|Sunset two nights ago. Monsoon season in Utah makes for some startlingly beautiful sunsets.|
It's been a physically hard spring/summer this year doing so much yard work myself. I had gotten into a good routine of mowing and trimming the lawn, weeding through my endless cycle of areas, tweaking sprinkling system, planting and creating new interesting areas. But it was hard work. I started early morning every day and pushed to stay outside as long as possible. It felt good -- very good -- to accomplish so much. But some days I just crashed and felt like I couldn't continue. Nevertheless, I got up the next day and carried on.
In some ways I will miss that good feeling of absolute control over what is happening in my yard. But, realistically, I know it's not smart for me to continue in the hot weather that has set in. I'll miss saving all that money, too, by doing the work myself. But at least I managed nearly halfway through the summer. And I have new confidence in myself in what I can do physically at my age.
Now, I need to change my plans and focus on other areas. I find I get disoriented at first when things change and I have a hard time transitioning from one phase to another. There is always a lot to do, inside and out, and I want to apply the same focus, dedication and hard work in other areas as I have done so far this summer. I hate spinning my wheels for a few days while I figure out how to do that. But that seems to be how I often handle things these days.
One of the things I have learned is to plan the night before what I intend to focus on for a given day. I would decide to mow the lawn, for example. I'd check the hourly temperatures and decide what time to start. I'd think through what I needed: charge the batteries, cool clothing, water, etc. When morning rolled around, everything was in place and I was mentally ready and just went ahead with the plan. I worked my way through all the sections of my yard doing this.
Another thing I did was to write in my personal blog every day, recording the things I got done. It was extremely effective for me to simply read through the titles of blogs during that period to grasp just how much I was getting done. It motivated me to keep on.
With it being summer I have the grandkids at my house again. But this year it's just three days a week, and just short days, as their other grandparents are in town for the summer. This means my time isn't entirely absorbed by our usual activities. But, strangely enough, sometimes I find myself wasting the in between day because I haven't figured out how I want to use it. My younger self didn't need to do so much thinking about how to spend my time. Now, if I want to make the most of my days, I have to give it some real thought.
So today is a transition day as it applies to yard maintenance, and I intend to make the most of it. I am trying to take what I've learned and apply it to every day. I'll try to rebalance my time with the things I need and want to do. And try to make the change more gracefully. Yes, the To Do lists have been a great help, and I will continue to rely on them. But I will also continue with a little planning of my day the evening before. And I will add to my personal blog to help me see how I'm using my time.
And finally, I want to get back into some birding, photography, and painting. My time will again allow for more fun things.