Monday, January 4, 2016

Obligatory New Year's Post - Or The Grass Doesn't Have To Be Greener

Happy New Year, Everyone! I hope your Christmas/Hannukah/Yule/Solstice/Kwanzaa was fabulous.

You may have noticed I took a little hiatus from writing. (It's okay. I missed you, too.) I stepped back and spent two weeks of baking, laughing, lounging, over-eating, visiting, dreaming . . . living.

Now it's Monday. The very first one of the year. It's time to set goals, press forward, make changes.

I should write something about resolutions or new beginnings or some other inspirational crap. All of the cool bloggers are doing it.

But I'm really not one of the cool bloggers.

So I'm going to write about grass.

You see, I just spent two whole weeks enjoying mine. The weather was unseasonably warm, so there was a lot of time spent outdoors soaking up this winter's spring-like weather. We sipped morning coffee on the front porch, tossed around the football, there was even a loud group of teenagers that gathered around the fire pit on New Year's night toasting marshmallows and having a grand time.

My yard is a mess. Not necessarily from neglect, but from use. We live here, you see. The lawn furniture is askew. The kids have dug holes. The lawn is dotted with bare spots due to uneven foot traffic, and the dogs have left their mark in ways that most people don't want to hear about.

And it's beautiful. (The grass, that is. Not the dog poop.)

If I were to set resolutions for the new year, I would have to peer over into other yards. I'd have to look away from the beauty that is my life to seek out more. I might need to glimpse what other people have . . . better cars, more money, beautiful bodies, flashy vacations to exotic places. And in doing so, I might start to think that the grass is greener over there.

And it probably is. But at what cost? How much fertilizer (and underpaid Mexican lawn guys) go into that beautifully tended grass?

I don't care how magnificent other people have it. I don't want what they have. I don't need fancy cars and a clean house or even enlightenment. I'm too busy enjoying my own grass to care what anyone else's looks like, to even care how mine might be different.

I've come to see my lawn as a reflection of what our family is: Busy. Active. Playful. Alive.

Our yard isn't beautiful on the surface. But there is a beauty that runs deeper, way down in the roots.

I don't want to set resolutions because I'm too happy rolling around in my own grass, gazing up at the stars laughing with my loved ones to worry about how green anyone else's might be in comparison. How could my life be better than this?

And maybe that's the key to happiness. Not always striving for the next thing, the better thing, the thing someone else has that is way cooler than ours. But in enjoying our own things, the things we already  have that are cool and wonderful and beautiful. The aspects of ourselves that are strong and full of grace. If we stop focusing on our lack or our flaws, and instead bask in appreciation of the good, won't life be so much more fulfilling?  Because there is so very much that is good right now... and all we really have is now anyway.

I just can't look away from my own grass long enough to care what anyone else's looks like.

Happy New Year. Enjoy your own grass.

(And as a side note to the busybody neighbors: Stop complaining about mine.)


Cara Sue Achterberg said...

Couldn't agree more. My grass is a mess too. I always tell people who are trying to turn around in our tricky driveway and end up driving on the grass - 'Don't worry - there's no sacred grass here' Lovely post.

Robin Follette said...

Oh thank gawd. Thank you for not being one of the cool keeping up with the Joneses bloggers. My lawn is beautiful - because it's covered in snow. I do miss seeing bees in the clover. I'm overlooking the bathroom spots the new dog has created. When she's a little more settled I'll teach her to go into the woods first. For now, there's more snow coming eventually. When we can see the grass I'm too busy growing food to fool around with grass. The garden doesn't care how lovely the grass might have been when I use it as mulch.