When the Grass is Greener, Stick to Your Own “Yard”

July 5, 2007

It’s the heart of the summer. Cookouts, sunshine, long days – yard work. As a new girl on the block, my lawn says a lot about me. The neighbors might not see my sparkling clean kitchen. They may not rifle through my drawers and see neat folds and organization. But my yard. That’s one thing that really matters. Especially to one person in particular. My neighbor, the yard king. You know the kind. Fancy, commercial, thousand-dollar pieces of machinery. A penchant for mowing at least twice a week and working in it every single evening. Newly overhauled, immaculately landscaped flowerbeds.

So, when the grass started growing this spring, I realized that mine wasn’t quite as green or as full as mister lawn king’s. Being the type of person I am, that bugged me. So what did I do? I spent tons of money and energy reseeding, seeding patches, watering and flowerizing the lawn. I worked, I waited, I worked and waited. When would my lawn look like his? I followed his advice, now it’s the heat of the summer, it’s been raining cats and dogs, and I’ve been mowing and edging each week. My lawn’s green, it’s growing, and it’s better than before. But it’s not anything compared to my neighbor’s.

So why am I waxing green and going on and on about grass? Well, I’ve been thinking about my lawn today since I was working in it this morning. I was out there instead of in here – but still, I was brainstorming blog topics, thinking about my cookout this afternoon. And I realized something – My lawn will never look as good as the neighbor’s. I can use all the right seed and follow all the advice, but it won’t matter. Because it’s not my top priority, so it doesn’t get most of what matters – my time. What it needs is my neighbor’s time, but it won’t get that, because he’s passionate about his yard. So instead of making myself crazy that my lawn isn’t like the neighbor’s, I can be happy with what I’ve gotten for my efforts and move on. Mow, maintain, and call it a yard. I think it’s time to give up on this dip and move on to things that will really bring me joy. I’m not in it to win prizes anyway. Instead, my “yard” is this blog, my relationships with people, and achieving my goals.

So I thought I’d take this idea and apply it to the process of developing a new idea, since that’s where my efforts have been lately. Friendly neighborhood lawn care as a metaphor for doing anything when you want to do other things too.

  • Discover your “yard.” Take the time to identify your passions and plug into them so your efforts aren’t diluted. Don’t just do something because someone else has done it well. Believe in your ideas and fully devote to them.
  • Work in your “yard.” Chances are, your yard won’t start out looking like you want it to. Don’t worry about it. Put your time into it every day, and before you know it, it will be greening up and growing strong.
  • Stay in your “yard.” Realize that you are going to be best at your own ideas, and don’t kick yourself if your yard isn’t as green as someone else’s. It’s not really going to fulfill you to walk over to their yard and mow it for them, is it? Make yours what you want it to be so you’ll be thrilled with your own efforts.

So there it is. Hope you had a happy Fourth of July! Now, get out there and water that yard!

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6 Responses to “When the Grass is Greener, Stick to Your Own “Yard””


  1. [...] to start a new graduate project on a leap of faith and lots of passion. I quit simple things, like obsessing over my lawn and watching too much TV. And I’ve never been at a more exciting or promising place in my [...]


  2. [...] things I should be doing with my time. So I started reading children’s literature again. I also gave up yard work and started this blog. Joined a photography club. Chose only to allow myself to turn on the TV if I [...]


  3. [...] cleaned or find time to finish my Christmas shopping. I didn’t rake up the leaves or do any yard work. I didn’t do a lot of things I planned [...]


  4. [...] to start a new graduate project on a leap of faith and lots of passion. I quit simple things, like obsessing over my lawn and watching too much TV. And I’ve never been at a more exciting or promising place in my [...]


  5. […] Because it gives you permission to be inspired from anything in the world surrounding you. Babies, lawns, fear, music, […]

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