I had to laugh today…a gentleman came in today and started explaining to me that he needed a fertilizer that had high phosphorous in it. He kept saying how it had to have a high middle number. On most fertilizers their will be three numbers on it like 19-12-10. The numbers stand for Nitrogen-Phosphorous-Potassium. I remember the numbers by thinking up-down-all around. Nitrogen is good for top growth, phosphorous promotes root growth and potassium helps both. Sometimes a fertilizer will have a fourth number, that number stands for micro-nutrients. Anyways, I asked him how much square footage he has to cover. He had 70,000 square feet. Next I asked him what exactly he needed it for and why it was so important to have high phosphorous.  Do you wanna know what he did to it? He mistook round-up for fertilizer and had sprayed his entire lawn with it. My mouth dropped and my eyes got wide…I just looked at him, made a cringing face and was like…”ooooooohhhh..”. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be him the moment he realized what he had done.  He thought that if he got a fertilizer with high phosphorous he might be able to bring it back since there was some signs of the blue grass still being alive. At minimum for the the fertilizer alone he would be looking at 750 smackaroonies to cover all that ground and their was still no guarantee that his lawn would come back.

NOT FERTILIZER!!! Haha...

I thought I was having a bad day because I lost power steering  in my car the other day and will in all likelihood be facing down another garage bill in a few days here.  Not only was this guy having to fix his 70,000 square foot rounded-up lawn, he probably had undergone a pretty big kick to the ol’ pride for pulling off such a ridiculous move.  He must have felt a bit silly trying to explain to his wife what he had done and then realize how much money it would cost to try and fix the lawn. If the fertilizer doesn’t work he can look at topdressing and over-seeding or more extremely he would have to rototill his yard and re-seed or lay down sod…its hard to take care of an area of lawn that big.

I guess I just know for myself that I would have been feeling a bit sheepish about it all. I admired him for being able to just address it with a matter of fact kind of attitude.  For a lot of people its hard to admit when you make a mistake, its hard to face up to the dumb things you do sometimes. We all like to go home and talk about the great things we did that day. Most of us like to stay away from talking about all the dumb things we did. For instance, if you asked me about my day today, I’d rather tell you about the 2000 dollar sale I made, or how I surprised some old guy with a Dutch accent that I was taking out on a tree tour by speaking Dutch to him. I don’t really want to tell you how I was a bum to get out of bed today so I was late for work.  I don’t want to tell you how twice today I forgot to take down a tree row number and once forgot to write down the caliper size of the tree for the invoice. I don’t really want to tell you about the times that I quote the wrong price to a contractor calling in. It’s embarrassing when you make mistakes.

Its hard for us to be honest with ourselves, even harder to be open about it with other people. It’s much easier to brag about the good stuff we do. Its so funny how one of the first sins after the fall into sin was some serious blame shifting. Eve was feeling the heat and so tried to point the finger at Adam.  Lets face it, we all do the same thing. We try to save our own ass.  My instinct even when I was telling you about my mistakes and shortcomings today was to make up some excuse how I was thinking about my car and had lots on my mind today,to tell you that my brain was in the clouds, so OBVIOUSLY its okay I made those mistakes.  I hide behind my character flaws sometimes. “Everyone knows I’m a procrastinator”. “I’m not a morning person”.  “I forgot to eat breakfast, I just wasn’t functioning properly”. We all make excuses for ourselves when really we need to learn to face ourselves and recognize when we’re trying to make our mistakes and sins okay. Also, it makes us all a little bit less intimidating and more human to each other when we know that we all make mistakes. I’ve always thought it was interesting how you can talk to just about anyone and they can tell you about some idiot at work. Very rarely does anyone ever go home and talk about how they were the idiot at work that day. Intriguing huh. At any rate, I admired the man’s pluck for just biting the bullet and coming to the service center for some advice knowing full well he was gonna get some funny looks and some “oooohhhh’s” .  We all need to work on being a little bit more honest with ourselves and with eachother. We all need to work on making mistakes with dignity, humbleness, and personally, I think we need to make mistakes with a sense of humor. I know I would have been able to laugh at myself at some point pretty hard if I rounded up my entire lawn. Haha…makes me laugh now just thinking about it again. I don’t think that you need to confess every mistake to everyone. Sometimes its beneficial to just ponder on a mistake on our own and decide to do better next time and bring our failings and mistakes before God. Sometimes we make big obvious mistakes that others can see, then its crunch time and I would suggest walking through the aftermath of your mistakes honestly. Don’t point fingers or blame shift. Learn to shoulder the responsibility of your own mistakes. Last but not least learn to bring mistakes before God and ask him for the strength and dignity to admit and deal with your mistakes.

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