Why I Love Mowing The Lawn
September 1, 2016
I LOVE mowing the lawn.
My guess is if you clicked to read this, you’re one of two people. Either you absolutely hate mowing the lawn and want to know why anyone in their right mind would actually 'love' it. Or you’re like me, a bit O.C.D. about your lawn and hoping the text below will make you feel less obsessive and more vindicated in your efforts.
I honestly, no kidding, love mowing the lawn and I believe every leader, manager, parent, entrepreneur, really anyone needs to make sure they find time to mow the lawn every week. Okay, before I lose those of you who have a deep hatred for the task, let me explain why.
- It Gives Me An Opportunity To PAUSE And REFRESH
My life is full. I am not complaining but between work, family, kids activities, house projects, and everything else that shows up in a week, I don’t have much time to myself to think, pray, and reflect. Sure, I read my Bible and pray in the morning but even this time is often interrupted. I’ve found that mowing the lawn is a time for me to detach from work, reflect on my day (or week), and simply pause in the chaos of life. Sure, it's still work, but mowing the lawn doesn’t require much of me. I don’t have to troubleshoot or problem solve, I don’t have to talk with anyone, and I look forward to it every week. For you, maybe mowing the lawn isn’t your thing, maybe it’s cleaning the house, washing the car, going to the gym, running, working on a simple project, or something completely different. Regardless, the idea remains the same, it’s vital that you find time to pause and refresh. I would love to simply sit by the pool for a few hours but my life just doesn’t allow it. My boys would be right there with me, going crazy, wanting to play- and I wouldn’t have it any other way. "Me time" is important and, quite honestly, people stay away when you’re mowing the lawn (something about a loud, fast, rotating blade that keeps people away…).
Life is tough! When we’re anxious about work, or money, or relationships, or all those stressful life things, it can be hard to tend to our hearts. Once I get fully present, I start hearing my heart and God’s voice again. Solomon’s advice at the end of Ecclesiastes is that we remember God. For me, one of the ways this is possible is when I mow the lawn.
2. It Gives Me A Chance To GROW As A Leader
I have a pretty big lawn, it usually takes me about 1.5-2 hours from start to finish. I always spend the first 30-45 minutes taking the opportunity to pause and refresh a bit. I put my headphones in because people are less likely to interrupt me (I know, I know, I am incredibly antisocial). Once I’ve had adequate time to pause, I turn my phone on and listen to either a Leadership Podcast or an Audio Book.
- Leadership Podcasts- there are several I subscribe to. If you have a smartphone, you can subscribe to a podcast available on iTunes. Whenever a new podcast is released your phone will automatically download it. This takes the work out of trying to figure out what to download and saves you the time of searching. For example, in your Podcast App, search Summit Spokane, and you will have the option to subscribe to the Summit Leadership Podcast and our weekly sermons. The next time you have a window of time to listen you just have to hit play. Some of the leadership podcasts I subscribe to are well known pastors, others are business leaders and entrepreneurs, and some are simply for fun. Some of my favorites are: Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast, Relevant Magazine Podcast, Michael Hyatt Podcast and the Catalyst Leadership Podcast.
- Audio Books; I love ‘reading’ but I don’t love reading- if that makes any sense at all? I am committed to being a life-long learner and I believe one of the ways we grow and challenge ourselves is by reading. However, I don’t always enjoy, nor do I have time to sit down and read three-plus chapters a day. This is where audbile.com comes into play. If you’ve never checked out Audible, it’s simple. You download the Audible app, purchase an audio book though Amazon, and, instead of reading, you listen to the book. Bada-bing bada-boom! It’s that easy! Just yesterday, I listened to four chapters of a book while I mowed the yard… also, that’s when I came up with the idea for this post!
3. It Allows Me To See The Fruit Of My Labor
The power of progress is fundamental to human nature. When we’re able to see our accomplishments, even with something as simple as mowing the lawn, it effects our mood. According the Harvard Business Review, visual progress on a task is the most common event that triggers a “good day” experience, as opposed to setbacks or no progress events, which trigger a “bad day” experience. We need to be able to see the fruit of our labor. When we are able to mow the lawn, clean the house, wash the car, or get sweaty from a long run we feel better. It may seem ridiculous or even shallow, but it is what it is.
I am not saying mowing the lawn is going to solve all your problems, or even make you happier, if it did we’d all have pristine lawns. But I truly believe we ALL need something in our lives that allows us time to pause, to refresh, to grow, and to see the fruits of our labor. What is something you do or can do every single week to allow time to think, listen, and breathe a little?