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What Have You Been Up To?

March 24, 2017 - Jen Zbozny
How I Feel About My Yard

as expressed by a tiny kitten in a giant messy yard.


This tiny cranky kitten in a giant messy yard perfectly expresses it for me.

(Photo credit: Skeeze on

You know how people say, "if you want to get something done, ask a busy person?" As parents aren't we always busy people? That doesn't necessarily always imply that we can and will get yet another thing done.

Take, for example, my yard. The hinted at arrival of spring and the attendant balmy weather are currently making me nervous. Why? Why you ask? Because it's becoming glaringly obvious how much yard work did NOT get done before winter. One of the many things I love about snow is how it covers that up and I don't have to think about it for a while. One of the many things I love about winter is how even if there aren't feet of snow outside, it gets dark so early that no one can really spend much time outside after work/dinner and before bed/bath/a thousand things to pick up off the table/floor/at Target. That means I am not expected to go out there and deal with it.

Now I have to deal with it. And I'm already busy. Let me admit here that I'm also overwhelmed by the idea of yard work. I want my yard and out of doors area to look lovely and inviting. I'm just stymied by how to do it. This is where you say "well, Jen, you go out there and you rake the leaves, put them in a bag then put the bag out for pick up. Next, you dig out the weeds and get rid of them, clear out patches of earth, put in nice dirt, plant things, water things, trim things, and then voila."

That's where I say to you "listen, I can build you software. I can take all your little chunks of data and make them dance and sing and be graphs at a touch of a button. I can keep 500 pages of your manuscript in my head well enough to tell you from memory at 2 am that the stuff you have in pages 87 to 126 really need to come out of there and go it at about page 312. But I don't actually understand how to make my yard behave and keep it behaving." Right. If my yard were data, I would be managing it well. Instead it's a big expanse of physical stuff. I kind of stink at long-term physical object response.

But I'm learning. It makes me endlessly happy when my yard looks good. I feel super proud of myself when I go out there and apply myself to removing the cruddy parts and exposing the nice parts. There's probably a lesson there that can be an entire life mantra. Remove cruddy, expose good. Repeat. Crap, I just realized it's not raining. That means I have no reason not to go outside and start now. Happy Spring, everyone.


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