Monday, August 21, 2017

Why You're Probably Not As Incompetent As You Think You Are

Yard maintenance isn't my forte. Actually, that's an understatement. (Listen hard, and you can hear the neighbors laughing.)

I'm so bad at it that when an old acquaintance from out of town was in the area, they drove by my house but didn't stop to say hello because they assumed from the look of things it was abandoned. We were probably inside eating lunch.

Mostly ignoring the yard works for me, but every once in a while the weed-choked flowerbeds and the grass as tall as my toddler will start making me crazy.

Then I start comparing myself. I list all the busy people I know who still manage to have a decent-looking yard, and I start to feel like there's something wrong with me.

"Why are we so incompetent?" I yell to my husband, quite literally grabbing my hair in both hands as if I'm going to start tearing it out in frustration.

"We're not incompetent," he answers calmly.

"Oh yeah? Well then, explain that," I say, pointing out the window at the crabgrass farm that is supposed to be our landscaping.

"That's just not what you like to do," he replies.

And he's right. If you give me an hour of free time, I 100% guarantee you I won't be rolling up my sleeves and heading out to the garden with a spade in hand. That's just not my idea of a good time.

It's not so much that I can't do it. It's more that I don't want to. And I need to be okay with that.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

I'm not a gardener. What I am is a writer.

I've spent hundreds of hours building this blog from the ground up and I'm really proud of what I've created, even if it's just pixels.

I'm also an organizer, and anyone who sees my email inbox can tell you I'm pretty good at it.

If I really wanted to, I could make yard maintenance a higher priority. But when it comes down to it, I'd rather not.

Weeding the garden and replacing the mulch will continue to be at the bottom of my list of Important Things To Do, because, well, I chose to put it there.

Which brings me to another point: just because I don't care about something doesn't mean that you can't. I may laugh about not having time for that stuff, but it's not a put-down to anybody who does.

I know some phenomenal women who can grow anything, including flowers that bloom when you look at them and vegetables that taste like heaven. And believe me, when I visit their houses I'm not thinking that (1) they're wasting their time, (2) they're trying to make me look bad, or (3) I'm better than them for not bothering with such silly gardening stuff.

Even though it's not my thing, I genuinely admire their gifts at making their yards beautiful. Usually they're even nice enough to send me home with a basket of their extra tomatoes.

It goes the other way, too.

I may be a writer and an organizer, but I hope you're not afraid I'm judging you for ending a sentence in a preposition or having a filing system that basically amounts to 126 wadded-up receipts in your purse. I really don't care. Those are my things, but they most certainly don't have to be yours.

The older I get, the more I learn that life is a chance to sort out your priorities. There isn't enough time in a day to pour your energy into everything, so you have to make choices and own them.

We're all born with different talents, different limitations, and especially different passions, so it only makes sense that we're not all going to have the same priorities in life.

Making different choices about what to do with your time doesn't make you any better or worse than me; it just makes us different.

And I'm glad we are. Otherwise, where would I get my good tomatoes?

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AnneMarie said...

I love this. Especially because as I write this, I'm looking out my back window to the knee-hi crabgrass that's thriving in our backyard. It actually was stressing me out that our yard looked horrific, but then I decided to just pretend that I'm Laura Ingalls Wilder, living on the prairie because they probably had out-of-control weeds where they lived, too :)

Ann-Marie Ulczynski said...


Michelle said...

I LOVE THIS. I completely agree. I mean, I'm a gardener and find it therapeutic, but things like fashion and makeup are at the bottom of my list of priorities. We all have certain strengths and passions.

Jenny Evans said...

I think "Pinterest moms" in particular get a lot of flak for doing cute stuff like making bananas that look like mummies for the class Halloween party, and I like to laugh at my Pinterest fails as much as anybody, but if that's what you like to do and you're good at it then YOU GO, GIRL.

Jenny Evans said...

Absolutely. I just try to avert my eyes until it snows. Works for me.

adriennelynn said...

Love this honest post...something we all need to continue to remind ourselves your free time, want to come organize my Inbox? ;-)

Queen Mom Jen said...

Amen, make those choices and own them!

PurpleSlob said...

Jenny, glad I'm not the only non-gardener around!! I only weeded a little so I'd have something to blog about that day! lol
Blogging is one of my passions now too. And we should be proud of ourselves! You have an excellent site here!! I always get a laugh, or 50!, whenever I visit. You definitely have a gift for writing, and humor.

The Lady Okie said...

I love this. I actually just told myself this last week when I started feeling lame reading about another blogger who has 4 kids and gets up at 4:30 am to work out for an hour. That's just not how I want to spend my sleeping hours! Doesn't mean she's any better. She just likes morning workouts and I need sleeeeeep.

Jenny Evans said...

I actually LOVE to organize other people's stuff, even more than I love to organize my own if that's possible. I think it's my calling in life to be a personal organizer after the kids are all grown.

Jenny Evans said...

Thank you! You, too. You forgot that you also have a gift for alliteration.

Jenny Evans said...

So true. I sometimes get frustrated with myself like I should be able to keep up with maintaining my car, myself, my house, my everything... but then I realize that nobody does ALL of it right. We just see bits and pieces from different people and feel like we need to be all of those things at the same time. It's kind of nuts.