For half a decade, I've been the guy on the block that spends most of his warm season free time out in the lawn. I spray my weeds, fertilize, soil sample, level, remediate issues, and generally grow the lushest yard on the block. It's something I normally look forward to each spring, but five years into excited homeownership, I'm over it.

With the first cut of the year officially finished, I realize that I waste so much time in my yard every summer. Or maybe it's I've grown into other hobbies that I'd rather spend that precious free time doing instead of mowing. I really can't tell.

From the moment I moved out of the young-adult apartment and into a proper-adult single-family rental home, I started planning how my yard would someday look. Maybe a few bushes, cactus in the backyard where people can't do stupid and then sue me over it, but mostly rock and decomposed granite. I think they call it a "zero-scape."

In other words, a yard that isn't a lawn. That was the goal I set for myself some twenty years ago... but I fell off that plain somewhere along the way, and I'm trying to track it back.

Right around the time I turned thirty, I unknowingly turned the Xbox off for the last time and started enjoying things like This Old House and woodworking in the garage. This Old House turned into Ask This Old House, and all of a sudden I started giving a hoot about the lawn in the last rental I lived in.

I don't know about you, but I'm the type that goes all-in when I get a new hobby. I decided I wanted to learn lawn care, so I killed off every green patch of weedy grass around that rental home and put in a new, perfectly manicured bermuda lawn from seed. Waking up extra early to water it. Spending my lunch hours for weeks taking a midday watering trip home. Wrapping up each evening with even more watering. It was the summer I decided I just needed to buy my own house.

When I finally moved into my own home, I was ecstatic to work in my own yard. It was my lawn. Every amount of energy I put into it was mine to keep, and I lost that dream of that zero-scaped, mostly rock, a few bushes but absolutely no-grass lawn until this past weekend while I was huffing and puffing trying to scalp down six inches of dead growth leftover from last year.

By the time I was done, I remembered, I hate yard work. I've been mowing since I was six, and while it was fun when the yard was big enough for a tractor, it's not fun pushing a mower around anymore.

Does that mean I'm going to start neglecting my lawn? No. I'll still put in the work to keep it weed-free. After all, the fewer weeds you have, the less you have to mow it... But I'll probably forego the fertilizer this year.

Maybe I'm just upset at how out of shape I am after resting for the entire brutal, cold, extremely windy and snowy winter. We're used to mostly dry 60s and 70s in January and February, ideal conditions for doing driveway projects... but we didn't get that kind of weather this year, so I spent it sitting under a blanket in my recliner.

Maybe I just need to expand my flower beds to make the lawn smaller. If I can cut that cut time down to forty-five minutes a week, maybe it won't be such a pain... and it's obvious I've put little to no effort in my flower beds these past five years. Maybe this is the year I make that project happen.

I know I have to do some major fence work this year too. I need at least two new gates and there's no telling how many posts I need to think about replacing now before they break. Why we ever thought wood posts would last is beyond me.

Now there's too many big projects to focus on. Maybe I'll have more time for those if I just hired out someone to do the mowing... If you have a recommendation, let me know.

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