Spring is in the air. The trees are budding, flowers are blooming and the grass is turning beautiful shades of green. I love spring! It is 5:25AM and I hear the sing song music of cardinals, robins and a few other birds I can’t identify. It sounds very busy outside my living room window.
I was out walking Fenway the other day and was feeling a bit overwhelmed. Back in March (when it was still cold and grey) I received a few phone calls from prospective yard work clients. I said “YES” to every request and my calendar has been booked pretty solid for April and May. I have never been one to take on more than I can handle but I guess Spring Fever had taken hold of me by my freshly spiked hair and gave me a good shaking.
So – I was out walking Fenway and she sniffed us past a not so green lawn. Actually, it was downright yellow, bursting forth with more dandelions then you can imagine. I had this urge to start weeding. Don’t worry, I resisted the urge to weed a total strangers yard just because it needed it. But the thought reminded me of the need to not take on other people’s troubles as if they were my own.
I didn’t have to say “YES” to new yard work clients. One of my new clients has 3 properties so that was like getting 3 yards with one little “YES, I can do your spring clean up”! The fact that one of my best customers purchased her flowers to plant and then decided to go away for the weekend was her problem, but I let it become mine.
I ended up working 7 days that week just to get her flower pots set up for her and her roses uncovered from the mounds of leaves I piled on them in November. This did not fit into my strategic plan of having plenty of time to do things with my honey, family and friends. I had to remind myself, It was my fault not hers that I was up and working on a cold, rainy Sunday morning. I was the one that said “YES, when I should have said NO”.
Boy that lawn filled with dandelions got me thinking! Sometimes when I am doing my yard work thing, it is difficult to tell where one person’s property ends and the neighbors begins. When I get close to that line, it is hard to make myself stop weeding, raking and cleaning up. When I saw the dandelion lawn, the thought arose that “this isn’t my problem” and I happily walked on.
Everybody has their own problems and I am not saying we shouldn’t jump in and help out when we can. But when we take on someone else’s problems as if they were our own, it is easy to become overwhelmed. Weeding a stray dandelion or even 12 is no big deal but weeding an entire lawn of them is another story.
I have met plenty of people whose life is filled with problems. If each problem was a dandelion their lawn would be bursting with those yellow weeds. Some dandelions are easy to spot with a giant yellow flower. Others you need to root around for, searching for the root. Just mowing them down does not get rid of them, and it seems like when you pick 1, a dozen grow in its place.
When the urge to jump in to help someone with a problem overcomes you, do so cautiously. It might not be one little dandelion but a whole lawn filled with them that you are tackling. I am willing to bet you have a few dandelions of your own that need weeding! I know I do! I also know there are plenty of things I want to be doing that don’t involve crawling around in the dirt.