Available to Work

US Wealth Napolitano |

By: Tom Schulte, CFP®

It’s difficult to complain about the lack of physical labor & landscaping opportunities available to me, but here I am, doing just that. To me, spring smells like fresh mulch.

Every April, a truck would arrive to our family home in Syracuse to deliver four cubic yards of mulch, directly in the center of our driveway. From there, it was a race against time to move and distribute the mulch from the driveway before my Dad’s head exploded from the inability to park his car. However, it isn’t just mulching that delivers such a high. Mowing the lawn is just as fulfilling, if not more so. There is something so satisfying about cutting fresh lines down the lawn and having your progress being so visible and immediate. But here I am in downtown Boston with no area to mulch, no grass to cut, just a pair of disappointingly clean hands with no apparent outlet—or so I thought.

Similar to many of my Saturday mornings, I began my daily activities with regret over drinking a cup of coffee (weekend caffeine does no good for my body & mind). In order to kill some unnecessary energy, I decided to walk Mia all around Back Bay & the South End neighborhoods, stopping by our favorite dog park. In a wonderful act of generosity, a local family donated thousands of dollars in shrubbery, pots, planters, soil, etc. to this dog park. As Mia and I entered the park, I saw a few individuals struggling to move some of the larger planters. Fearing that they may hurt themselves, I ran over to offer some help. To my delight, offering help to move a single planter led to assisting in moving another truckload of assorted pots and planters, leading to potting & planting different flowers and shrubs, leading to sweeping pebbles and clearing brush.

Mia and I left the park with a sense of accomplishment and welcomed feeling of tiredness that only comes from some good ole manual labor. As a nap connoisseur, there are few, if any naps superior to that of a ‘worn out’ nap stemming from that morning’s yard work. This nap was no different and brought me all the way to dinner time. It was divine.  

Before sending me a witty email in response to this piece to ‘come clean up your yard,’ please think twice as I will likely take you up on the offer.