Self Propelled…

It was a humidly hot Saturday afternoon last weekend when I found myself in a frustratingly difficult situation that I couldn’t seem to figure out.

I have recently become a new home owner with a newly installed lawn that was needing some TLC.  I had purchased a new lawnmower the week before-quality engine, middle of the road in price range.  I felt quite confident I could make quick work of the task ahead.  I wasn’t a mowing expert but had certainly mowed a fair share of lawns and varied terrains in my past.

My lot is not big…a bit over 1/2 an acre with minimal sloping in the back yard and an essentially flat front yard.  I planned my day accordingly figuring I could jam in all sorts of great things after my work was done.

As I began, I realized I was in trouble.  The sweat was pouring down my back within minutes of beginning and at the 9 minute mark I had to shut the mower off and reevaluate.  The thing was a beast.  I felt like I was dragging 100lbs of dead weight up and down the yard.  I couldn’t understand.  I checked the mechanisms…looked at the wheels.  I had pangs of self doubt wondering about my 40th birthday in 2 weeks-had I just become very old in a very short amount of time?  Was my body breaking down and becoming very out of shape?

I pulled the start to get things going again almost in tears looking at the two small strips I had managed to complete.  I was going to have to get a lawn boy if this kept up.

One hour and 34 minutes later I shuffled to my couch with tears streaming.  4 blisters on each hand and two bloody heels from blisters that had exploded in my rubber boots.  Not counting the two pitied stares from neighbours and the extensive list of curse words…some of which I had never used before in my life.  The lawn was done.  And so was I.

The open blisters made the rest of my weekend uncomfortable.  The mental angst of not understanding why I was having so much trouble with the lawnmower was worse.  I dreaded the thought of having to take it back…getting it out of my car in a box was difficult enough.  I thought of the expense of having to buy a higher end model…perhaps a tractor was necessary?  I finally had resigned myself to having to hire an entrepreneurial young man to mow it for me.  That irked me the worst.  

Discussing the events with my friend the next day, the confusion only became worse.  It was a good quality mower…what could be the issue?  Then came the magical question…

“You had the self propelled trigger engaged on the handle right Amanda?”


So in essence, I drug about 50lbs of dead weight around my yard for an hour and a half in the blistering heat.  The trigger was right there.  All I had to do was pull it.

Cut to dinner with a dear friend this week in which I was discussing my longing for a different fulfillment in my professional life.  How I felt so drawn towards certain aspects of my current job but that I was dancing around my true calling.  This friend is a very astute reader of people-and she has been a true cheerleader in my corner over these last few years.  We talked for a few hours over dinner…and she helped me realize how fearful I am of failing.  And how that fact alone was a big reason I am so stuck in my head…the self chatter frequent about all of the reasons I can’t.  I am standing in my own way.

Not unlike my mowing fiasco.  I had myself in such a dither with my self-talk that day.  

  • I am getting old
  • I had purchased the wrong mower
  • I’m in horrible shape
  • It’s going to cost a fortune to upgrade/hire someone to mow
  • I never make any good decisions
  • Who am I to think I can take care of a home alone?

If I had just stopped long enough to see that I only had to pull the trigger, that whole trip of negative thoughts would have been avoided and the lawn would have gotten mowed without bodily harm.

I mowed it this morning using the self propel mechanism properly.  27 minutes.

There are moments where we struggle so much in our lives.  Those moments are unavoidable…this is where our growth comes from.  Yet how much of the struggle is real….and how much comes from us standing in our own way?

We came into this world perfectly…with everything we need to flourish.  Over time we become bogged down by experiences…and those experiences often will cloud the clarity within.  If we stay focused on those individuals who build us up…who see us for what we really are, and listen to the whispers within, the struggle disminishes almost instantly.  It becomes a passive journey of allowing and learning.  

No prime…no choke.  Just pull for power.

Stop struggling.  It’s there already.  


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