I’m beyond sore… but I did it!

The hubs & I at Ben Folds last night

Since 7:15p tonight, I have been off-duty. Yup. You heard me right. I have a beer in my blistered hands, my feet up, and the children are screaming for me, but Daddy is taking over. It’s #89 on my list of 1000 reasons I love the man I married: He recognizes me when I work my ass off and rewards me with what I need. Today, I just needed to get off my feet, with a beer in hand, without the kids. 

The weekend was exhausting enough, celebrating my oldest’s birthday, entertaining guests, going to see Ben Folds in concert, so we didn’t get everything done that needed to get done. Today, I was determined to do what I could to complete the biggest task on my own. What task, may you ask? Well, we live in a wooded neighborhood on a large corner lot in Michigan, it’s November. Any guesses? That’s right. I was attacking the monstrous amount of leaves that have fallen from our once-shady lot. And, this was the 3rd round of raking & packing up said leaves. Probably the biggest round yet. In the first two batches, we filled about 2 dozen bags total. Yesterday alone, we filled 20 yard-waste bags (which are about 3 ft tall, with a 30lb limit, which we usually meet or exceed with our packing style) Yup. We get a LOT of leaves. Despite filling 20 bags yesterday, we still left 2 very large piles of leaves in our front yard. 
A fraction of the leaves we picked up

Mondays are full days of kindergarten for my oldest, so when I put down my 2 yr old for her nap, I noticed that the many bags of leaves hadn’t been picked up yet. Kind of rare, since the city usually picks up trash & recycling first thing in the morning. I was on a mission. A mission I completed, with enough time left to shower before my kindergartener was dropped off by our carpool and my 2 yr old woke up from her nap. Woohoo!!! The weather was beautiful… many of my neighbors were at work or school so it was peaceful & quiet — other than the random passers-by who would comment “Wow. You guys get a lot of leaves.” Really?! I hadn’t noticed… seriously, people. 9 morons said that to me over the course of 2 hours. I almost threw my rake at the last few. 

Same location as leaf pile above, after I worked it!
Thing is, as sore as I am today, I really do love my wooded lot, and I’m sad to see the leaves gone. A few times, as I grabbed the 500th arm-full of dying leaves, I stopped to put it into a positive, and possibly more nostalgic perspective. I thanked the leaves, and considered the fact that I was basically hugging them goodbye. Call me a weirdo if you want, but these leaves gave us shade, homes for birds & squirrels, sounded incredible through the wind & rain-storms we had this summer, and provided us with a beautiful grand finale of color the last couple of months. Now, when the city did arrive to take the 32 bags around 3p, did I cry? Hell no — I’m half tempted to pop open a bottle of champagne after completing that task all by myself. This arachnophobic freak fought off 3 spiders today, 1 crawling on my arm… and these are only the ones I saw. That’s a feat in itself!! 

Never underestimate the power of accomplishment… no matter how big or small. And celebrate it somehow! Tonight, I may just be vegging out in front of the TV with a beer, but it’s exactly what I need. Mainly because I can’t really move to do much else. 
WOO-HOO! See ya next year, leaves. 

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