I never worked so hard in my life until I became a homeowner. I’ve lived on my own many occasions and in actual houses – not just apartments – where I was required to handle maintenance. I’ve always been self-motivated to do chores, perhaps passed on from my dad, who spent many a Saturday anally bustling around the house dusting end tables and scrubbing floors. (As a kid I was frustrated that my dad would not chill out and watch a movie with me instead, but now I realize that I had no clue what adults balanced.) I am an OCD-like spic-n-span cleaner too and get a lot of pleasure out of controlling one of the only things in life that can be – my home environment.
There are a lot of responsibilities that come with owning a home. The one that plagues me right now is landscaping. Never before has my brain hurt like this from pondering “what should I do early spring before it’s too late in the year for South Carolina temperatures” and “what type of ground cover should I plant on that barren back hill that won’t take a decade to lush-up” and “should I have some of these trees cut down so that my garden and grass can get enough sunlight”. Never before has my back hurt like this from battling fallen leaves from 100 trees on my acre+ lot, spreading mulch, pulling weeds, pressure washing the deck and more.
I put this on myself. Never before have I had this much pride in my surroundings, wanting my yard to be a place of beauty, peace and functionality. It is also a nice source of unusual exercise. My perfectionist tendencies help is some ways – I’m detail-oriented to pick out a shade mix grass seed for my forest of a lawn. They hinder in some ways – I want to do everything as great as I can as fast and I can and end up disappointed because it’s just not possible.
The gorgeous houses down North Main Street make it look utterly appealing and simple. Pristine mowing, shrubbery, floral plantings, stone paths and birdbaths abound, mmmyes. (I wish you could hear the sound effect.) The easy part is that they hire professionals to care for their properties. I can’t bring myself to give up yet.
It has begun as of April and will continue through October, when cooler weather sets in. We will all slave away with grounds keeping, both backbreaking and heartbreaking. I say kudos to those optimistic fools like me out there! I will defy Mother Nature for another season. But understanding my plight, I will show good faith and will not get upset. I am literally going outside after writing this article to rake and transplant ivy.