May 5th Lesson: Choosing the Positive Path

I woke up with a chip on my shoulder. I do this sometimes. I wake up with one idea in my head and I ruin the rest of my day. I’ve heard before that you need to just choose your attitude, not let it choose you. Easier said than done, right? I went to bed mad about a conversation with my husband, and I woke up still mad the next day. This is why I don’t ever stand my ground with him – because he has a perspective from the inside of an armpit and I’m left blinking furiously every time, seriously wondering if I’m crazy. I am not. I’m actually very reasonable and mild mannered. I cannot allow his words continue to make a negative impact on me.

And so I consciously chose not to not let that happen.

Yesterday I had two main goals: Mow the lawn and spend time with some friends.

The bigger goal: Don’t let him ruin my day.

Let’s start with the damn lawn. I’ve lived here for over 11 years. When my husband was here, he always mowed and weed whacked. I maintained the flower beds. I’ve mowed the yard twice in the whole 11 years, and according to my husband, I messed up something  both times. The first time I didn’t have the lawn bag on the mower correctly so there were grass clippings all of the yard. The second time, I mowed over an outdoor outlet in the  middle of backyard (what, it was covered by long grass so I didn’t see it). I never mowed the lawn because I didn’t have to and he already set the tone that I didn’t know how to properly do it, so that was that.

One of the biggest attractions about this house when we bought it is that it is in the middle of the city with a BIGGER yard. Now this wonderful big yard is long and full of dandelions. The lawn care episode of the day started like this: I got the lawn mower own, got it started (proud moment – this is a feat for my skinny arms), mowed one strip of grass, and it stopped working.

I took the mower in the backyard so that my neighbors couldn’t see me losing my shit. And yes, there was gas in it. It took numerous times to get it restarted and a few tears. Eventually I learned that this cranky old mower has some quirks of its own. You have to pay attention to its sounds and adjust to it. Eventually, I had the entire lawn mowed. I was tired, my arm hurt from pulling the start string, and I was dirty. I don’t like being dirty. Most importantly though – I was proud. I did it. My kids got to see me not give up and get it done.

Later on my husband came over to get the kids. I pre-scolded him about how he wasn’t going to sabotage my night out with my friends. He didn’t fight back much. He must’ve known I meant it because I didn’t get one sabotage text or call like I normally do. I went to my friend’s house where a few of us laughed loudly, drank margaritas, and ate entirely too many chips and dips. It was much-needed friend time.

I mowed the entire yard for the first time and I spent quality fun time with my friends. And I didn’t let him ruin it for me. I had a positive and fun day. I did it. I learned to choose what I want to happen.

Stifle Me Not

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