I Just got back in from trimming the lawn with our trusty Black & Decker weed eater-trimmer. You gotta love the thing. It takes the hard work out of pulling alot of weeds. However, it's very temperamental, in that the line likes to run out very quickly.
Patting Myself On The Back...
As a result, no one else in the house wants to use the thing. They get too frustrated. I'll admit, I was getting a little frustrated this time - probably because it was hot outside, and there was a lot of traffic going by. I did manage to keep my cool, only saying a few things. I can definitely pat myself on the back. You may wonder what the big deal about all this is...
I CHANGED MY APPROACH WHEN SOMETHING DID NOT WORK!!!
Hitting A Brick Wall...
Previously, I would try to do something, and when it didn't work, I'd do the same thing again...and again....and again...and so forth. With each degree of failure, I would get a little more frustrated, focusing on the fact that I was not accomplishing my goal - hitting that brick wall over and over...BAM! BAM! BAM! Obviously this is not the solution. I felt like Wile E. Coyote ! He kept going over that same cliff quite often - although he did suffer in other ways. One thing is clear, however - he never gave up, and he changed his approach when something did not work.
Winding The Line...
If you've used a weed eater/trimmer before (and I'm sure that you have,) you'll know that it works by spinning a spool of nylon line at an extremely high RPM, which "eats" the weeds. This is a very novel concept, and it works great as long as two things are accounted for: 1) the line is plentiful, and 2) the line is wound properly. If you do this, then you should not have any problems. I'll admit, it has been a long time since I've put a new spool of line in a trimmer. I had to refresh my memory a bit to remember how to do it, since it was completely out of line.
How Does It Work?
It's all a basic concept really - the line is wound in such a manner that it comes unwound very easily, via a spring-loaded mechanism in the "head." This is activated by pressing down on the ground with the head. In turn, this causes more line to come out...unless you have it wound on the spool too tight!
It took many tries for me to get it right - the first few attempts were lessons in winding it too tight, so I had to pull it all off (about 20 feet of line,) and start over. Each time I tried something different - however, the line was coming unravelled no matter what I did. That's when I had a moment of brilliance - nylon line, by its very nature has a tendency to recoil when you let it go. "Ah, so I have it way too tight!," I said and breathed a sigh of relief! I had the basic concept, and had to stop a few times to fix it, but I was on the right track. Pretty soon, I had it down to a science, and could fix it in a matter of seconds. Practice does indeed make perfect. Yay!
Have A Laugh!
Never mind the whole time I could feel my old mannerisms and thought patterns wanting to emerge. I felt my face get red, my mind start to race, and that old irritable feeling wanted to emerge. To stop this, I put the thing down and just smiled, which brought forth a laugh. I thought to myself what the people watching me thought. They probably thought that I was crazy to be out there in the first place. "Who's that crazy bald guy (in a long sleeve shirt,) with the weed eater, and why is he laughing? Why would anyone laugh or smile when they are doing yardwork?" That alone made me chuckle some more. I literally put that irritated feeling aside and started to annihilate some weeds (and some grass too, oops!) Take that, you little green devils! BRRZAP!!
All in all, I completed my mission: trimming because my roommate asked if I could do it instead. He claims that the trimmer is "too long and hard to balance." (read: he doesn't know how to wind the line and doesn't want to learn either.) I suppose next time I should hand him some shears or clippers and point him in the right direction, right? Better yet, I'll just give him a pair of gloves and say, "Ok, now do it by hand." Maybe he'll learn to appreciate the joys of owning a weed eater. I don't think that he's ever pulled weeds by hand before - I could be wrong though.
Today was another lesson in how to make something that is not considerably enjoyable into something that can be. It's amazing what a little smile or a laugh will do - it adds a little kick to those things that are, at first, drab and unexciting. Why not try it? After all, does complaining and carrying on about something help to make it any better? Of course not! It just sours the experience when someone says something like "well, this is gonna suck," or "I hate doing this." I end up wanting to say "thank you for making things worse than they really are - you just caused a total paradigm shift in my thinking." What a buzzkill! Just remember this:
Don't let anyone else get you down - just because they feel the way that they do, doesn't mean that you have to feel that way also! Don't believe the hype!