Thoughts While Mowing The Lawn

Manual LawnmowerIt’s weird how doing the most mundane things can bring the greatest clarity, taking a shower, going for a run, or in my case, mowing my lawn. Is it the repetitive task itself that allows us to think, or in our hyperconnected world, is it just that time away, a moment to unplug, that lets us think?

Recently I woke up and realized I’m not where I want to be in life. Could things be worse? Sure, and any time you say that you’re not feeling great, someone, with good intentions, will remind you that so many other people have it far worse. I understand that they mean well, and are trying to make me appreciate what I do have, but instead it just makes me feel like a dick for complaining, or even thinking about being unhappy.

I’ve been meaning to eat better, exercise more, and in general, get in shape, for the past year or so. I haven’t made any progress, maybe a few pounds here or there, but after a few weeks, travel for work, or just laziness, or both, would have me skipping daily exercise, going for takeout instead of making something at home, and the scale this morning showed I’m exactly where I was a year ago. It dawned on me the other day the reason I’m not making any headway. I’m not really doing any of this for me.

Sure, being healthy is great, but why was I trying to get in shape? I told myself that it was so I would feel better, have more energy, motivation, live a better life, but now I see that it was a lie. I was doing it so someone would find me attractive, give me the time of day, anything. I’d punish myself, feel generally crummy from eating less and sore from exercising, and was I getting any more attention than before? Nope. So why bother?

I probably didn’t put all of those pieces together as it was happening, but looking back on things, it makes sense. Should I lose some weight? Exercise more and eat healthier? Absolutely, but I need to do it for me, not to hopefully impress someone I probably haven’t even met yet.

All of that food I was eating from restaurants wasn’t only keeping me overweight, but it was also not helping my budget. Sure, I’m doing OK, but I’m not making any real progress toward saving. The enemy of better was good enough. Contentment is one thing, but being complacent is another. There are things that I want to do, that, unfortunately, require money. Looking over my finances from the last year or so shows that I’m spending way too much on food from restaurants. Not because I was out with friends, but because I just didn’t feel like cooking.

It’s said that you shouldn’t worry about what other people think of you, but I do. A lot. I have a feeling other people do too, but that doesn’t make it OK. I don’t like where I’m at, I’m not happy, and I’m not sure how to fix it. I feel stuck, sad, and lost. I don’t know how to get where I want to be, but I do know some things that I can change to get me back on a positive track instead of stuck in neutral like I’ve been. Hopefully once I get back in a good routine I’ll be able to figure out the rest.

One thought on “Thoughts While Mowing The Lawn

  1. Todd — I’m sorry you feel stuck, sad and lost. I’ve been there. Was there for most of my 40s, in a rut. I can’t remember exactly what caused something to “click” in my brain. Maybe it was the subconscious feeling of looking down the barrel of 50. But I started using My Fitness Pal to track food and exercise. It led to a complete overhaul of my lifestyle for the better. It may have also had something to do with losing my parents recently, seeing how short life really is. I wanted to make a change before it was too late.

    You’re young yet and that’s why I think a lot of people, myself included, just let things ride for a while. And then suddenly, you’re older. I think you just need that “click” thing to happen. It will spur you to action and you’ll feel better. I hope the click comes sooner for you than it did for me.

    And BTW, I don’t cook either and restaurant and take-out meals were a big reason why I gained a ton of weight over the years. I still don’t cook, but I make all my meals at home. Try limiting your meals away from home and I bet that one small change will help.

    I wish you well getting out of your funk!

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