Whenever it happens that I think about greener grass, I also consider the headaches that come along with it. What happens if it fades and turns yellow? What about invasive weeds? And, what happens when the neighbor’s unsupervised dog decides to use it as a toilet. (One man’s treasure, some dog’s urinal) Maybe then, after much anxiety, you decide to put up a big fence just for peace of mind.

There’s not much to worry about with a yard full of weeds and bald patches. The dog manure may even help. But the appeal of a perfect lawn can be great. So great in fact, I almost sprung $2000 for one a few years back before realizing that I could grow my own for about $300. And so I did. The result was a casual sun-and-shade mix with a few stubborn thin spots. It’s not a perfect lawn, but it’s a lawn that makes me happy and free from many other anxieties.

I reflected on these thoughts while walking through my neighborhood after a 5k run, and was reminded of two important things I had learned over the years. The first was something my dad once told me: if you can’t afford to replace the new Porsche you just bought, you can’t afford at all. The second came from someone who felt guilty about his desire for greener grass and for abandoning his previous yard for the lush green garden that is his current life. Knowing full well the depths of his past struggles, I simply replied, “The yard you had before didn’t even have grass to begin with. It’s okay to want grass.”