The Joys of Mowing the Lawn

Marc Bilodeau/ Core Beliefs, Health, Subjectivity

Once again, it’s May in Maine. The snow is nowhere in sight, the days are getting longer, and the weather is warming. It’s a great feeling as green leaves and grass make their annual appearance. Consequently, this means the chore of mowing the lawn is part of my weekly ritual until late October. A grueling two and a half hour process of pushing the lawnmower around, while the afternoon sun beams down and the air is thick and humid.

I’ve been told to buy a riding lawnmower, or hire someone to mow the lawn. No, that’s not for me. I’ll keep mowing my lawn thank you, because I love it. It’s not because I’m a lawn guy who spends nights planning the proper seeding and treatment intervals. I’ll have none of that. It’s all about the act of mowing the lawn.

The Joys of Mowing the Lawn

Mowing the lawn is more than just a chore. Sometimes, I listen to books or spend time thinking through problems. Yet, at the same time I’m breathing fresh air, being outdoors, and getting some exercise. I enjoy it from the first pull of the lawnmower chord to putting the lawnmower away.

Afterwards, I take a few moments to look at the lawn from my deck. I admire the crude lawn stripes, the smell of freshly cut grass, and feel pride from a job well done. I’ll stay in the moment with the sights, smells, and sounds for a few minutes longer, while listening to the world and taking it all in.

Then, the moment passes and life moves on. However, when I see the yard on my way to work, that same sense of accomplishment returns which helps start my busy day a little better.

That Still Doesn’t Sound Fun at All

Still not convinced? That’s ok. Regardless, each of us likely has one or more of our own “mowing the lawn” chore that we enjoy. When it’s done, we take a moment to appreciate the hard work and outcome. The challenge is finding these tasks that make us feel productive, alive, and fulfilled.

It doesn’t have to be a major undertaking. Sometimes, simplicity yields the greatest rewards. Activities like walking, making the bed, exercising, or gardening may evoke those same feelings. That’s why we must be willing to shake things up, try something new, and put our best foot forward.

Unfortunately, there are chores that have to “get done”. That’s life. However, we should reflect on the true importance of them. Are we doing it out of habit? Can the task be done differently to save time? Is it even necessary? Are we doing it too frequently?

Sometimes, the answer is no to all those probing questions. However, just because the answer is no today, doesn’t mean the answer is no tomorrow. In the meantime, try using some creativity to make a chore more enjoyable. Perhaps turn it into a game, combine it with another task, or try a new way to accomplish it. These kinds of experimentation can take time, but it’s certainly doable and worth the effort.

Conclusion

Time is the most precious resource we have. It’s not replaceable. There are no do-overs. No one has more hours in the day than anyone else. Therefore, it’s important to use our time wisely and not waste it on unimportant tasks or bad habits. However, every task can be fun when we put our best foot forward, focus on each step, and savor the accomplishments from a job well done.

One last thing. Be sure to mow the lawn in different directions each time. This way the grass grows more upright. Not only does it look better, it helps avoid ruts in the lawn.