I have spent a significant amount of time doing yard work lately, and I realized several of my blog posts have formulated while mowing grass--today's included. We have a fairly large yard and, of course, we focus most of our energy and resources towards maintaining the front first, which is obviously the most visible. As I approached the overgrown portion of my backyard this afternoon, something clicked. My yard work patterns are a lot like my personal life.
We bought flowers and mulch, yard treatment and new bushes, all for the front. If there is only time to cut a portion of the yard it's always the front. The fallen limbs, the old pine straw, the rocks and debris, all get dragged to the back of the yard. Our property line has brush that needs to be sprayed, more weeds than the front, and a pile of yard "stuff" in the back corner.
We care what people think about us, right? Or most of us do, at least. I don't want my neighbors or people passing by to think I'm a slob, so naturally the most visual areas get the most attention. My life is the same in a lot of ways. It's easy to have front yard conversations with people: "the new job is awesome, I just went on a trip, Lacie and I have never been happier..."
But how often do we venture to the overgrown, untended brush in our back yards? It's no less valuable from a property standpoint, but it's a whole lot easier to look over. My proverbial back yard contains things that need trimming, fertilizing, attention. I have a lot of doubts, a handful of insecurities, some pent up anger and bitterness, discontentment, and the list goes on. I'm not for the idea of wearing my heart on my sleeve, but I know for a fact I don't have the back yard conversations enough with the people that would listen and not dismiss it or try to fix it right away.
Unfortunately my revelation happened earlier in the day than I wish, and I'm now writing this six hours and a whole lot of work later. But...I feel great. I tackled what I've been overlooking. I'm watching the limbs and brush burn up in my fire pit, not gather and grow in the back corner.
Appearances can be dangerous, often because it allows us to convince people to keep driving by when they really need to stop and offer to let you borrow their riding lawn mower. The same is true for our lives--we can only keep the facade up for so long, until the things in the corners of our lots become unmanageable.
Books I recommend: