I was doing yard work a couple of weeks ago. There I was in the backyard, slathered in sunscreen, on my knees, pulling the weeds under the deck and in the garden.
In the 40℃ heat.
Soaking wet with sweat and guzzling water to prevent dehydration.
And all the time, two thoughts kept running through my brain:
- I love my wife
- I hate doing yard work
Gail loves a neat and tidy garden. I was out there because I had promised her that no matter the weather (unless it was “thunderbolts and lightning, very very frightening”) I’d be at it that weekend and a promise to my beloved is a promise.
But I really don’t like gardening.
OK, I hate it. Always have, ever since I was a kid.
To me, weeds are just vegetation growing where someone doesn’t want them to be; I’m more of a live and let live kind of guy.
I told Gail a dozen times that if she wanted an English country garden, she should’ve married an Englishman and moved to the English countryside.
Instead, she got me.
The guy who wanted to Astroturf the backyard.
When done I remembered reading Jon Acuff’s Finish – Give Yourself the Gift of Done. In it, he argues for “strategic incompetence” – that sometimes, it’s beneficial to be bad at some things. He writes “I’d rather do something else with the four hours each weekend. I’ve decided to stink at taking care of my yard”.
Great! I have permission to suck at yard work and do something else!
(Editor’s note: Only if your SpousalOverunit agrees).
Why am I telling you this?
(It’s not because I’m looking for a yard service to pull the weeds for me.)
I truly believe that it’s OK to not do it all (in life and in business) and to say things like “I suck at XYZ” (just remember, you suck at doing – you don’t suck!)
And it’s perfectly OK to find someone to help with that suckage.
Have you ever sat down at your desk and looked at your bookkeeping and accounting like I looked at that pile of weeds?
I know just how you feel.
Have fun storming the castle (whatever your castle looks like today). Just beware of the Weeds of Unusual Size).
PS What do you want to be strategically incompetent at? Tell me!
PPS Yes, the garden did look beautiful when I finished. Now I’ve got to do it all over again in a week or so. Oy! The things I do for love …