22 May 2008
on yard work
we have all these gorgeous things growing, bushes and ferns and bulbs that emerge healthy and full every spring purely because someone else planted them and then we came to live in their house.
the only thing i can truly take credit for is not killing them yet. that, and the weeding, i suppose.
we have a ton of landscaping, so i aim to weed about twenty minutes every day. the problem with this is that it rains for three days straight and when the sun finally comes around, i walk out with a butterknife (my weeding tool of choice) to find the dandelions and clover and saplings have reproduced and are currently pulling off a mean impersonation of the amazon.
the other problem is that i'm very much an all-or-nothing person. the best illustration of this that springs to mind is my college freshman chems class with the prof notorious for refusing to award any A's. the tests in that class made me crazy, because mr chems prof would completely ignore major concepts in the chapter, stuff the textbook droned on about for twelve pages, and he'd focus instead on a name pulled from the two-sentence snippet in the side column on page 312.
and not only would he fixate on the obscure and irrelevant, he'd rephrase the same question four different ways in four separate problems to underscore the lesson: thought you didn't have to read the side columns? you were wrong.
now, what most people did when they didn't have the first crumb of a clue is pick a different answer each time to ensure that at least one of them would be correct. which is logical, i suppose, but i couldn't bring myself to do it. i couldn't guarantee that the best i'd get right is 25%.
i picked the same answer all four times. all or nothing.
which brings me back to the weeds. when i step outside to confront the twenty-seven hours of yard work now looming before me, it's really, really hard (by which i mean impossible) to just do twenty minutes. so then i work for about three and a half hours instead, until the oversized trash bin outweighs me and hubby has taken over dinner duties so the kids don't atrophy in my absence.
at some point, though, i run out of daylight and have to say "good enough." which is easier to do when it's dark and i can't see the remaining weeds.
i'm getting better, in general, at declaring something "good enough." it's freeing, really...i'm able to accomplish so much more with the limited time and energy metered out to me each day. i haven't completely conquered my perfectionist tendencies, but eh.