Monday, July 18, 2016

It's All About What We Value or, "Fu*% the front yard, Fu*% the front yard, Fu*& em" (sung to Fu&* the Police)

A man way too happy with his lawn.
Listening: Ani DiFranco
Drinking: High West Double Rye

I was given an exercise once to help manage my anxiety. It involved drawing a circle on a piece of paper and putting the things I value most in that circle. Then, draw a concentric circle around those things and add in more things you value, but to a lesser degree than your original circle. This "circle" of values diagram is designed to get you thinking about your priorities, clarifying your focus when you feel overwhelmed.

In order to be healthy, my center circle of highly valued things should not be a large list. If it overflows, then I need to push some things out of that circle and into an outer circle. And consequently, I may need to push things out of that next circle. This continues until you have a distilled hierarchy of priorities.
Circle of Vales Summer of 2016

I wish this was something I had done throughout my life. It would be interesting to see the changes in my values over my lifetime. I can tell you that since moving into my new house in the spring of 2015, I pushed lawn care out in to the far reaches of those circles, somewhere between finding the perfect low calorie beer and playing Pokemon Go.

Keeping a lush, green lawn was never really in my center circle, but last summer it became a frequent excuse to not ride my bike. Now that I've decided to ride in the 25 Hours of Frog Hollow, I realize that so long as my front yard doesn't become mistaken for The Grapes of Wrath, I'm OK. As a friend of mine recently pointed out as we stared at the streak of pale yellow grass in my backyard which I affectionately call the Sahara Strip, it's pretty irresponsible to not have some yellow grass in the west. We do live in a desert after all.
 
That's the green lawn I seek. Courtesy Jared Hargrave and utahoutside.com

So that's the point of this return to blogging, to focus on the things in my center circle; cycling and writing being two of them. That may mean a bit of sacrifice in the arena of perfectionism that has held me back in the past, but when I see that most of this country is looking for bon mots from Donald Trump and Kim Kardashians' navel gazing for some reason, what harm is there in throwing out a few less than erudite rants a couple times per week?

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