I have a funny habit of putting my thoughts to music; usually old musical tunes. So as I mowed the lawns yesterday (I have three distinctively different regions of lawn on my property) I was kicking myself for not mowing them earlier when they were more manageable. And I began singing “Procrastination…Procrastination is makin’ me late..it’s keeping me ra-a-a-a-akin’.” to the old Carly Simon song “Anticipation”.
You see, I own a mulching mower. I’ve owned battery operated mulching mowers for about fifteen years now, since my Seattle neighbor Chip Parker and I decided to share the cost and ownership of a mulching mower in that city’s promotional event.
When I moved from my small, flat property in Seattle to my bigger, hilly lot in Southwest Washington, though, I didn’t realize the difference the terrain would have on my enjoyment of mowing a lawn with a mulching mower. It’s a fairly sized lawn, so I figured I should get a fairly sized mower. I moved on Labor Day weekend and the next week had some pretty good sales on mowers, so I decided to just GO FOR IT in the world of lawn maintenance and get a big, mulch-anything HOG of a mulching mower.
See, I really like mulching while I mow. I like a nice, green lawn that rarely if ever needs watering. I like mowing without raking. I like mowing and being DONE rather than having a series of steps to go through before finishing. I like the environmental benefits of mulching mowers such as no yard waste for the dump, no gas fumes (it’s battery operated!) and the lessened need for water to keep it green.
BUT nothing’s perfect and I don’t like the grass clippings that come with me into my house on the bottom of my shoes (and have prompted me to become a no-shoes house) or the inherent weight of the mower as I lug it up and down that hilly lawn portion at the bottom of my driveway. Nor do I like the fact that a mulching mower will pick up any and all existing weeds and spread little weed babies all over the next few feet of lawn as it goes about its task. And living in the Pacific Northwest where lawns are often wet and/or dewy I often have to wait for the lawn to be really dry if I don’t want to end up with a long expanse of lumpy, brown gobs of grass scattered amongst the rich, green mole hill terrain.
But when a rare stretch of sunny days arrives I often choose to go do something fun away from home and the lawn grows to twice its length while I’m out procrastinating. The next rain squall inspires more growth. And when the sun returns I’m faced with a two-day project of mowing the lawn because the battery in the mower won’t take me from beginning to end of the project in one day because I have to repeat the process on the especially long and damp segments of grass! So I procrastinate more.
Well, two days ago I began mowing the hip-high lawn. And then I finished mowing it yesterday by getting the tall, uncut sections I’d passed up the day before. I went around the mole hills, vowing to call the mole-killer today and admit defeat in my efforts to repel the two moles who’d begun the yearly assault on my fantasies of a smooth, green, turf-like scene of serenity.
But a funny thing began to happen as I looped my way through the job: I began to sing that song of Carly Simon’s and recall an earlier time in my life when I’d been young and carefree and pretty optimistic about where I was headed in my adult life. So as I steadily worked my way through that dramatic “before” and “after” transformation we mowers know so well, it was fun to hear the singing voice inside my head move from “Anticipation” to “Procrastination” and my growth from the idealism and fantasy of my college youth to the ownership and reality of having to mow my own lawn.
As I mowed, I looked at what I’m procrastinating about in my life right now and if it’s because I’m anticipating a fantasy ending that isn’t comfortable. So I decided I didn’t know, but I could find out by mowing down the obstacles I was imagining and instead go forth into the landscape of me which now exists and…
Ergo, here I am at my new blog, pushing myself to see if daily postings will truly take me to where I want to be as a woman writer while avoiding turning this process into a self-therapy session in text form! I have begun, and now I’m going to go perform the profound task of vacuuming the grass clippings off of my living room rug.