Keeping My Mouth Shut When My Neighbor Puts Leaves in Plastic

With the February Horizons having gone to press, this is the week I coordinate my drivers and distributors, and update all my addresses before the mag hits the streets next week.  I’ve got about 150 small stacks of mags that get mailed each month because postage is cheaper than paying a mileage to a driver.  Last year, the U.S. Postal Service changed their rules about mailing, and I had to get an imprint permit and start doing a bunch of paperwork each month.  They used to charge me $14.25 to come pick my job up. Now I have to separate by weight, sort by zone, count by zip code, and put into mail sacks weighing no more than 36 pounds per sack, and put the correct routing label – according zip code – on the mail sack itself.  That’s a lot of math.  But now I’ve done it for 5-6 months, I’m getting the hang of it and find it’s not all that hard to do, after all.  That happens a lot.

After doing the paperwork 5-6 times in a row, I became more familiar with it, and it wasn’t just numbers on a page anymore.  It began to make sense.  At first, I let myself be baffled by the number of boxes I had to fill in and what numbers went where and how to figure them and in what order to figure them.  Then I made one of my famous checklists, so it would walk me through what I had to do each time until I got the hang of it.  Now it’s down to a one hour job and it’s no big deal.  I find if I can simplify something for myself with a step by step checklist, and make myself do it, I get used to the changes before I know it.

Afterward, I went outside to play in my yard a little.  I know not to prune the deadwood yet on my frost bitten plants.  Cutting off what looks dead right now will stimulate the plant into growth, just in time for the next frost to kill it for good.  As it is now, it’s likely just dead to the ground, so I’m letting mine sleep and conserve energy.  What looks dead is not always gone, trust me.

The mailbox area now looks quite stripped and bare since the city workers took down the palm tree and the powderpuff bush.  I noticed coming back from the market that it looked like it could use a little TLC, especially since it is the entrance to my home.  So I wandered around the yard wondering just what I could do to spruce up that SE berm behind the mailboxes.

I took two of my giant aloe plants from the east garden and transplanted them into the berm, facing the street.  I watered them in and then moved a bunch of large stones from around the garden into the face of the berm, around the aloe and along the baseline.  I raked a bunch of ficus and oak leaves and used them as mulch.  I stuffed moss and airplants into the crevices.  Now it doesn’t look quite so ravaged.

As I was coming in last night, my neighbor pointed out that the 4 giant plastic trash bags he put out at the street all contained leaves he raked from his yard.  I held my tongue but was horrified he’d rake leaves into a plastic bag to sit at a landfill rather than let the leaves be mulch for his yard.  I so wanted to ask if I could pour the leaves down on the fresh dirt the city workers left after covering the new pipes up in my front easement area, but I knew it would not be well received.  Part of being a good neighbor is knowing when to keep my mouth shut.  I can’t let what he does be my excuse to vibrate in a place I don’t want to be: blameful, judgmental.  It’s a good exercise in seeing how allowing I can truly be 🙂

Hafiz: Happy before I have a reason

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