It bakes in the sun like a mangy, flee bitten dog, patchy, weedy and dry. The worst lawn in the neighborhood in my own front yard. How did it get there? I would prefer the lush, thick, green variety , yet there it sprawls, dying on the ground in front of my porch. There is probably some theory about people with yards like mine but I probably don’t quite fit the mold. No cars are up on blocks and rusting at the side of my house and I have a full set of teeth. I am fairly educated, well traveled, and hygienic. Yet…the evidence is there- the corpus delicti- rotting in my yard.
My defense isn’t even long enough to ramble on about. I simply do not bother with it at this point in my life. But what does that mean? What is that indicative of? It occurs to me the real issue is that certain things we think matter to us in reality do not. If I really wanted the grass as nice as my neighbor’s- it would be. But there is something I want even more…to not be bothered with it. To not have to work on it when I do not feel like it.
This train of thought leads me to self analysis. I used to be unhappy with my weight. Wanting to be thinner- while actually preferring to eat whatever I want in any quantity and avoiding rigorous exercise. But, one day, losing weight was more important- so I did. There are other things I can point out in my life that I changed or did differently when it became more important to me. Sometimes it takes just that last straw or something tragic to change our priorities. Other times it only takes self realization and a desire for something better.
I try to identify the red flags when I am not owning my choices. If I find myself dissatisfied or bothered by the same thing for a long time it is usually because I am procrastinating or letting other things take precedence. So I should either deal with it or shut up. But, why is it that we do what we do and then try to blame other things or people for where we are. Wouldn’t it be more empowering to take the situation in hand and change it or let it go- whichever the wisest thing to do is- rather than complain, feel put upon, victimized or helpless? I say, YES. It is actually easier to not be lazy and whiny- we are just afraid that being proactive will be hard.
I know that sometimes people are afraid to even commit to change something or own something- because then they would feel more guilt if they can’t or won’t follow through. They should actually fear more the consequences of doing nothing and leaving their fate in the hands of other people or of their circumstances. Or not fear at all- is messing up really worse than not trying?
Do you ever get tired of hearing other people complain about the same thing forever? Not that you don’t feel for them- but, it gets old in other people, doesn’t it? Someone upset about a job, relationship or whatever. As if they have no input. If you wish you could have a better relationship with a family member- guess what? Your wish came true! You can have a better relationship- if you want one and are willing to do what it takes. Seems hard- but it gets easier. Just think- the next time you are mad or frustrated and you are directing it elsewhere maybe you’re really misplacing your own guilt and frustration toward yourself- for being too lazy and whiny to do what it takes to improve the situation. So is it more important to be happy or be wronged? Empowered or victimized? You can tell what people cherish and want by what they do and what they do not do. Loving that misery? Triumphantly the martyr? If you claim to want happiness than prove it by being happy.
Look around you- there is proof everywhere that things can be different- so it is possible. I think one thing that makes someone a great person is what they overcome and how happy they are- not how perfect things have gone or how many blessings they have. Can we even appreciate blessings we don’t acknowledge? I saw a Holocaust survivor cry with happiness for all his blessing during an interview. Think about that.
Its true- there are some things beyond our control. But it is amazing how our attitudes can even change those things. Empowerment and positive thinking are contagious- unfortunately so are their opposites. If nothing else you always have the power to be OK with whatever the thing is that you’re bent about.
So, yes, I confess I do have a horrible yard right now. But, that’s OK. I own it. Someday it will look better- I know it can be when I see the green lawn next door, but right now I am putting other things first. So I don’t need to blame anything to take the pressure off of me- because there isn’t any pressure on me if I don’t put it there. I choose not to. The cool thing is- on any given day I could do something about it. But today I choose to write about it. Breathe out and say “Oh, well…” it feels good. Own it. Move on. Mow later.