Friday, June 28, 2013

sometimes you have to do the hard thing

Sometimes you have to do the hard thing.  The thing you don't want to.  Even if you know you need to or have to.

A week ago, I noticed my lawnmower was not running smoothly.  It would skip, ride rough, but got the job done.

Yesterday, it ran smoothly; like new again.  When I finished the yard, I parked the mower near the water spigot to spray it off and clean the underside because the grass was still a bit damp and clingy.  The battery wouldn't turn over when it came time to put the mower away, even though it had run smoothly up until then.  I checked to make sure I had every lever in the correct place but it just wouldn't start.  

I called my father to get his opinion on battery life.  We didn't think it should be dead yet, and he suggested I jump it off with my car.  
I really didn't want to do this because I've never done it before.  Fifty years old and never jumped a car.  I have jumper cables in my trunk; have seen it done a million times.

Having not run the weed-eater or blown off the  clippings, I told him I'd figure out something later; I needed to finish the rest of the yard before the sun got too high.

I am good at arguing with myself and running through every scenario possible to find a solution to problems.  I tried pushing the mower into the carport but it got stuck against the driveway and wouldn't go forward.  Time was also running out because I needed to run errands and didn't want to leave the mower sitting in the yard.

The only answer was to jump off the battery.  I pulled the car next to the mower, got the cables from the trunk, and read the directions of which cable to put on first, second, and so on.  Sure, I was nervous and afraid I'd shock myself or worse, blow up something.  When I tried to attach the last cable clamp, it wouldn't stay.  Then I noticed the nut and bolt holding the battery cable to the mower battery was very loose.  

Again I called my father to make sure if I tightened the nut, it wouldn't shock me.  I couldn't get a good grip on it and used one of my favorite tools, a socket, to tighten the nut, and ta-da, the mower cranked right up.

The battery wasn't dead after all.  The cable was loose., which meant  I didn't have to jump it off with the car either.  But if I hadn't done the hard thing and TRIED to jump it with the cables, I wouldn't have found the loose bolt and the easy answer to the problem.

Not all answers in life are easy or easily solved.  But if we don't attempt the hard things, we may never know how easy it could be.