how to win the battle of the leaves?

I look out my studio window and feel immense pressure to get out there and rake leaves. A few leaves still hang onto the maple, but they are likely to retain their grip all winter long. So probably, officially, the leaves covering the ground are this season’s haul.


I’m feeling so pushed that I entertain the thought of putting a coat on over my pajamas and getting out there to rake before it’s fully light, before I’ve had breakfast and of course, before I go to work.


However, I’ve lived with Nick long enough now to know that if I were to actually open the outside door a massive discussion and hissy fit from me would ensue. I’d be breaking our decade-old routine of morning quiet time used for creative pursuits. He works really hard to prepare food and get little worries out of the way so that both he and I have the best quality time and energy to devote to our individual arts. If I were to forsake my writing, my music, my crafts and my personal interests to charge around in the half-light raking, Nick would be frustrated, hurt and exasperated. After remonstrating with me, if I still didn’t understand his concerns, he would leave me to it. And I would get more and more furious, more and more meticulous, (probably pulling off the tree the leaves that hadn’t yet fallen,) more and more late for work, and, to really point out to myself how unhappy I was, I’d more than likely pull a muscle, or fall on a root or, at the very least, get blisters.

I’m a little older and wiser today, and I don’t want to go there. But the leaves still stare at me, daring me to ignore them. I’m shifting uneasily in my chair, worried about leaving (!) them too late.

What I’ve been able to notice in the last few months, though, is that after a really successful bout of creative work, ordinary chores seem no big deal. I’m actually able to do a few dishes or vacuum or clean the bathroom and do it fairly cheerfully. Much to my astonishment I find that after I’ve engaged deeply with my creative side I’m actually ready for some physical activity. Preferably mindless and repetitive activity. This seems to provide a cool-down time that allows me to return from my introspective journey back into the everyday stuff.

So the trick is, how and when can I do enough satisfying creative work that will rocket-launch me into the yard work in time to meet the municipal pick-up deadline?

Gotta be this coming weekend, I think.

#mind games #motivation #yard work #raking leaves


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