L.A.F.F. LAW ADVOCACY FAMILY FINANCE A monthly newsletter providing your family with insight about the law and finance (with an occasional dose of humor) from your friends and advocates at DuPont Wealth Solutions and the Law Offices of DuPont and Blumenstiel.
I FOUGHT THE LAWN AND THE LAWN WON
Around this time of year, gardening enthusiasts everywhere begin to receive magazines and catalogs in the mail, full of planting advice and ambitious landscaping ideas. These publications used to get me fired up! However, through some introspection and a lot of wilted lettuce, I’ve since decided to leave the lawn work to the professionals.
Nowadays, my gardening is restricted to puttering around. I still receive the same glossy magazines in the mail, but I’ve learned to regard their pictures and advice as suspect. I still keep a vegetable patch, though it grows more modest every year. I used to plant squash, peppers, tomatoes, and the aforementioned lettuce every year. Now I struggle just to get tomatoes in the ground before Memorial Day. Some people may find it ironic that a fiduciary and financial planner would have a hard time gardening. After all, the whole financial industry is steeped in agricultural metaphor: seed money, growing your investments, planning a fruitful retirement. You’d think the skills would translate better between the two practices, right? Well, it all goes back to my point about mundanity. Both financial planning and gardening demand a high tolerance for minutiae. You need to be able to have a deep and lasting interest in the little, detail-oriented facets of your craft day in and
“THE YARD WAS A BLANK
day out. It’s possible to possess that sort of passion for finance but lack it in gardening, and vice versa. That’s why I have a gardener, and my gardener has me! Still, as I write this, I feel that old, familiar excitement growing in me. If I’m being honest, I already Googled the price of tomato stakes at my local hardware store. And nothing beats the taste of a garden-fresh tomato in the middle of summer. If any of my clients with a green thumb out there have advice on how to keep these vines growing, please email me!
CANVAS, ONE THAT MY BURPEE CATALOG AND I WOULD TURN INTO A VIRIDIAN PARADISE.”
When Julia and I first got our house, it was new. There was no planting or landscaping to speak of. The yard was a blank canvas, one that my Burpee catalog and I would turn into a viridian paradise. Each year, I started the spring with pep in my step, embarking on the most ambitious projects I could find.
To your fruitful future,
But when it came to the mundane, everyday maintenance of pruning and watering, my enthusiasm waned. For 20 years, I labored in futility, watching the dreams of April die on the vine in August. Finally, I decided to hire one of my clients to do my yard work. That was a liberating decision. He does great work, and my back doesn’t ache as badly anymore.
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