I think I might actually have grown up.
I fought against it for years and years (hence the title, based on a fabulous Jimmy Buffett song Growing Older, But Not Up, embedded here for your pleasure.) but I think the years might have eventually worn down my resistance.
This came to mind yesterday when I realized suddenly that I actually enjoyed mowing the lawn.
When I realized this, I’m almost certain I felt a ghostly dopeslap to the back of my head by my mom, reaching out from beyond the grave to try and pay me back for all the grief I gave her while I was a young dude and it was my job to mow the lawn.
I hated it, dudes. Sincerely, loudly and with great passion, hated mowing the lawn. I would do anything to avoid having to get out there behind the mower, sweating in the brutal Dallas sun and trying to cut a lawn that would only grow back as soon as I got done cutting it.
Which, oddly, was my favorite argument as to why I shouldn’t have to mow it. Sort of like why it was dumb to make your bed since you were only going to sleep in it that night and mess it all up again.
I’m completely ignoring the fact that I’m the one who makes my bed every day now, just because it looks nicer than does an unmade bed.
As a young dude, when I was forced to mow the lawn, I’d grumble the entire time and then do as poor a job as possible. I didn’t mow in straight lines. I threw in curves, loops, circles and, on one memorable
occasion, Abe Lincoln faces.*
All of which meant that, as soon as I was done an put the lawn mower away, I could call myself done only until either my mom or dad saw the result and forced me to go back out there and get it done right. Which only led to more grumbling and groaning.
Somehow, over the years, I’ve changed, despite my best efforts to cast my personality in amber and never move on into adulthood. It’s sneaky, adulthood. And it snuck in on me.
When I mow the lawn now, there’s a certain sense of . . . satisfaction, I guess. A feeling that, as the blades of grass fall to my rotating cutter, leaving behind a smoothish, shorter line, I have accomplished something tangible. And, apparently, I’ll take that sense of accomplishment where I can get it.
Growing up, it turns out, isn’t one big step, but a series of tiny, incremental ones that you never even notice.
Footnotes & Errata
* I was very, very bored.
** Yes, everyone. Everyone but me. Yes, thank you for reminding me.