My old lawnmower, purchased at the same time as my former house, was green. My new one, acquired all of three weeks ago, is red. In addition, it has front wheel drive, leaving me only to prance behind it as it chugs through the grass rather than shoving it up hills and around corners as I clip the weeds that comprise much of my lawn.
I decided it made the chore much more pleasant this morning, my first time using the device. I followed along, watching with satisfaction as the unruly landscape was trimmed in the swirly lines I used to avoid the trees, bushes and flower beds on my little corner of the world. Chienne watched, sneezing with me a couple of times as dandelion fluff swirled after stems were mowed down, and barked her displeasure when I moved to the front yard, leaving her fenced in back.
The front has more slope and, over and over, I braced myself to push before remembering that the mower would pull itself upward. I would blink with delight and follow along, letting my muscles relax before waving the bugs away from my face. I got bored long before I was tired, crowing to Chienne that I'd finished the whole lawn quite quickly. Then I grabbed a bottle of water before getting back to my laptop and the work that waited.
It's getting easier as well - travel is less exhausting, customers less intimidating and more enjoyable, colleagues more familiar and predictable. Yet in the rare moments when I've been alone in my office this week, it's not feeling all that effortless.
"You're doing a good job," Adam offered, looking at me with concern when my expression edged toward despondent after his typical list of projects and priorities for me. "We're not meeting because I'm unhappy," he explained when I didn't respond. "I just need you to look at a few more areas within the next couple months."
"No," I said, waving a hand. "It's not that. I'm fine. You're fine. All these projects are fine - I'm happy to help. Honestly. I'm just feeling a little..." I trailed off, looking for the word. I'm not angry, though I did offer a prolonged honk at the gentleman who turned in front of me when I had the green arrow, switched lanes to get in my way, then stopped to turn left. (He was wrong to do it! Honking helps him learn.) I'm not really sad, though I have cried over television shows this week.
"Listless," I finally decided. "I'll snap out of it soon, I'm sure." Then I offered a weak smile and returned to my office and slumped in my chair. I am dutifully making lists and attending meetings. I have argued - bitterly, in fact - over technology under development. I use my sweetest phone voice when talking to customers. I made reservations for my third European trip this year and was momentarily giddy that I get to go again. But as I marked down my airlines and flight times for the trips that will comprise most of the next 4 weeks, I felt the vague desire to go home. Then I battled the urge to escape. Yet I watched the clock carefully, the afternoon dragging on despite my efforts to be distracted and busy.
I'd try to come up with some meaningful ending, but I've been working on this for 2 days and am exhausted because I can't sleep well. And it just seems hard.