About a month ago, we learned that the big, old oak tree in our back yard was diseased and dying. We’d been worried about its health for a while. We also knew that if the tree fell down of its own accord it would fall either directly on our garage or the neighbor’s garage, and probably also hit one of our houses. Safety comes first, so we called a local tree company and arranged to have the tree taken down.
Last week the removal crew showed up, positioned a big crane in our driveway and went to work. The job took about five hours, and I was impressed with the way they worked until the the foreman announced that they were done for the day, casually adding, “You’re going to have some wood in your yard for a while.” He explained that they could only remove the limbs small enough to fit in their chipper and that another crew would be along later to collect the trunk and bigger limbs. When I inquired as to exactly what he meant by “later” he assured me that it was usually only a couple of days, but added that he couldn’t guarantee that timeline.
A quick survey of the yard revealed a stack of logs in the grass between our house and driveway, more stacks in the back yard, some of which were laying across the sidewalk, and finally, the huge trunk of the tree spanning the area behind the garage to the middle of the yard. I asked him how long it usually took logs left on a lawn to kill the grass underneath them, and he said about seven days.
Five days later, the logs were still there and my husband and I were not happy. We’re not the sort of people who pride ourselves on a perfect lawn, but we’re also not the sort who enjoy paying to have their lawn re-sodded just because a tree company left big logs strewn about. We called and complained to the manager, and were assured that they should get to it within “a couple of days.” That was when I made the transition from unhappy to frustrated and angry.
I fretted and stewed about it for most of the morning, which meant that I was in an awful mood as I went about my daily chores. It’s not fun to tackle even the simplest tasks when you’re all worked up in righteous indignation, and walking shelter dogs while being TERRIBLY ANNOYED is also not pleasant. But there really wasn’t anything else we could do about the situation, and eventually I realized that being so upset was doing nothing but making a bad situation worse.
And so I decided to let my anger and frustration go. I knew that they would eventually show up and move the logs, and that we would deal with the damage to our yard then. Meanwhile, I didn’t want to waste any more energy fretting about something that I couldn’t fix, especially since the more I thought about, the more I realized that a damaged lawn and a blocked sidewalk weren’t the worst thing in the world.
I know I’ll never be happy when problems arise, especially problems that I believe could have been prevented. (How about not taking down the tree until the clean-up crew is available?) But I’m finally learning that there’s nothing to be gained by getting all worked up about situations that I can’t control. Sometimes, if only for my peace of mind, I just need to let things go…….