Monday, September 3, 2018

Lessons in Lawn Mowing

I cut the grass this morning and it was awful. It often is awful. It is awful because our mower sucks. If you let it cut off then you have to wait at least 30 minutes before you can start it again. And, worse yet, the self-propel function ceased working a couple of years ago. If you live on flat land that might not be an issue, but alas! The mountains. Anyway, that means that cutting the grass needs to be done by brute force without interruption.

This morning I prepared myself, or so I thought. I went ahead and filled a glass with ice water because I knew at some point I would be about to die. I set the glass where I could grab it without letting go of the handle. It was a welcome relief as I came to it about halfway through and guzzled down all that I could, minus the flung piece of stick that swam around.

Unfortunately, this morning was oppressively muggy. The grass was slick from dew. And it just took way more out of me than it might in more favorable conditions. At one point I really thought I wasn't going to be able to finish and tried to yell, over the roar of the lawn mower, for someone to bring me more water. I'm not that much of a loudmouth and nobody heard. I finished. Barely.

I realized that this is life. When faced with an overwhelming task or jam packed week, it is wise to set out points of refreshing. We aren't machines. We aren't even crappy lawnmowers. We need points of rest. Refreshing. A cup of cold water. Sometimes we can't set one out ourselves. Sometimes we might need to ask someone to be alert to our need. Next time I will ask my husband to have his office window open and be alert to my possible yelling for help.

If cutting the grass is easy for you you might not understand why it is such a big deal to somebody else. You might have a kick-ass mower or a level yard or more muscles and stamina and perhaps a cool, refreshing breeze. You might not realize that the person struggling to tame their yard is dealing with steep slopes, rocky soil, soggy grass, heat and humidity, or (like me) rapidly shriveling muscle mass (damn you, menopause!). It is easy to assume that if something is easy for you, it should be easy for someone else. But our loads are not apples to apples.

I know so many with various challenges in life that others just don't understand. They are continually met with the "why don't you just ...." Such ignorant, unwanted advice is condescending and demoralizing. The parent of the special needs child can't just.....whatever. The single mom can't just.....whatever. The person with debilitating depression can't just....whatever. They have more obstacles than you can see.

It is important to look more deeply into the lives of people to better understand the struggle. I know so many whose seemingly easy life tasks are made so much more difficult by conditions I may not see or understand. I want to be there for them with a cup of cold water. Please, if you know you are going to need one, let me know. I may not be able to cut your grass, but I can hopefully refresh your soul when you need it.

1 comment:

  1. Just is a "4 letter word" in our family! Originally because it related mostly to craftsmanship, but I have found personally that it applies to way more than that. Thank you for noticing, and once again not remaining silent! Thank you for reaching out to be that cold glass of water!

    For me, currently, those little phone calls or even texts to check and see how in feeling, how many "spoons" I have and just a place to talk about my day, fears, triumphs, or whatever are a great refreshment for me. I am so thankful my husband is learning and implementing these things, and thankful too for the friends who think to do this for me sometimes too. Your words are often a refreshment to my soul. Keep writing!!