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5 December 2003

Obsession is a terrible thing.

After writing my "whine and cheese" of yesterday, you’d think that I’d have decided that today would be a good day to relax and take it easy.

Heck, I’ve had 60 years of taking it easy, overlooking the dust bunnies and the stacks of crap, never lifting a finger outside, letting dishes pile up in the sink. You’d think it would come naturally to me.

But...there’s a real fear. A fear that if I stop, crap will fall on my head again. Instantly the bed will unmake itself, the kitchen counter will grow paper piles, dust bunnies will march across the family room, and mold will grow inside my fridge.

So this morning, having received wonderful permission from people on my guest book to take the day off, to take pain-altering drugs (I did...ain’t ibuprofen wonderful?), I was standing at the front window and I watched a woman walk through the ankle-high leaves on the sidewalk in front of the house.

It rained last night and so there is an ankle-high pile of leaves in front of everybody’s house. For once my "disarray" fit in with the rest of my neighbors.

But I’m a neat person now, you know. (Oh stop scoffing...FLY Lady says it takes 27 days to make a habit. I think I’m pushing 27 days now. I’m a neat person, I tell you!)

Suddenly I had to rake those leaves. Now, never mind that in our 30 years here I’ve let Walt take care of leaf clean up 99% of the time. Never mind that I just spent a whole day yesterday complaining that my arm hurts and maybe it hurt because I did too much with it. Suddenly it was Very Important that I get the leaves raked.

To my credit (because though I am a fool, there is a limit to my folly), I did decide to leave the leaves on the lawn. I could make a whole tree out of those leaves, but they weren’t interfering with anybody's passage past our house, so I decided to limit my assault on my body to just the leaves on the driveway and the sidewalk.

Raking is a challenge. You never realize how automatic your movements are until you can’t do them the way you normally do. I start out with my right arm dominant, because I know I can’t rake with the left. But after two swipes, my brain takes over and says "what are you–crazy? You use the OTHER arm, idiot" and my hands take on a life of their own and suddenly there is a pain traveling up the left arm because I’ve tried to rake with it.

Sometimes my brain doesn’t function very well. (I’m tempted to say "oh, I’m a failure because I haven’t got a brain..." But I won’t).

So then I switch back to the right hand, rake two swipes and then there goes the ol’ brain taking over again. It’s that toddler in my head again trying to take charge of things. That toddler that runs out into traffic because it’s funny to watch Mommy get upset.

But in this fashion–rake, switch, hurt, switch, rake again–I made my way down the driveway and along the sidewalk and even, kind soul that I am, cleared our leaves out of the neighbor’s driveway.

raking.jpg (6312 bytes)At the end I stood there, feeling like a frustrated Charlie Brown, looking at the wonderfully clean sidewalk, as more leaves fell around me. But I left the newcomers and gave myself a virtual pat on the back for a job well done.

Best of all, thanks to the ibuprofen, I assume, I really don’t feel I have any residuals from the exercise. And I have the cleanest sidewalk on the block.


Now that’s a first!


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Before and after photos.  Maybe tomorrow I'll do the lawn...


For more photos, please visit My Fotolog and My FoodLog

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Weight Lost to date:  55.6 lbs

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Created 12/06/03