Tuesday, October 2, 2018

2. Fueled by Imagination

When I was a child, my imagination was my super power. In the course of an afternoon I could morph from a mommy caring for her Cabbage Patch babies in my walk-in closet nursery into a teacher calling out attendance in the unfinished basement or swirling a whistle lanyard around my finger (just like my principal did)in my driveway during “recess.” My imagination on display in public spaces must have been a sight to see.

An afternoon after a trip to the dentist or orthodontist might be spent in my dad’s wood shop where I’d work on a mouth of teeth (nails pounded into scraps of wood and thin wire twisted around each “tooth.”)

As an adult, I needed ways to entertain a preschooler while I readied the house for a visit from family. So we turned housecleaning into prepping the “hotel.” We played “cooking show” complete with talking to the imaginary camera as we showed our audience how to make our chosen dish.

While it may sound a little out there, I can assure you this playful approach to adult tasks makes the time go by quicker and the chore seem less burdensome.

It was in this spirit that I approached my yard work a few hours after I’d been up in the middle of the night to watch the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

I had the entire day unscheduled before me, so I decided to work in the yard for as long as it took to knock out some jobs. I knew that without the pressure of having to finish and move on to something else, I might have the time and space to actually enjoy the work.

I crouched on the balls of my feet and began plucking weeds. I thought about being a gardener on one of the Royal properties. And somehow, that thought transported me back to what I’d watched hours before—the beauty and pageantry—and the yard work on my own little manor didn’t seem so overwhelming.

Two summers before, my dad bought me a weed wacker. I used it a few times, but felt so self-conscious. I couldn’t get the hang of using it and didn’t like looking inexperienced for all the neighbors in my cul-de-sac to witness. I benched the weed wacker the next season, but my yard always looked a little unkempt without the edges trimmed. So on this Saturday, I committed to getting the hang of it, and I did! That one little touch really made a difference, and I was determined to make it a regular thing in my lawn care for the summer.

I worked for two hours and realized the answer to my earlier question: I CAN do this lawn care thing on my own. There’s no need to hire out the services. I enjoyed the time out in the sun, and was delighted to feel a sense of desire to do this work.

That afternoon taught me that planning ahead and building time into my schedule rather than having to rush through the work will be the best way for me to successfully maintain my lawn.


  1. Reading. I am going to enjoy this series. You are articulate, honest, and open - my favorite traits in a writer of memoir. xo

  2. I love the idea of making daily tasks playful! This might really be the answer for me! That's just the way I roll! I don't use playing overworking any day!