Leaf Therapy

yellowI ended up raking leaves today. The wind had done a good job, but there were still quite a few leaves in the back yard – probably has something to do with the fencing.

The sky was gray, and the air had that feeling like the clouds were getting ready to unload their piles of snow. It lent a certain urgency to the raking. I kept telling myself that a cup of coffee would taste that much better if I got one more chore crossed off the list.

__________

I remember after 9/11, I was cleaning my kitchen and thinking, “God, I’m so lucky, I get to clean my kitchen.” It seemed that I shouldn’t allow myself to complain about chores when so many would never be able to complain again. I felt like that while raking leaves today.

I’m lucky that I can rake.

I’m lucky that my kids are healthy and can help me rake.

We’re blessed that we have a T.V. and that I can yell at them for watching so much T.V.

We are blessed that we have a home with a yard and trees that release their leaves and give us a reason to be outside on an almost-ready-to-snow, fall day.

__________

I’m not married to a Narcissist anymore.

I do the mowing, the raking, the cooking, the cleaning, the laundry, the tutoring, the car washing, the ….

The list is endless, but  I did all those chores when I was married.

Now I get to do chores with the sound of a pleasant voice in the background.

Now it is my voice.

My voice encourages me.

My voice tells me I’m doing a good enough job.

My voice says, “It’s really not necessary to get every last leaf.”

__________

I don’t buy leaf bags. I can’t bring myself to spend money on something that’s meant to be thrown away.  Even if it might make the job easier, I can’t do it.  If it means I make more trips, well then at least I’m burning more calories.

As I was dragging the trash can back to the leaf pile, I noticed the pile wasn’t as big.  It loomed large when I was standing in the middle of the mess, but when I got away from the pile, I got a different perspective.  The job wasn’t so big.

The mess wasn’t insurmountable.

There must be a lesson in there somewhere.

When I’m standing in the thick of things, breathing hard, it’s difficult to believe that I will actually get through it all.  When I walk away – even briefly – I can see the big picture.

I see that I am able to tackle the project.

There are a lot of “messes” that could be handled the same way.

Step back a bit.

Look at the mess from a new angle.

Take a breath.

Rake some leaves and be grateful.

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8 comments

  1. There is something to finding your balance in chores. I always hated laundry. Now I find myself actually enjoying the simplicity of the routine. Guess your mind really does go bonkers in grad school. lol.

  2. Z,

    I’ve read about finding zen in folding laundry, raking, doing the dishes. I find relief in the things I have to do to maintain our existence. It’s monotonous but it’s soothing at the same time. And not much is required of me. Maybe that’s why I enjoy it. I can do it, and get it right.

  3. Hi Jesse,

    This is such a good perspective–one I need right now in my life. Step back from the mess, take a deep breath, and soak in all that has changed for the better. Thank you again and again for your writings–I find so much comfort in them!

    Warm wishes,
    Lynn

  4. Lynn,

    I’m always wishing I could do more to help with your mess.

    Hugs

  5. Jesse,

    By being here, you do more than you can imagine!

    Thank you!

    Hugs to you and yours!

  6. Lynn,

    Thank you. ;)

  7. Jesse,

    I love this post. It means more to me each time I read it and more as time passes along my journey. I have used the word “mess” a lot: “What a mess!” Dear God, please redeem this mess.” Tonight the mess reminds me life sometimes calls for huge leaps but more often it seems it requires that I put one foot in front of the other, and keep going.

    Thank you for your soothing writings.

    Warm wishes . . .

  8. Lynn,

    I like the way you put that….

    If we think of it as putting one foot in front of the other, it sounds less daunting than taking that huge leap.

    Slow and steady and still there’s progress.

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