Raking leaves today, I felt my brother looking over my shoulder. I was using the leaf blower and blowing the leaves west. At the same time, the wind was blowing from the west and ruining my perfect curbside leaf piles. I started laughing. I could just feel my brother shaking his head and laughing, "You're so STOOpid!" he would say, in his serious-frustrated-light-hearted way, that left you thinking you are kind of stupid to keep going at it, against the wind, but then I remember that I taught him everything he knows and I can't be that stoo-pid. But I would continue doing just what I'd been doing, egging him on, but smiling. "What, what's the matter? I'm blowing the leaves!" He would shake his head and walk away. Or he would go into some long life-lesson-speech about how to use a leaf blower, and how power tools are to be in the hands of professionals, not weekend warriors. (My son calls them WEAKened warriors, or are we weekend WORRiers?) He probably read this article on About.com, no he probably helped write it. He was like that. If he worked for a landscaper for like two weeks, he'd be like, "No, no, this is the way you landscape. You're so stoopid."
So it started me thinking, how often do I keep doing the same old thing, the same old way, without results. This week our manager talked a lot about business as usual and how we have to break away from that in order to effect any change, and when we do, it will not just transform our work, it will transform lives, not just ours but the people we work with too. She was kind in that she didn't use the words Austin would have used, "You're so STOOpid!" but let me just say, sometimes it would be easier to say it the way Austin did. Really, it's so fun. That was the thing about him, he said it in a fun way. You took no offense, because he said, "You're so STOOpid!" in the same way that he said, "STELLar, DOOde!" He was laid back, like he knew you knew and he didn't need to make drama about it.
So I keep thinking about things that need to change in my life. I'm allergic to wool, but I have about ten wool sweaters in my closet. I just gave them all away. I have wool pants too. But those I need to replace before I start walking around pantless. The funny thing is, I've known this for years, but every fall I bring down the same old wardrobe and try them on and love the way they look, and they are so WARM and I'm like, "No, I'll be fine. That was last year's problem." I'll just wear stockings underneath. Then about three hours into wearing my work clothes, my hands are itching like crazy and I can't wait to get home and change. Why do we put our hands out to touch the fire that is burning us? Why is it so hard to effect change that is so necessary it will transform lives? Why do we keep doing things that are so STOOpid? It's like blowing leaves.