I was talking to my neighbor this week as he worked on his front yard. He was complaining about the tree in his yard and how it kept dropping leaves onto his lawn.
Have you ever noticed how much easier it is to spot destructive behavior in others, than in yourself?
If I do something destructive that undermines my energy, I always have a ‘good’ reason. But when someone else does the same thing, I can usually spot it right away. I’ve complained many times about the leaves on my lawn. But it always seemed worth complaining, when I do it. Silly leaves. Upon reflection, silly me.
Destructive? Isn’t that a bit harsh?
Yes, in general I would agree. This is only a mildly destructive behavior. The real challenge comes in how you move forward.
Leaves have to be raked. The lawn needs to be managed. How do you approach it? Do you grit your teeth, steady your resolve, and muscle through it? Or do you accept the action and find the joy in the task?
It’s just plain silly to complain about falling leaves. And sillier still to let it impact your mood. But I’ve done it, and I do it, and I’m working on changing my reaction.
There are so many tasks in our lives that resemble falling leaves. Dirty dishes come to mind for me. I’m really not a fan of doing the dishes, but I really appreciate how the kitchen looks after their done. And I often find that, if I am grumpy when I’m doing the dishes, I’m much less happy with the results.
It takes me just as long to rake leaves grudgingly as it takes me to rake joyfully. But the results on my emotional health are completely different.
Try to identify the falling leaves in your life. The daily maintenance, the people interactions, the tedious tasks that once completed just need to be done again. Embrace these activities and learn from them.
All things change over time.
You may even find that you miss the leaves when their gone.
Though if I never had to wash another dirty dish, I think I would be okay.
Enjoy the time left in autumn!