Prune On

I hate yard work, but I love the fact that not everyone does

There’s a house nearby that’s immaculately landscaped -- perfect lawn, perfect shrubs, perfect flower beds. On occasion when I pass by, I see the homeowner out front, pruning or trimming or watering. I can only imagine how much time he spends out front like that.

When I was younger, I used to be pretty cynical about things like lawn care. To me, obsessing over the condition of your grass was a sort of consumerist sinkhole -- something that people did because they care too much about their image, right up there with running on the treadmill of nice cars and clothing and….stuff in general. As far as I could tell, investing that kind of time and energy into your yard was the same no-win situation you get when you’re too concerned with most cosmetic things: the more you care, the less likely you are to ever feel satisfied with what you have. Pointless.

Of course, that was just me projecting my own inclinations onto the world. Because I only ever tended to my own lawn as a necessary evil, my presumption was that anybody spending a ton of time on it must have something to prove -- otherwise they’d take the same shortcuts I do. It didn’t really occur to me that it was possible to actually enjoy the process, as silly as that seems in hindsight.

Nowadays, it occurs to me that lots of things are like this: one person’s chore is another’s idea of leisure. And if someone’s obsessing over their lawn, it might be that they’re stressing about what the neighbours think and hating every minute of the experience… but it’s more likely the exact opposite.

I have things like that -- that I love doing but others can’t stand. Turns out sinking hours into building a killer spreadsheet model is not everyone’s idea of fun. Who knew??

Pretty cool that people have such a variety of things that they find intrinsically enjoyable. Life would be a lot more boring if everyone hated yard work and nerded out over spreadsheets just as much as I do.

Prune on, Yard Guy.