This summer brought the demise of my second lawn mower in eleven years. Before that time I had never mowed a lawn in my life. In my childhood, it was something my daddy did and I thought it was something only boys did. In my early adult life, I lived in apartments and a townhouse. The lawn was someone else’s responsibility. So eleven years ago when I became responsible for a yard I was stunned to learn I actually like mowing the lawn!
Oh but I had no idea it could get even better. My first two mowers were electric cordless and they took a lot of effort on my part to push. They were what most people would call expensive and when they broke that was it. So this summer I decided I would go with a more conventional gas mower. I was advised to get a self-propelled model. Holy smokes! I had no idea how much easier that little feature would make the weekly chore of mowing the lawn. I’m still soaking wet and rosy-cheeked when I’m done, but I have shaved a good fifteen minutes off my time. In feels like 110-degree weather, that is the difference between finishing tired or with black spots swimming in front of your eyes from heat exhaustion.
This got me thinking about the concept of self-propelled in other areas of life. I don’t know about you, but when I’m enthusiastic and motivated about something, it just comes easier than when I dread or resist. I can’t make every task in life something I love, but I can use my attitude to make even the mundane or disliked tasks go a bit faster. I just have to power through as cheerfully as I can.
Some things in life are hard and they should be. If everything was easy how would we be driven to grow and reach further? I don’t think shortcuts or paths clear of obstacles can teach us like the journeys we have to work for. However, like the self-propelled mower, a self-propelled attitude can make doing the hard work more efficient and help you keep a little reserve in the tank for whatever is coming next. (Trust me, there is always something next!) We each have the power within us when we tap into our inner drive.
I’m always amazed at how the every day in housekeeping, cooking or yard work can teach me a philosophical life lesson. Now I rank mowing the lawn as my favorite chore. I’m going to put the keyboard down and tackle that basket of unfolded laundry with a song in my heart. Now, if only the vacuum cleaner could operate itself . . .