Thursday, July 21, 2011

Perfect Placement

I'd forgotten the joy of living with a watering system you have to move.

Simply put, I got lazy. In Old Home, the watering system was installed and on a timer. All I needed to do was, well, nothing. Replace batteries, possibly, and sit and listen to the sound of the sprinklers engaging at 0630 in the morning.

Fast forward to New Home, where the sprinklers are not installed and watering is moved about on a MHU (Mobile Human Unit), i.e. me.

Due to the continuing lack of precipitation in our area, we have limited watering hours and days as well. Therefore, on my allotted days I trudge out to the front or back either as soon as I get home or early in the morning and drag hose and sprinkler around to cover my "zones" and insure everything has the minimum amount of water required to keep it going through (hopefully) the next big rain, which should have happened two months ago.

The area that gives me the most hassle is that in the very front of my yard, where the yard and street intersect. There's always a careful balance between getting right to the edge of the lawn and overlapping into the street. One doesn't want to water too much into the street (lest one appears a water hog), yet one doesn't want to water too far away from it, because the edge of the water will not fall to the edge of the lawn and I'll lose the grass I have so painfully tried to save.

It's about Perfect Placement: the placement of the sprinkler at just the right position so that everything gets watered without too much waste.

But (and there's always a but with me), the same is true of life.

Much of what we call "time management" is simply a non-corporeal version of watering our lawns. We attempt to move the sprinkler of our lives in such a way that we try to cover everything yet don't waste too much time on the street of wasted effort, where such time just rolls down into the storm drain (and thence, wherever used time flows to). We think the difficulty is that we have to get that perfect placement to cover everything and insure it gets hit with the sprinkler.

The reality is that (much like my lawn) getting perfect placement for large coverage is always going to be a bit beyond our ability. We'll always either be a bit too much on one, or a bit too little on another, or maybe miss a patch altogether as we busily move the sprinkler around our lawns, trying to ensure everything stays green.

I wonder (mostly to myself) if we've missed the boat a bit.

There are three ways to ensure full coverage of a lawn (or our time):
1) Install an automatic system;
2) Make sure our placement is perfect each and every time we water;
3) Get a smaller lawn.

We often shoot for 1 or 2. Automation is the key to everything - and if not, the key is to figure a system to ensure we get everything just enough to keep it alive. We don't often consider 3 - get a smaller lawn.

Smaller lawns, like smaller gardens or small circles of time use, allow us to lavish attention on them rather than have to rush through watering or trying to get "just enough" water on them. Likewise, when we focus ("The noble are of not getting things done" - Yutang Lin) what we often find is those things are actually richer and more fruitful that our scattered efforts to ensure that everything stays somewhat green. With the same amount of care and water, one can have a beautiful yellow rose bush (HT Vintage Chick) or an acre of weeds. The effort is the same; it's the space and amount that are different.

I'm off to move water again. Interestingly, the places I use the smaller sprinkler grown better than the ones with the larger sprinkler. Volume of water on the space, I think.

Maybe there really is something there.

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