I noticed a neighbour (active, mid-60s) mowing her lawn a while back
Well more accurately
I noticed the smell of cut grass which combined with the smell of the coffee I had just made and the bath I had just got out of.
I would buy that perfume.
As I was drying my hair
I could see her struggling with the lawnmower (that had clearly seen better days) and had finally given in and spluttered to a halt.
I shouted out of the window to see if she wanted to borrow mine but she was insistent she didn’t.
She didn’t want any help either.
She’s lovely, really funny… but with slightly martyr-ish tendencies if I was being brutal.
What she did instead was rummaging loudly in the back of a cobwebby shed to retrieve some rusty-looking shears –
and set about cutting the lawn.
Meanwhile – I had dried my hair, put on some slap, did a Zoom hypnotherapy call, looked out of the window – and she still hadn’t finished.
She was sweating, wincing (I could see her back was hurting) and muttering under her breath.
And it isn’t that big a lawn.
I heard a car pull up.
Her son (he’s very tall, somehow even more Irish than she is and a doctor… which is of no relevance to the story at all).
He’d popped round earlier (I’d missed that) had seen her stubbornly chopping away with shears – and had come back his spare lawnmower.
He helped her to her feet, did something with her back (which was clearly killing her), and mowed the rest of her lawn in about 2 minutes flat.
And tidied up the parts she’d done.
It had been almost 3 hours from the first attempt with the old lawnmower, she hadn’t enjoyed it, it made her cross, hurt her back and she ended up exhausted.
When her son’s wife pulled up in HER car I realised why she had been so keen to make the garden look nice –
her 3 small granddaughters tipped out of the car and started charging about.
(They are like really cute, blonde, brown-eyed monkeys – who I have never seen stationery and play a very competitive game of balloon tennis. I have lost twice now).
She spent the rest of the afternoon having to sit on the lounger, apologising – normally she would have been bustling back and forward with food and getting stuck into the fun.
The author, James Patterson said:
“Imagine life is a game in which you are juggling five balls. Work, Family, health, friends, and integrity.
And you’re keeping them all in the air.
But one day you finally come to understand that the work ball is made of rubber –
if you drop it, it will bounce back.
The other four balls are made of glass.”
I know he was talking about people who prioritise their paid work over their family life – but the principle applies.
Being RUTHLESS about the time you spend on things that need to get done – so you have more time to spend on the things you want to do.
She should have accepted help.
She might have asked her son.
She could have just left the grass and let them make daisy chains and blow dandelion ‘fairies..
I think many women could expand the ‘work’ ball to include housework too.
We often ask professional women to work out their hourly rate and then justify why they are spending THEIR time cleaning, rather than paying a professional to come and do it.
Repeating tasks that could be done once,
Being a short-order chef.
On a hamster wheel – going out to work, coming home to work – and no time or energy to show for it.
The women in the Human Upgrade are starting to reorganise their time.
Delegating, strategising and streamlining so they spend less time on things that aren’t much fun freeing them up for their bigger life goals.
The brave, meaty plans for making memories they’ll want to tell their granddaughters about one day.
So for you today:
Where in your life are you using ‘rusty shears’?
Not accepting help?
Doing busywork without the proper tools, rather than waiting and doing things properly?
Focussing on unimportant details?
Small picture thinking?
Sacrificing your time, health, and happiness to impress/please/pacify someone else?
It’s thinking time well spent.
Future You will thank you.
Come and join us in our very excellent FREE group Wise & Gorgeous: Inner Circle to tell us what you could change.
Have a great day
Lots of Love
Tanya & Claire x