Just mow the lawn.

I read an article this morning while on my third cup of coffee. I worked yesterday afternoon, got home at midnight and couldn’t sleep. So feel as though I was on the wines last night. My reaction to this article could be merely because I am tired and cranky.

As I started reading it, my initial thought was “good on you!”, the longer the article went the more I thought of for fuck sake woman. The article was about a woman that mow’s her own lawn.

I hope you understand that I am not mowing the lawn because someone told me to. I am not mowing because it’s my job. I mow because I am quietly making a statement.”

If you own a house, with a lawn, then it is your responsibility to keep your little piece of earth tidy and well maintained. It doesn’t matter if you are male or female.

“Mowing the lawn is, in a way, my silent protest against patriarchy—which is still alive and well no matter how many people tell you that women and men have equal rights. We are still fighting an uphill battle.”

Can everyday tasks not just be that and not a protest? I have chopped wood, I have changed a flat tyre in the middle of nowhere, on the side of a dirt road in 40 degree heat with my 30 week pregnant sister, I have fixed a broken pipe in the laundry, and I have mowed the lawn, and pitched a tent. I watched my mother, a single mother, do lots of “men’s work”. Mow the lawn, move furniture. I have talked to my sister on the phone while she was driving a bull dozer, she musters cattle, fights bush fires or builds farm fences.

“I hope the other younger girls in our neighborhood see me mowing the lawn and remember the image of a strong woman, a strong working mother, who has the power to decide which way the stripes go. I hope they see a strong woman sweating, not wearing any make-up, enjoying the satisfaction of hard work. I hope they all see me—a woman doing “men’s work” without asking for permission.”

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My hubby loves to cook dinner while I sit on the bench with a wine.

 

None of the above was done for recognition, or to show off to the neighborhood children and we certainly don’t ask for permission. All of the above jobs are just that. Everyday jobs that need to be done as part of life. When I am cold I chop wood, flat tyre change it, long grass mow it, broken pipe fix it. Our father didn’t let any of his girls apply for a drivers license before we knew how to; check the oil and water in the car, change tyres, replace wiper blades and get fuel. As young girls, we unloaded trucks full of hay, we were expected to help out in the yard, there was no “men’s work”. I say to my two all the time that if you live in this home you contribute, doesn’t matter the task just do it, and we all help. My boys wash the dishes every night, they help in the kitchen, and they know how to iron a shirt and make their bed properly. They also carry the grocery bags for me, pick flowers and arrange them in a vase. They know how to make a cup of tea as well as they know how to change the chain on a push bike.

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My two boys pick me flowers and arrange them in a vase.

Girls night in

Honestly look at this photo……..I love it.  This photo could be the poster for one of those heart-warming, tear jerking, comedy chick flicks about girls from high school and where they ended up as women in their thirties.

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I was nervous, insecure and had an emotional week. I didn’t have the strength to put on my everything is great / confident face. All day Saturday I completely melted my brain trying to think of an excuse to bail out of dinner.

I was having dinner with women that I have been friends with since year 8 of high school. So we were about 13 or 14 and are now 37.  Some I have been closer with than others, (Renee and I watched 500000000 hours of Tom Cruise in Top Gun and we still joke about me cheating on our Japanese exam and me getting a better mark).  But all of us are connected over those awkward and ugly years of teenage hood, (I was definitely the ugliest with silver braces, glasses and short hair and the nick name penguin- oh the horror). Obviously I didn’t chicken out of dinner with a pathetic excuse.  No, I pulled up my big girl knickers, actually they were a lacy number that matched my bra – nice knickers are my thing. Threw over the top of them my favourite jeans, white button up top with my favourite flats, and dressed it up with some jewellery, total mum uniform and I wanted to wear something funkier but I felt like I needed a shield.

Before the woman on my Google maps took me the scenic way to dinner, I called in at the local bottlo and choose a bottle of red with the coolest label I could find (also one of my things- to find the coolest/ prettiest/ most appealing label on the bottle and that’s what I buy).

By the time seven of us arrived, all the hugs, kisses and greetings were done and sitting at a perfectly set table, dining on amazing food, sipping French champagne. I couldn’t remember what I had been worried about.  There is such comfort and ease in being with people that you have known for such a long period of time and have history with.  We don’t see or talk to each other every day, week or month. But chatting, laughing and catching up was seamless and felt as though we do speak every day (well we kind of did on FB messenger trying to organize dinner and when everyone was available).  Then, (I am not sure who, by then a couple of flutes had been sunk) someone said we should go around the table saying one nice thing that we think about ourselves.  I will not reveal what was said at that sacred women’s table. But let’s just say there was uncertainty, uncomfortable truths, support for each other, calling bullshit, love, laughter, tears, snot, toilet paper (ran out of tissues), lots of hand holding and hugging, and a pact was made. Bottles of champagne and chocolate truffles smoothed over the emotions. We are all of the same age, but all at such different stages in our life. And all of the stunning women around that table had trouble sharing something awesome about themselves, despite the love that was flowing.  I feel incredibly blessed to have had a cherished, cleansing and connected experience with some special women in my life.