Wednesday, June 18, 2014

If You Don't Have The Time

I never understood why Momma enjoyed the hours spent mowing the yard.

Until I got a yard. 
And a home. 
And a herd.
And a husband. 
And a long list of demanding responsibilities at the homestead, and away:

For the record - this is Johnny Cash's to-do list, not mine. 
I have ABSOLUTELY NO PLANS of practicing piano. 

In fact, time spent on a lawnmower on Sunday afternoons 
may be the only solitaire time I get in a week, 
where I am totally focused on one 
- and only one
goal at hand:

To mow the yard

.............and let my mind wander aimlessly 
into the last twenty-nine years and 
forward into the next one-hundred.

And dodge the rocks. 
Always. Dodge. The. Rocks.

"I don't know what happened!" I told Cody after he returned from an extended visit to the neighbors' (<- Go Like them on Facebook), "It just started making this awful noise and sparks started coming from the blade deck."

Cody jacked the Husqvarna Hog onto blocks and did some clanking. 
And clinking. 
And cussing. 
Next thing I know a lawnmower blade gets tossed onto the driveway and he's firing up the old hog. 
He made one satisfactory lap and asked me to get on the handicapped mower and finish the yard. 
With one blade. 

"Now, you only have the left blade. Remember that," he coached me. "It's going to take twice as long but you'll get the yard done tonight, doing it this way. I'll call the repair shop tomorrow."
He retreated to the pasture. 
Our favorite place. 

And it took twice as long, indeed. 

This is an exact replica of the route I had to take to get the backyard finished, with one blade:

Circles represent the trees and the curved lines represent the moments when my mind was in a different decade and I forgot that I was working with only one blade. 

But guess what: I got it done.

We didn't have supper Sunday, 
or clean bedding, 
and I didn't read a page of my homework, 
but the yard sure looked nice.

My Uncle Rex posted this on Facebook the next day and it made me think:


So, so true. 
It reminded me of the yard fiasco just eighteen-hours prior. 

And a lot of other things.

I love shortcuts as much as the next guy (I don't own five "3 Ingredients or Less!" cookbooks for nothing), but I'm learning to appreciate the time it takes to do something right.
And well. 

There is a thorough list of things I do at 65% quality in order to get 95% of my to-do list done. 

How disappointing is that?
Why not dive into the adventure full-fledge, all-heart, sure-minded?

Cody used to tell the students he worked with at Michigan State:
"By waiting to marry until after 30, I figured I missed a divorce."
Isn't that the truth? Rush to get something done prematurely without thought and you may find yourself in a real bind. 
Far beyond a lawnmower blade. 

I always thought Jason Boland said it best:

When I get tied down by the ties that bind

Seems like I'm never gonna find the time

To do what I need.
In a place that big a man could get lost

Never mind the time, 
forget about the cost

There’s more important things

Take the time to do things right - 
The mopping
The gardening
The assignment
The relationship
The commitment you dread 
The devotional 
The inventory
The dishes
The mowing
The marriage
The measuring
- the first time. 
And avoid the need to come back and do things better down the road. 

What do you have better to do - watch the World Cup?


  1. Very much needed this post.

    I tend to procrastinate when I know I can't do a job well the first time... all along I thought I was a procrastinator. Now, I'm just a person with a big to-do list that can't get it all done right the first time so she will just take her time. One by one.

    Shared this post on my page today... I think my readers could really use your words!

    1. I think I need a follow up to this blog regarding setting priorities; I struggle with that at home and the office! Thanks for reading - and sharing - Kelly!

  2. You have just motivated me to get off my butt and tidy the house. Properly!! Nice post and your uncle is so right. Does he always have good quotes. Im going to follow him on FB. ha ha!!!

    1. So what's my excuse for reading this, on the couch, doing NOTHING?! Thanks for reading, Elisha!

  3. Oh yes... I remember the "missing a divorce after 30" words of wisdom! One of his many words of wisdom that sticks out in my mind :)