Backing into Trouble

There’s a sprig of poison ivy in the hedge row that borders Mom’s house and her neighbor’s.

Tenacious stuff.  So far it’s survived everything I’ve thrown at it.  If it didn’t live within the privet hedge I would dig it out or salt it and be done with it.  Part of the problem is that most of its self is on the neighbor’s side of the hedge row.

I learned that the hard way when trimming the hedge on her side.

After that little adventure I stay clear of her yard – and her poison ivy.

And, that which pokes its leaves and vines through to Mom’s side gets a liberal dose of Round Up and then whacked with the clippers if it doesn’t get the hint.

Weather permitting, Mom’s hedges are cut every other Monday and her grass every Tuesday.

It’s a plan that works well – as long as I remember the poison ivy.

You see, the poison ivy is located in a narrow place in the yard and because of where trees and other things are, maneuvering the mower in, around, and out requires that I back up twice.

Several times, I have backed into trouble and had to rush inside to wash poison ivy off of my legs and arm.

Each time I cut that grassy area I take special care to note the location of the poison ivy and remind myself to avoid it, especially when backing up.

I pass it.  I see it. I remind myself to avoid it.

And, each time I back up I forget to take care until I feel my rump bump the hedge.

Part of my problem is that the poison ivy isn’t always present.  Remember?  Every other Monday I cut hedges and the next day I cut the grass.  That leaves a week for the poison ivy to grow before I next cut the grass.

And grow it does.

One week, there’s no need to remember because I know the day before I cut off what I saw.

The next week I know it’s there because I see it, but I don’t change my pattern or behavior.  I walk past it. I see it. I get busy with the mower. I maneuver around rocks, trees, flowers. I forget the danger. I back into it.

I’m sure you are thinking of a solution to my poison ivy problem.  I welcome any thoughts and/or comments.

But, my problem isn’t poison ivy.  My problem is that I’m not learning from past errors.  I’m continuing the same behavior that gets me into trouble time and time again.

I need to change something – my behavior.

Instead of simply acknowledging the danger and attempting to avoid it, I need to take action to protect myself from it.

  • a more drastic approach to eradicating it
  • cutting it out before I cut grass
  • changing direction
  • mulching that area so cutting is not necessary

Today is Tuesday.  As I close this post, I have a decision to make.

You see, when I sign out of this blog, I will head down to Mom’s house and begin cutting her grass.

Will I change my behavior today? Or, will I stay true to habit and simply remind myself about the poison ivy and hope that’s enough to avoid backing into trouble?

After all, I’ve spent the past 55 minutes thinking about it, writing about it…surely it’s fresh enough in my mind that I can and will stay out of trouble.  It’s not like the poison ivy is going to jump out and get me.

Sigh…I’m tired of backing into trouble.

I know that

  • awareness of the problem is not enough –
  • change in my behavior is required.

But, knowing and doing are two separate things.

To obtain different results, I need to embrace change – in how I think, what I do (or, don’t do).

I hate change – but I hate poison ivy more.

Where’s the poison ivy in your life?  What’s your plan that keeps you from backing into trouble?

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