Who decides it’s wrong?

The grass surrounding my house is not going to win any awards. It will not be featured in a lawncare commercial unless someone needs a “before” picture. It is neither lush nor soft, it does not have the deep green of the Irish countryside.

The majority of the green comes from unwanted specimens; the moss is robust and the buttercups are doing very well, thank you for asking. There’s also a patch of self-seeded violas that I find quite pleasing.

I don’t see the point in making yardwork a priority. First, when you’re depressed, you have to pick your battles. You only have so many spoons.

Second, the quest for the perfect lawn seems to me to be a pointless waste of time and money. I’m supposed to put how much effort into this endeavour? To what end? It dies in July anyhow and doesn’t come back until mid-September – local watering restrictions ensure that.

Besides, I quite like moss and little yellow buttercup blossoms and purple violas. I find over-the-top green, mowed-in-a-pattern lawns off-putting.

It’s my yard.

It’s my yard and my house so who gets to decide that it’s wrong? Maybe nobody? Maybe nobody cares. Maybe some people like flowers dotting the lawns too.

But I feel defensive, even though I have good reasons and beliefs for treating the lawn the way I do – as a nice but ultimately unimportant thing. I feel like people are judging me, invisible, mysterious people, the same people I think are judging me whatever I do.

They don’t really exist. They’re a creation of my mind, brought to life by my feelings of inferiority and wrongness. The thoughts build themselves up, fed by the erroneous beliefs but when you push back at them, you realize they are almost never rooted in reality.

People are busy with their own lives and their own neuroses. They have neither the time nor the inclination to spend their lives judging mine. We’re hard on ourselves so we imagine everyone else is too, but this isn’t the case. Friends and family mostly care about us and strangers rarely give us more than a passing thought. We’re simply not that important. Our lives and choices are not as significant to the outside world as we like to imagine.

After all, no one has knocked on my door and complained about the state of the grass. Well, there was one kid who suggested I had an obligation to the neighbourhood to get on board with a complicated, lawncare program, but he was trying to sell me aerating, so I think we can consider his opinion to be suspect.

How often do you let what you think other people’s opinions are affect your behaviour?

9 thoughts on “Who decides it’s wrong?

  1. I relate so much. I have a stream of invisible critiques. Your post is great for me to read today. I get so wrapped up in the voices that I forget they’re not real, that it isn’t only me. Thanks for posting your thoughts and experiences.


  2. I try never, unless it is someone who I love and respect. However, I feel that my concerns for how others perceive me seeps in here and there. Not caring about other’s is a really challenging thing to do but so freeing. My gf’s and I have begun to refer to ourselves as the “Zero Fucks Club” meaning we don’t care about the opinion of others nor try to please everyone anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

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