It’s my weekend without the kids, and I decided to get some yard work done. Nothing extravagant, just cutting back blackberries, mowing the lawn, cleaning the driveway, simple spring stuff that needs to be done, and frequently, for some reason, doesn’t get done.
While I was doing it, and listening to one of my favorite radio programs, I realized that I kind of like getting out in the sunshine and doing some physical work, and I wondered why I hadn’t done more yard work in the past. The light bulb went on over my head almost instantly. I didn’t do yard work, because I never did it right. It really didn’t matter what I did, it wasn’t the “way it was supposed to be”. I’d mow, and the mower setting was too low, and I was “tearing up the grass” and I wasn’t using the mulch cover on the mower. When I’d trim, whatever growing thing, it would be too far back, or not far enough. When I decided to rent a brush hog to cut back blackberries, well, there was no reason why that was wrong, it was just not the “right” way to do it.
There came a point where I just didn’t try anymore. To hell with the yard. I’d mow, just because I couldn’t stand the front yard looking like a jungle, but for everything else, I just let it go.
So when I called a long time friend while making lunch, I said, this is going to sound weird, but I realized that I like yard work, and never used to, and I figured out why… he interrupted, and said, cause you weren’t allowed to. There was a bond of camaraderie that was almost visible. I didn’t even need to explain the situation. He said he doesn’t go near the yard. If his wife saw him anywhere near the mower, she’d have a cow.
It’s been years since I’ve done anything around the yard, and there’s a lot to do. It seems that while it was important to tell me how NOT to do the yard, it wasn’t as important for her TO do the yard. Either way, it’s soon going to be my yard, (and a very expensive yard it will have turned out to be), but now if I want to trim a tree, or even cut it down, that’s pretty much up to me, (of course I have to get the kids permission, but if they get to watch, or help, they’re usually pretty agreeable about changing the landscaping).
I’m wondering how many more things I’ll realize that I don’t like, only because it has been impossible to do them correctly, and how many things in my life haven’t been “my” things without me even realizing it.
I’d like to believe that she didn’t realize that anything I did in the yard didn’t meet with her approval, and she was just being herself. It feels now, (although, it always feels differently later) that I would have done a lot more outside, and potentially made the neighbors happier, had I had the occasional permission to just do what needed to be done.