This Season

Spring clean upIt’s March and once again, despite knowing this happens to me every year, when the temperature hits seventy and the flowers bust out, I think, “hooray, spring is early this year.” Until the thermostat plummets into the thirties the very next day, and I have to drag out my sweaters. Dang. When will I learn? 

Another misdirection happens in my head when my neighbor unexpectedly mows his grass. Surely, Danny knows if spring has arrived. He schedules himself religiously, and during the summer, I follow his lead and look to duplicate his perfectly manicured lawn. But, yesterday, I groaned at his grass carpet. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate my neighbor so much. He and his wife are “yard inspiration” with their combination of neat grass and beautiful flowers that synchronize with the weather. But, please, I’m not ready to start cutting the grass. Please, not yet. I suppose I should have realized the time had arrived. After all, I saw the bending blades of too-long-grass, but I was in a “green denial.” And until yesterday, Danny hadn’t cut a thing; I still had time. Until I didn’t. The dilemma? I want spring, yes, but not lawn-mowing or weed-whacking.  

I long for spring with its warm breezes, cacophony of colors, blooming trees, and rollicking birdsong. But the work that comes with it: mowing grass, mulching beds, pulling out spring weeds, and collecting garden detritus, not so much.  

And right there is the dichotomy of life, the push-pull of everything. I love my adult children, but I also want to smack ‘em upside the head sometimes. I love writing, but the business side of writing can be overwhelming. I love visiting my friends and family, but driving six and seven hours at a time has become quite taxing. I love having people visit my home but keeping it neat and presentable gets away from me.  

Now that I have entered the last quarter of my life, I need to blend the dark side with the light and accept more gray. What really matters? Need I care that my grass is unruly, or that I can draw graffiti in the dust on my furniture, or that my next trip to North Carolina may involve a longer stop along the way? For so many years, the “must-do’s” outnumbered the “think-about-doing" by about 3 to 1. Everything had a mandatory feel to it. Yes or no. Now, not later. Every task was coupled with dire outcomes if not completed.  

I am hanging that up, no matter what happens. This is it. I am planning to employ the season of “good enough.” On the website, “Effectiviology,” Dr. Shatz states, “ should embrace the idea that good enough is good enough, instead of wasting valuable resources—such as time, money, and effort—by pouring them into a place where they won’t make a meaningful difference.” A “meaningful difference” is the essence of this point of view. Breathe, rest more, laugh a lot more, and accept my imperfections. Good enough. Oh, and hire someone to do the grass.