For quite a while, at least since I left my job last fall for this sabbatical time, I have deprived myself of some relatively small joys.  I am not sure if it’s the money angle, or the feeling that I don’t deserve nice, new things if I’m not working.  I never used to think that my identity was tied up in my day job, but I have to give that more thought now.

I have had some cushions on the chairs on the deck for a few years. They are faded, mismatched, and getting ragged. They sure didn’t inspire me to spend much time outside.  In fact, I had thrown some on the floor so the dogs could use them as beds, and I only kept 2 chairs out. Plus a cute wire bench that was a little out of place.

Anyway, Tuesday I was over at my friend Karine’s house. She has a shady yard like me, and as we walked around, I noticed that she had oodles of plants randomly growing here and there, some of them in need of thinning. She just bought the house last December, so she hasn’t had time to work on the yard, or to even get through a season so she’d know what might pop up. I mentioned to her that I liked her hostas and was planning to get some for my yard. Hers were a different variety than the few I have. She offered for me to dig up some of hers, which I politely declined.  I wanted them, but I felt like she might have interpreted my comment as a somewhat veiled beggar’s request. She practically insisted I take some, and I was glad to finally accept her offer. Thanks, Karine, for your generosity. It’s hard to remember that sometimes you need to accept in order to gift someone with the joy of giving.

An hour later, I had cleared the area by my deck of the leaves I had not raked last fall and successfully transplanted about 7 sets of small hostas.  I even had a bag of mulch in my garage from when Kevin had been doing yard work 2 years ago. A bag I had moved and pushed and rearranged several times in the process of organizing my garage.

The new little plantings spurred me to do something about those cushions so I could enjoy my evening outdoors. I went to Home Depot and Lowes, but each of them wanted $35 for one set, and the colors this season seem to be too muted for my taste. I ended up at WalMart, where I got them for $14 each. And a rug on sale for $44.  For just a hair over $100 and some sweat, I had a refreshed look. That evening I sat outside and watched the stars make an appearance last night, and enjoying the twinkle lights I had put up last year, and in the morning I couldn’t wait to get out there and have my coffee before it got too hot.

It’s true what they say – it’s the little things that count. I’m proud of the “I did it myself” feeling I got from the transplants. And I think to have a First Class Lifestyle, as Karine is all about, I need to give myself the things that make me feel good about myself – proud of my efforts, of my good buy, and of taking care of myself. Instead of sitting out there by myself, maybe I’ll even invite some friends over to enjoy my new old deck with me.

 

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