Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Lawn & Garden Department: Birthplace of Ideas

I like to consider myself a thoughtful person.  I know I don't go out of my way to do nice things simply because it's nice nearly as often as I should, but I do my fair share.  A couple of months ago, Adrienne and I stopped at a Wendy's drive-thru to get a Frosty one Sunday afternoon, and the drive-thru employee was so polite and kind, with really no reason to be, that we took the time to tell his manager.  And it was actually my idea.

But that's not the type of thoughtful I'm talking about, and I'm not really sure why I even told that story.  Let me get back on topic.

I guess "thoughtful" is the wrong word, at least in the way it is normally used in everyday language.  "Ponderer" is probably a better term.  I like to consider myself a ponderer.  I find myself thinking about the most random things at the most random of times, which may be a combination of occasional boredom and an undiagnosed case of ADD.  It gets me in trouble sometimes (like when Adrienne is trying to tell me something), and it costs me countless hours of sleep.  But, it is what it is.

Other times I look forward to particular activities that I simply because they allow me time to ponder things.  Mowing the yard, showering, long drives...They make for perfect time to think.  It's times like those that I have my best ideas, and times like those I have come to some of my most life-shaking realizations.

My most recent one didn't come while I was doing anything that normally would lend itself to profound thought.  It came last Saturday, as I was walking down an aisle at Wal-Mart.  I had a cart full of typical Wal-Martian items, and I stopped to look at a rack of work gloves.  I thought, "Those will come in handy later...I've got a lot of raking to do."

That's when it hit me.  Adrienne and I have a house.  Our own house.  A house we can paint, and add to, and take away from, and change, and improve, and go home to anytime we want.  It hadn't really sunk in until I found myself standing in front of those gloves, and I must say...It's pretty overwhelming.

But, it isn't just the fact we have a house.  That part is really exciting and I've truly enjoyed working on it to getting it to look the way we want it.  Normally, I despise moving and unpacking, and I can't say I was happy to move this time (I wasn't).  But, when you are unpacking and you know it will be the last time you do so for many years to come, your mentality changes significantly.  Putting clothes away becomes an opportunity to organize the closet.  Hanging pictures becomes a chance to make a house yours.  Changing a light fixture or door knob is no longer a chore...It's a facelift.  It has felt totally different than it did any time I moved into one of my past apartments.  And I like that.

And despite all that excitement, it's a bit scary, too.  For one, it means I'm a lot older than I truly feel prepared for.  It means life happened far more quickly than I expected, and it leaves me wondering if, at some point, I should have made different choices along the way, specifically professionally.  But, I always come to the same two conclusions: 1) Every choice I've ever made has led me to this great first house, with a mind-boggling wonderful wife (seriously, how did I pull that off?), and a great little dog...With which I can turn this house into a home.  And 2) I am most assuredly destined for a mid-life crisis sometime in my late-40s or early 50s.  Perhaps that is just collateral damage of being a hopeless ponderer. I guess I wouldn't have it any other way.