An 8.5 hour day, an unplanned scavenger hunt and a slightly broken spirit reminded me of this…
It was a Sunday in the middle of July, and we were in the process of selling our home.
The home we had lived in for the past 20 years. The home that hadn’t seen a lawnmower since June. And, I was in Georgia by myself, holding down the fort until the sale was complete, the rest of the family being 800 miles away.
We had a pretty big lawn and needed to use a commercial-grade mower, like you see used by professionals in lawn care companies. Even though I’d never used the mower myself, I really thought I could do it. It was one of those challenges that you’re a little excited to undertake, to see what you’re really made of.
It went pretty much like this. Turn it on, start out with good intentions, successful for a few runs, DITCH. A phone call for help. A very supportive and friendly neighbor coming to the rescue with his truck to pull me out. How kind it was for someone to say “let me get my shoes, and I’ll be right there,” with no hesitation at all, on a Sunday afternoon.
I was out of the ditch but certainly not out of the woods.
We tried to start the mower again and, of course, it wouldn’t work. We took the battery out and headed to the store. Fortunately, it ended up only needing to be recharged not replaced (thanks, AutoZone!) so I made the drive home and began the (what I thought was going to be simple) task of putting the battery back into the mower.
Oh, Lord. What a disaster.
Did I ask that kind neighbor who took the battery out to put it back in again? No…..no, I didn’t.
Instead, I was getting instructions via FaceTime from 800 miles away on how to put the battery back into the mower.
I’m the least handy person you’ll meet, but things were going well until — you guessed it — I dropped a bolt. Think Ralphie in A Christmas Story when he and the old man are changing the flat tire, and the bolts scattered everywhere. His face in that moment was exactly the same as mine. Pure terror.
There was a big open area and, in theory, the bolt should have just dropped straight down onto the floor. But, no. it couldn’t be that easy, right? I ended up literally pushing that 1,300-pound mower backwards and forwards a couple of times in order to clear the ground so that I could look, but there was nothing.
I was even using a magnetic tool contraption to poke around, hoping it would pick up the bolt, but it didn’t.
Two hours later, I was feeling around at the back of the mower, my last ditch effort (pun intended) to find this bolt. I felt a hidden little ledge, and there it was!
I got a surge of energy, finished putting the battery back in and mowed the entire rest of the lawn. Slightly off schedule, about 8.5 hours after I started, just as the sun was setting, close to 9:00 pm, but it was done.
Lessons learned…..oh, so many!
Now that the house is sold the chances of finding me on a tractor anytime soon are slim to none. But the main takeaway was the reminder that you don’t have to do everything alone, especially if it isn’t one of your talents, skills or likes.
You’d think I would listen to my own advice, being a virtual business manager for so many others and teaching them how to delegate. Yet, here I was, trying to mow this lawn myself, when I could have easily reached out to an expert for help.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of just doing everything, especially in your business, and if you are finding yourself in that trap right now, I’d love to chat.
If you have any embarrassing yard work stories, please share over on our Facebook page.