This is a task that I decided to take on when we moved to the Professor Haus last year. After a solid year of doing it, I can confidently say that I love the hell out of it.
When it's time to do the cutting, I put my beans in (that's what I call my earbuds - they look like lil beans!), pop the batteries into my lil green push mower and get to work.
Now, I will say that it does take me at least three full days to cut the grass.
That's okay, though. Our yard is over three quarters of an acre and I only cut at about an hour to 90 minutes at a time.
I used to force myself to power through so many uncomfortable situations (because that is what I was taught to do), so, at first, I was grateful for my battery-powered mower for forcing me to take breaks.
At first it annoyed me, because I thought it would make cutting the grass a longer experience. That was something I've always struggled with (or if you ask my former employers, excelled at)... taking breaks. I'd much rather just power through whatever uncomfortable feelings I had (physical or mental) to get to my end result faster so that I could push all that manic "accomplishment" energy onto another project.
But what I wasn't doing was listening to my body's signals. Having to change my lawnmower's batteries (roughly hourly) helped me realize how much better I felt after that short little break, where I would also go get a drink since I was going inside anyways.
That's far different from the day that's burned into my memory of moving into a house with my ex-husband, where he verbally berated me as I struggled with nausea from moving two houses all day with no breaks and no food and no water. I powered through as he yelled at me while I held up my end of the waterbed. And all the other things. I remember how clear my vomit was when I finally could not ignore my body's signals any longer and had to take a bathroom break... because I'd only had water all day.
Enough about that nightmare, though, I have a new one and it is this:
On two occasions, my neighbors have said to me, "I've seen you out there cutting the grass and I feel so bad for you."
Why? WHY?! I'm unmasked when I cut the grass, is it a RBF situation? If so, why do they care?
It makes me so self conscious, y'all... like to the point where I don't want to cut the grass when one of them is out there.
The last time I did that, he caught my attention from two yards away and gave me a thumbs up and said "You're doing a great job" and then gave me, like, strong guy arms. Luckily it was around that time my battery died, so I just went inside with my lawn a straight up mohawk.
Typing out like that doesn't sound so bad, but it felt so condescending. Like, it made me do a deep dive to see if I had some uncovered issue with cutting the grass that I hadn't confronted yet. Just to make sure I wasn't projecting, you know?
I was not. The joy I feel when I get done cutting the grass can be felt in the room!
The condescending feeling was confirmed when, a few days later, we were talking to the other neighbor, who made a point to say this mid-conversation:
"Yeah me and [muscle arm neighbor] feel so bad for you when you're out there cutting grass. The other day we were joking that there was probably just a lil weed eater instead of a lawnmower!"
Excellent, just want I wanted to hear.
I don't want to be perceived. I just want to care for my lawn in the way I researched thoroughly and am thrilled to do.
Please. Don't feel sorry for me. I'm having fun.
What I'm trying to say is - I was shit at listening to and advocating for my body's signals. I've slowed down a lot since both going freelance and moving up here to Michigan. I know I am extremely privileged to be able to slow down like this. I think every one should get to live like this, but that's a blog for another time.
So, I guess what I'm REALLY trying to say is, yeah, in the beforetimes, I was shit at saying, "Hey, this is not good for me so I'm gonna peace out."
Now I'm my own best advocate because I shouldn't expect anyone else to be that for me. It's a full time job, I know.
But cutting the lawn is not one of those things I'm gonna peace out on. In fact I did it today and was chuffed that I cut the entire front section on one set of batteries!!! It felt like a victory.
However, it also felt like I was a spy kind of, cause I did a check to make sure no one was outside while I was doing it.
I shouldn't have to do that, though, so here's what we're gonna do.
We bought a high-vis yellow vest. With reflectors and velcro and everything! I want to be seen!
On the back we're gonna put in big bold letters:
"Don't worry! I'm enjoying myself!"
Or maybe we'll just get some velcro letters so I can change the message.
Or maybe I'll just get this:
Maybe then I can cut my grass without anyone "feeling bad for me".