubted my sanity, my intelligence, my focus and, worst of all, my worth. What good am I to my family/employer/community group if I can’t (insert mundane activity here).
So, amidst what feels like a long a list of can’ts, I have stumbled upon a can. I may have to take my time, and there may be some pain. I may be in bed at 9pm, rubbing myself down with an icy hot stick (sexy!). But while I’m doing it, I’ll know that I’m still capable. I’m still alive. I still have worth.
Silly that it would take something like mowing the lawn to convince me of that? Perhaps. Better to be reminded in silly ways than forget altogether? Indeed.