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Taking the Night Shift

I mowed the lawn in the dark tonight. Actually, scratch that. I mowed my backyard in the dark tonight. There was still enough light to see where I was going when I mowed the front. While I was out there, using the multitude of fallen leaves as my guide, I experienced a moment of intense satisfaction. You know, although it’s not always easy being a single mom, it definitely has its perks.

You’re probably wondering why I was out there, grooming my lawn in the dark. Well, you see, I work full-time. This means I leave the house at exactly 8:15 am, drop my son off at daycare, drop my daughter off at the YMCA morning program at her school, and get to my own school with exactly enough time to check my email, have the first few sips of my coffee, maybe eat a muffin (thank you, mom) and look over my plans for the day. At lunch, I pick my daughter up from kindergarten and transport her to daycare, after which I go back to school and enjoy a “duty free” lunch. Today, I had an extra-curricular activity after work until 5, at which point I rushed to daycare to pick up my children, picked up our “Friday fries” Happy Meals at McDonalds, came home for our usual Friday movie night, played, read stories, tucked my babies in, and then looked at my lawn and thought, “Ugh”. I told myself that my reward for tending to my overgrown grassland would be a nice hot shower, the last of my gluten-free frozen pizzas from Costco, and a much-anticipated (and needed) glass of wine. As you can guess, I’m using my adult sippy cup now to enjoy said wine (if you don’t have one, you need to get one!).

So, where does the intense satisfaction come from? Well, to be honest, it feels really damn good to just “get ‘er done”. I like putting in a great day of work where I feel like I’m being effective in my job. I love spending time with my kids and I adore our weekly “traditions”. Although sometimes it is exhausting, I like knowing that I can do it (mostly) on my own. I like “getting my hands dirty” outside and doing work that I never got to do while I was married. Do I love mowing the lawn? No. Absolutely not! Do I like having a yard that I can be proud of? Absolutely. Either my neighbors think I’m crazy (last week they watched me rake my entire front lawn and put the leaves in my green bin only to dump it out 10 minutes later and dig through it to find my keys), or they respect the fact that I’m doing it on my own. If nothing else, I hope that they at least sip their nightcaps and watch the antics in my yard with some type of delight or amusement.

Of course, the somewhat smug satisfaction that I feel tonight could evaporate come morning when light floods my backyard and I am able to see what it ACTUALLY looks like now that I can see it. Isn’t that just like life though? When the fog clears and light is present, sometimes life looks a lot different than it did moments earlier when you were in the dark.

I’ll let you know what daylight brings.

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