We live in a third story apartment, right under a ginormous pine tree. It gorgeous, the pine works wonders on our lungs, and it provides great shade when we want to sit outside and feel the breeze.
But it is a pollen monster!
Literally. Honestly, our entire neighborhood is full of gigantic pollen producing trees, but we feel it the hardest right at our own “backdoor”.
Since March, my balcony has been awash in yellow dust. It was almost scary, and very uncomfortable. Every inch– the walls, the rails, the rocking chairs– was yellow! Every time we attempted to sit outside, we’d come back COVERED in pollen (which is quite tasty by the way, lol).
I allowed it to accumulate, partly because it had still been too cold to sit on the balcony anyway, and partly because I was honestly terrified of all the bugs hiding in the pine needles, leaves and spider webs! Eek!
Nevertheless, I have a spring cleaning checklist, and the balcony was on it. So yesterday I decided I would just do it, especially since we’re seeing some consistent warm weather now. I wiped it down, swept away the debris, sanitized everything, and voila! It’s like a new(ish) balcony!
How easy was that?
Now, I’m sitting out here as I type this, rocking in my rocking chair, sneezing because the pollen isn’t letting up, and enjoying the way the sunlight falls through the leaves in mosaic patches. I looked over at some of my neighbors’ balconies, and thought about how much cleaning they’re going to have to do.
Not because of the size differences, which aren’t much, but because of how much furniture they all have outside. My husband and I only have two rocking chairs and a small rug on our balcony. That’s literally it. Nothing else.
For a period in time, mostly last summer, I was quite envious of my neighbors. They have string lights that glow so warmly on toasty summer nights, big cozy sofas, bar carts, and some even have tables and small bookshelves. I’ve spent a lot of time designing our balcony in my head, and looking at designs I like on Pinterest.
But as I sat down today to enjoy a finally clean balcony, I was so thankful of how simple, easy and quickly I was able to get it clean. As opposed to having tables, shelves, and lights that most certainly need replacing by now.
And yes, you guessed it: my neighbors’ balconeis are STILL yellow!
Cleaning the balcony with so much decor and furniture is sure to be an all day affair. And yet, because we don’t have much of anything on ours, it took me less than 30 minutes.
Would I mind having to clean a little bit longer just because I have more furnishings? Probably not. I personally enjoy cleaning, especially being able to wipe (something about those motions!!!). However, am I glad that I only had a few basic tasks and two chairs to clean? Yup! I am. I’m not going to lie.
Even though I enjoyed cleaning my balcony, I enjoy even more actually being able to sit on it. That’s what matters. And here we are in May, and those who have all this stuff, can’t even sit on their balcony yet because the pollen is so extreme, and everything they have will need some serious attention.
I thanked Yah upon this revelation. Something so small was so enlightening. Balcony decor is just not in our budget right now, honestly. But I can still enjoy it just the same, as proven by the enjoyment I’m having now even as I type.
This is the truth for any of the other things other people have that I think I want: professional portraits (something I’m dying to get), a Bichon Frise (hey, don’t judge), an interior designer. These things are great, but can be costly, and require a much higher degree of maintenance. And I simply don’t have the time, money or desire to be tending to discretionary things each waking moment.
To whom much is given, much is required.Luke 12:48
I feel a greater appreciation for the small things and our current lifestyle, because I am barely, by His Grace, managing what we have. We’re praying to conceive another child and to buy a house, but I can’t help but want this little moment to last a little longer (if it means holding off on sleepless nights and inevitable costly home repairs).
More things make things more complicated! The simplicity of frugality is looking more and more appealing with each day that I show gratitude for what I have, instead of looking at others’.
I realize this doesn’t even just apply to ‘things’, but can be applicable internally as well. I’m eager to master various intruments, or become fluent in a few of my favorite languages. Sure this might enlighten and even beautify my mind (like balcony decor), and may even become an asset for my family. But for now, I can honestly say my mind and soul has enough to indulge, and I am learning to be content with my current talents without needing to stretch myself too far or spread too thin.
What’s something you want but are glad you don’t have just quite yet? Or something you now have that has proven to be just as much a responsibility as it is a pleasure?