When I decided to rake the yard, I didn’t realize how deep and thick the leaves/straw were. To be honest, my journey began with a broom last Wednesday. (The moment I became the crazy lady on the block, I’m reaching full crazy lady status now.) At first it was just the porch, the pollen had formed a nice yellow sprinkling (like Florida snow), and the leaves laid scattered about. (Making Florida snow angles would be easy, I imagine.)
I step off the porch and begin sweeping the stones, this is when insanity jumped in. I began sweeping the leaves off the dirt path, then the drive way. Before long I had swept up a large pile, a good portion of the side yard. Of course, all these spots were mostly dirt beneath. This made the task super easy, I proudly swept my leaves as the neighbors drove by. Once I got to the grassy areas, it became quite the task. I bowed my head in defeat, I accepted that I now needed a dreaded rake. (Yes, I knew the broom wouldn’t do it all, but the idea of such ease is nice.)
That night, I ended up at my brothers, and as we laughed about my yard sweeping, he
mentioned he had a rake, which I borrowed. I was now set to continue my yard overhaul.
Thursday, I raked like a mad woman. All while watching my three munchkins, and
keeping them out of trouble. Overall, I’d say I worked a total of 5 hours. In this time, I
was able to rake the forest dense layers into random mounds. I accomplished the front
yard, and most of one side.
Only, I didn’t feel accomplished. (I was in need of validation.) I figured once my husband arrived home, he would be shocked at how much I was able to get done that day (praise would make me feel better.)….all while balancing the kids and their needs. A good portion of the yard was raked, the house was clean, laundry was done, and countless other tasks were achieved. Any other day, I’d feel like super woman…that day just wasn’t the same.
When my husband arrived, he had nothing to say about all the things I had done. Now, I know that I’m always doing a chore of some sort, but on this day I had done more work than a lot of people out there. I had put my super woman powers to work, in over drive. My body ached, but it was a good ache. I just needed my head to catch up with the “full of life” feeling that my body had. I didn’t receive the validation I needed that night, I didn’t feel accomplished in all that I had done. (unaccomplished in life?)
I felt the over whelming need to finish my task, I pined to rake on. Maybe, just maybe, if I finished this task (sooner the better.) then I would feel better, whole in some way. The next morning it rained ,(not to bad.). Finally, around 3, I was able to get in the yard, and get a bit more raking done. Some of the leaves stuck to the grassy areas like suction-cups. It didn’t matter, I was determined. As I listened to a little Modern Blues, and “danced” the rack along, I became overly empowered.
Raking wasn’t enough, the ugly mini vineyard I had been ignoring for a year now, was calling. I began chopping vines and weeds off the poles, I was down to a stump of a plant. The mighty he-woman I am, wanted to grab it and rip it from the earth, as if it were as easy as picking a flower or flicking a bug. Unfortunately, the L.O.E.M (League of Extraordinary Moms) has this stupid rule about not letting “norms” see our superpowers in action. (I know, it’s so lame right?)
Anyhow, this left me with the shovel, and hedge clippers to work with. I pulled,
pushed, chopped, cut, severed, and pried with all my might. After 30 minutes, I came to
the conclusion that this was not just any grape plant. It was in fact a Hydra-grape
plant, for every root severed, two more grew back. I was again defeated, and my day of yard work was over. Another day leavening me to feel unaccomplished.
Again, I accept it for what it is and bow out in defeat. I know that tomorrow is Saturday and that means an all day yard work fest with hubby. We worked hard all day, I raked, he burned and worked on the Hydra-grape plants. By the end of the day, our front yard was finished, and we were surprised by the amount of grass that survived under the ton of leaves. The Hydra-grapes were losing the battle, my back yard, and the other side yard was also raked up. We managed to accomplish a huge amount of yard work, for only two people – all while keeping the baby (not so much baby, anymore.) entertained.
By the end of it all, my body ached more than I believe it ever has. I was fully worn out and I felt accomplished in my task. Although my body hurt and throbbed, it felt alive and good in a way, maybe healthy, I’m not sure. Sunday my body feels only slightly achy, but it wants to keep going, keep moving and working hard.
It felt amazing to accomplish something I’d been wanting to do for a year now. From the moment we decided to rent this home, I knew I wanted to tackle the yard. You could tell no one had really cared for it in years, nothing more than keeping the weeds down in open areas. When we first moved in, last spring, I was pregnant and ready to pop. After baby came, my time was full of breastfeeding, diapering two kids and all those other motherly/wifey duties.
On top of that, I’ve been stuck for this past year. Between balancing three children (all on different stages and with different needs.), dealing with the home, lack of sleep, and trying to reach my own goals. (Having my own business and my blog of course.) With everything going on, I admit that my goals have been put on the back burner. After finishing my yard work journey, I realized that I need to focus on my goals more, and accomplish more of my dreams.
Now that my daughter is in school, my middle child is coming into his own, and my baby is no longer a baby….I don’t have anything to use as an excuse. The sleep isn’t as lacking, the chores and motherly duties aren’t as demanding as they were a year ago. My body doesn’t hurt from the surgery anymore, and it’s time to get back to my “more so, normal” life. It’s time to get back into my non-fat pants, times to work harder on my dreams, and time to accomplish the goals I need to achieve to become the person I want to be.
Here’s what I learned on my raking journey.
1. I’m stronger and more determined then I knew.
2. Your body really does feel better, when it’s getting the physical activity it needs.
3. Yard work gives you a lot of time to think, I learned that I have many goals I want I achieve.
4. That I really love my husband, he may not be perfect or always say the right things, but he’ll always be right there beside me….knee deep in whatever mess we may get into and that counts for more then anything.
5. I love my kids. Even though they make me feel old sometimes, they also make me feel young at heart. They give me a little of that kid spirit, excitement and energy back. I just have to use it more.
6. Mosquito’s are horrible, evil little blood suckers. I’ve learned to buy repellent when doing yard work that consists of mile deep, damp bottomed leaves…filled with evil Mosquito’s, enjoying their dark little homes….just waiting to drain you of blood, and leave the most irritating bites.
7. Mosquito’s also taught me that we really will endure a lot for our kids. I began the journey for my kids, I didn’t want snakes hiding under all the leaves, and the Mosquito’s needed my help….to meet their death, and destroy their happy little breeding grounds.
8. I wasn’t only growing grapes. Apparently, I was also growing potatoes, strawberries, and a strange undefined vegetable. (Ill figure it out one day, add to the list.)
9. My yards a lot bigger then I thought it was. I knew it was huge, but you never really know, until you rake it all.
10. I’m random even in my raking. After awhile I began to notice that I can only rake in one spot for a short amount of time. Before I know it, I’m jumping off to yet another location to work. I imagine I look like the ball in a pin ball machine, just bouncing about the yard sporadically.
Isn’t it amazing how even the smallest of things, like yard work, can have so much meaning or purpose in your life. What could have been a boring and annoying task, tuned out to be an enlightening journey back into myself. From the postpartum shell of who I once was, back into the more alive and awakened me.