Saturday, 19 November 2011


Hi guys

I feel truly empowered today.  I mowed the lawn!  'Huh?' you may well be thinking.  But this honestly was a big moment for me, because it is usually something Paul does.  We have been living in this house for ten and a half years, and for all that time, he has mowed the lawn.  Before that, I lived in various flats, none of which had a garden.  A long, long time ago, I used to mow my Mum's lawn (fifteen, twenty years?) but that had receded into the distant mists of memory.

It has been so long since I mowed a lawn that I honestly believed it was something I could not, and should not, do.  I thought I might mow through the cable accidentally, or run over something which would break the mower...I am not sure what I thought, but gradually over the years mowing the lawn began to seem like something that was totally out of my reach.

Part of the problem, of course, was that I did not need to mow the lawn, or particularly want to.  OK, sometimes Paul left the job longer than I would have liked, but he always got on with it eventually.  It is not one of his favourite tasks, but I reasoned that he did it better than I would have done.  In the same way as he used to fill my car with petrol for me, he mowed the lawn and that made my life easier (he stopped filling my car up a couple of years ago, and I still sometimes feel a bit resentful about having to do it myself.  Incredible, that.  I used to be so independent).

I have been hemmed about with anxieties for a long time.  In some ways, they have paralysed me.  For example, I convinced myself for many years that I could not drive on the motorway or do any long distance driving, and it is only quite recently that I realised I am capable of this too.  It is amazing how you can be hedged in by your mind, if you allow this to happen.  Or rather, if it happens and you don't find or develop the tools to reverse the process.

Anyway, at the moment Paul is really busy.  He seems no sooner to finish one job in the house or on one of the cars than he starts the next.  Plus, of course, he works full time.  So when I looked out at the garden this morning and decided that I wanted the lawn mowed, I knew that somehow I would have to do it myself. 

I nearly lost my resolve.  By the time Paul had got the mower out of the shed, where he keeps it behind loads of other stuff, and found the extension lead and set the whole thing up, he probably would have needed very little persuausion to just keep on going and mow the lawn for me. 

But the kids had got wind of the fact that I was going to mow it, and this was big news for them.  They all lined up in the conservatory to watch the show.  And I decided that I had better give them value for money, so I got started.  And carried on.  And realised (remembered) that it is actually quite a pleasant job, and not difficult at all (and is indeed a bit like hoovering, as my niece had pointed out earlier over lunch, to hoots of derision from Paul).

The kids quickly lost interest, and started to play with the keyboard that I had just moved from the shed to the conservatory (I have had a massive clear out today).  It was more lovely than I can explain properly to watch them through the glass, all four of them messing about together, dancing and singing in unison.  They were playing so happily, and so unselfconsciously.  Wonderful.

I carried on mowing, and was about half way through my task when I realised that I was getting a huge sense of achievement from this hoovering of the garden.  I was doing something that I had convinced myself was beyond my capabilities, and it felt better than I could have imagined (and I do realise this must sound pathetic).  I then realised something else - that going out to work would feel the same.  That is something I have ruled out of my life for so long now.  But I feel that I could do it.  And even though I am not convinced that me going out to work would be the best thing for the family, it would almost be worth trying it just for a day or two, if only to get the sense of achievement that it would bring.

In the last day or two though, when I think about working I realise that really I just want to write and that writing is probably where my future lies.  Nevertheless, I am still considering the options, because it feels so good to have those options.

All the best to all of you

Louise x

No comments:

Post a Comment