Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Year’s Revolutions

Revolution (noun): major change: a dramatic change in ideas or practice; or complete circular turn: one complete circular movement made by something round or cylindrical, e.g. a planet around the sun.

One more trip around the sun is nearly complete, so time to take stock and set our sights on the 2011 journey.  Many of you are planning your resolutions for the coming year.  Perhaps these sound familiar:

1.       Lose weight.
2.       Exercise more.

There is nothing wrong with these vague ambitions, but let’s face it.  These 2 have been done to death, and have a shelf life of 4-6 weeks before being added to the scrap heap of good intentions.  Resolution #3 is often “Stop procrastinating, you lazy bum”.  We might be more successful with our goal attainment if that became Resolution #1.

I take the New Year’s resolution business seriously.  I carry my New Year’s resolutions in my wallet, and I do look at them from time to time throughout the year.  I’ve made some progress over time, and on some pretty large goals.  It’s important not to allow perfect to be the enemy of good, I like to say, so I celebrate the progress and vow to work harder at the shortcomings.
I am not into sharing my goals for 2011 with the virtual sea of humanity that’s flooded the Internet, except for this one public declaration:

I will grow grass.

No, not that kind.  Not that I couldn’t use the extra income, but I am somewhat risk averse in my middle years.  I mean the regular “kids running and playing on” kind.  Simple, right?  Now, let’s make this more specific:

Grow a thick, even, lush, weed-free lawn in the backyard by June 30, 2011.

I will watch You Tube videos demonstrating the proper care and feeding for the lawn.  I will read newspaper columns on the topic.  I will listen to friends and neighbors drone on about their lawns, and this year, I’ll pay attention.   I will not cheat by installing Astroturf.  For some of you, this goal doesn’t demonstrate much ambition on my part.  Let me tell you, though, it is a challenge for me.  I don’t have a green thumb.  In the yard, I am all thumbs, and none of them are even shaded green.  The ambitious part for me is overcoming my fear of failure.  If anyone can kill a lawn, it’s me.  I am the oo7 of lawn care, baby - licensed to kill.  A man’s got to know his limitations, and yard work is one of mine.  Accepting and embracing my problem is the first step towards recovery. 
Our backyard experiences both heavy shade in spots and full sun in spots, and it is built on rock solid Virginia red clay.  There are bare spots.  There are spots that collect water during heavy rains.  There are heavy traffic areas.  It can be done, however, with perseverance, dirty hands, and dumb-luck.  I begin 2011 with confidence, the confidence of the ignorant.  It is also the confidence that comes from knowing I won’t have to face the reality of this goal until it gets warmer.  Growing a beautiful lawn in my backyard won’t change the world; just my little corner of it.  I think globally and act locally, and how much more local can I get than the backyard?

I will do this.  It says so in my wallet. 
“Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better.”
-          Sydney J. Harris

Happy New Year.  I hope to see you or hear from you during the 2011 revolution.

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