Let it go

I have this knack, this perfectly timed response to any minor road block, of getting upset at nothing. I’m not proud of it. But it is part of me. I’ll turn something minor into something life-changing. No one could ever be happy with the results.

I get very frustrated, very easily, similar to someone who says they’ve “got a short fuse,” though it’s not in the usual “blow up at others” way. Instead it’s more of an “I can’t believe this isn’t going right” way. It’s something I probably should work on, but I think through my life I’ve worked through enough insecurities and periods of low self-confidence that I’ll be all right letting this one fester for a while.

Yesterday was another one of those times when I nearly let an almost perfect day be ruined by some minor mishap, this one being our yellow lawn. As I wrote before, I actually care about what our lawn looks like. I’ll admit that it’s superficial, in a way; we live in a great neighborhood, and I don’t want to be seen as the guy with the dead lawn and the car on blocks in the back yard. Therefore, I have a tendency to get uptight with the state of our lawn, especially the front yard.

We have some seriously deep thatch — a layer of dead grass from years past that is helpful in small quantities, but suffocating in large amounts — and I needed to get rid of it. Our neighbors throughout the block have bright green golf-course-like lawns. Ours, however, looks more like the exhibit of natural grassland at the nature museum. All we needed was a few coyotes and some prairie dog hills. The sight of this threw some weird anxiety into my system, and I decided that we needed to have something done. Now.

I called to see how much it would cost to have someone come and power-rake our lawn. It was a lot. I got anxious about what we could do. I called to see how much it would cost to rent a power-rake so we could just do it ourselves. It was much less, though now I started to get anxious about getting a truck. Then I was anxious about getting it back on time.

Kerrie told me I was stressing myself out too much. She was right, of course. And this was just the lawn – it happens when I cook, it happens when I’m trying to get something to work on the computer – it happens often.

I’m not a stressed person. I’m not in fear of developing ulcers, or having some weird anxiety attack, but every once in a while, I take something way too seriously. It’s an unfortunate side effect of being a perfectionist. I’ve got to have everything in order before I can start, and if something goes perpendicular to my plans, I just stand and stammer like a broken Speak and Spell. I’m not hoarding napkins or putting tin foil on the roof – I just seem to over exaggerate my miniscule problems, to the chagrin of Kerrie and anyone else working with me.

In the end, we got the lawn raked up, and we have plans to put fertilizer on it today. Our lawn will be fine. In fact, it always would have been fine. You can’t tell how it looks from the sidewalk, so I’m pretty sure our neighbors wouldn’t have been too concerned about any declining property values.

Still, it was a lesson to me in letting things go. That lawn would have righted itself. And when we finished de-thatching the lawn, I actually stood back and admired it. In all it’s thin and yellow glory.

Let it go, Corey. Just let it go.

This was lovingly handwritten on April 25th, 2005