Spring is finally rolling around, so I’ve been getting outdoors as much as I can.
This winter felt like it was an especially long one, and I’ve been dreaming of green grass for months now.
The other day I took a long walk on one of my favorite paths. The sun was shining, the air was fresh, and I actually felt warm. (#alwayscold)
On a day like that, I found myself going back to a thought I’ve had many times before:
Sometimes I just wanna mow lawns.
I see city workers mowing in the park and think to myself: Wouldn’t it be nice to be outdoors all summer and to always be surrounded by the smell of fresh grass?
There'd be no heavy mental load with research and writing all day. Just mowing.
At the end of the day, I’d be done and could shut my work brain off entirely.
I’d get soak up some vitamin D and have plenty of time to listen to music, or podcasts, or audiobooks.
But...then I played this scenario out a bit in my head a bit more.
I've come to some conclusions.
Number one: It’s all about perspective.
Mowing lawns isn’t a glamorous job. It’s physically exhausting, it’s hot, and it can be pretty mindless (which can lead to excruciating boredom.) The work is never done. You sweat all day long and constantly swat at mosquitos. You get sunburned. Your back hurts.
In my mind, I have this mental picture of serene days spent in the sunshine and a sea of green, but the reality is pretty different.
I’ve been trying to remember this any time I find myself resentful of my workload and dreaming of doing something else.
Number two: I can mow my own damn lawn!
Guess who has a yard that needs mowing? Me.
If I want to mow so badly, then I need to be saying NO more often and handing off opportunities to other people so I can go outside and mow my own damn lawn, right?
I know that I value soaking up outdoor time while I can during the warm months, so that means I need to adjust my workload accordingly.
Maybe that means I work more in the first and last quarters of the year and slow things down for April-September. As a freelancer, I have the ability to do that...it’s just a matter of DOING IT and giving myself permission.
So what's the point of all this rambling on about mowing lawns?
To remind you (and me) that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side (...or in the park.)
A lot of our problems in life (work, personal, family) can be solved by adjusting our perspectives and giving ourselves permission to make decisions based on what really matters to us.
The bottom line: Everything has pros and cons.
So if you want to mow lawns this summer, do that. I know I will be.
But as you’re out there sweating and swatting at bugs, remember to also be grateful for the days you spend indoors behind your computer in the nice, cool air conditioning.
It's all about perspective.
This article originally appeared in my newsletter, A Cup of Copy. Sign up and get these free tips sent right to your inbox every other Wednesday.