If you grew up in the 70s you most likely remember the Life cereal with Mikey.  Two little boys are looking at the cereal and neither want to try it. They decide to give it to Mikey to try knowing, "he won't eat it. He hates everything." To their surprise Mikely loves the cereal and gobbles it down.  Of course, I just had to get Life cereal! Unfortunately, unlike Mikey, I didn't like it. My grandma didn't let me off the hook, though. I had to eat that cereal until the entire box was done. I learned a lesson - don't try new food.

Those days were filled with long, endless summers of playing in the sprinkler, staying out until dark and just being a kid. Being anxious to grow up I begged my grandma to let me mow the lawn. Begged, begged, begged. Obviously, my fear of new foods didn't slip over to new experiences. Finally she let me. Like Life cereal I didn't like it. Also, like Life cereal I was stuck with it. However, this wasn't just a box, it was for the rest of my childhood and teen years.

I cannot begin to tell you how much I loathed yard work. It was the most horrible thing I did during those years. Every Saturday I woke up dreading mowing the lawn and trimming those prickly hedges. When I moved away for college that was one thing I didn't miss. In fact, I have never missed it. I have been happily living in apartments my entire adult life. Until last October.

We don't have a very large yard. In fact, the front consists of seven rose bushes and an overgrown bougainvillea. (We do have a backyard, but one thing at a time.) While this yard isn't large it was overgrown. Way, overgrown.  The bougainvillea was at least 12 high and equally as wide.  The rose bushes were also totally overgrown and surrounded by weeds. Joey and I have been very adept at ignoring this mess in the front.  The bougainvillea was a great landmark for friends looking for our house and the rose bushes each had one, yes one, flower on them so we couldn't trim them. We both toyed with the idea of doing yard work, but didn't get much further than ordering a lot of gardening tools and a few paris of really cute gardening gloves on Amazon. Once the items arrived we displayed them decoratively in our office and eventually hid them away in the garage.  Maybe if we just waited long enough the bougainvillea would bloom again and we could put this off until next year.  Well, we couldn't.

Yesterday I decided that I was going to tackle this hideous project. I took the day off and had it all planned out. When I woke up I was not very thrilled at the task ahead of me. However, I was excited to try on those cute gloves, so I had some motivation.  Downstairs I went and set up my tools. Well, it wasn't that easy, I had to find them and they were hidden behind other Amazon purchases we had made. Ah! There they are! I set up all my tools neatly in a row and tried on the gloves.  They're elbow length and quite glamorous. I stood there admiring myself for a moment. "This isn't so bad." I thought. "In fact, it's quite manly and fashionable all at once!" Armed in my glamour I went out to tackle those bushes.

They yard work was typical pruning, pulling, sweeping and cleaning up. Not much different than when I was a kid. Something was different, though. I found myself actually enjoying this. With each clip I liked it more and more and before I knew it I was finished. I didn't wasn't to be finished, though. I wanted to do more. I liked it!

At that moment I realized that you're never too old to try discover things, even for the second time. We are constantly changing and growing and something that we didn't like before might just be something we love now. I wonder what else is out there for me to rediscover? I'll think about that over my bowl of Life cereal.


Colin Doyle February 25, 2012 at 6:50 PM  

Oh, I love yardwork! The only thing I'm missing is a yard!

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About Sean & Joey

Joey and I are just a couple of guys living in San Francisco. I love cooking and we both like trying new things. Planning our meals is one of our "together" things. I hope you enjoy our blog! - Sean


This blog is dedicated to the two most important people in my life - my mom, Ernee Jean O'Brien, and my partner Joey Concepcion. They both have showered me with unconditional support and love and have always encouraged me to be myself. I will always miss my mom and I don't know what I would do without Joey.

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