Category Archives: Positive Attitude

May 17th Lesson: Pulling My Thought Weeds and Proud Me

I did yard work from 10 am to 5 pm today. I took a break for lunch and put my son down for a nap, but I was on a mission. I wanted to fully weed the flower beds so I can put flowers in and mulch down tomorrow. Then I mowed the entire yard.

All I could think as I was weeding is that it was like navigating thoughts. If you don’t consistently get rid of the bad weeds, they will take over the flower bed and everything will be a mess. If you consistently pull out the bad weeds, it may be constant work, but its manageable and the flower bed stays maintained.

Okay, I’m over analyzing weeds. I need to get a life.

I’ve been trying to not be negative lately. Sometimes its hard to stay positive, and I don’t think I really have to be all “I’m great!” and be all overly positive. I sort of just want to punch overly positive people in the face. How negative is that? Anyway, I’ve been trying to just not let negativity overtake my mind. Yesterday was rough because I was feeling nothing but rejection from every direction. Today I was overthinking and making weed analogies, but at least I don’t feel like an emotional pile of dog poop.

By the time I was done weeding, it was 4 pm and I was beat. My back was aching from being bent over all day. My quads were on fire since I literally did squats all day. And my hands felt like they were in a permanent state of carpel tunnel. So what did I do next?

I mowed the lawn.

I’ve already mentioned that I’m a lawn mowing newbie. This is only like the fourth time I’ve mowed the lawn on my own. Yes, ever. I was 21 years old when I met my husband. I lived in some sort of apartment and rented throughout most of my 20s. I was 27 years old when we bought the house I live in now. And 11 years later, this is the only house that I’ve ever personally owned, and I just never had to mow the lawn. I have always been the housekeeper and the gardener, but not usually the lawn maintenance person.

I may talk about lawn mowing like 50 more times on my blog, so let’s just prep you for that right now.

I feel like I’m finally starting to get the hang of it. My not-yet-but-soon-to-be-ex-husband took the kids to the park so it was just me and lawn mower. Mr. Lawn Mower started up on the first attempt and I happily trotted around the yard like I finally knew what I was doing. I even knew when the bag was full of grass and emptied it before blasting grass clumps all over my lawn.

As I moved to the backyard, I just couldn’t help but be glad that I’m in decent physical shape. This day kicked my ass, but I could handle it. I was counting my blessings that I have a healthy fit body,. This crap is hard work. I will say that I have a newfound respect for all the work my husband has been doing on the yard all these years, but he’s double my weight and has quite a bit more muscle mass, so whatever.

It makes me happy when I’m able to get something done that I don’t usually do. It makes me even happier when my not-yet-but-soon-to-be-ex-husband brought the kids home and told me the yard looked nice (with a look on his face like damn, she’s actually is doing it). I really don’t care if he gives me compliments anymore. I don’t trust anything he says. But I still know what he’s thinking. I know what the look on his face was when he gazed out the back door at the nicely mowed lawn.

So, after six long hard hours of yard work, I learned that today I’m proud of myself with my new lawn mowing capability. I know I’m not the first woman on the face of the earth to mow a lawn because her shitty almost ex-husband no longer lives there, but it’s my own little proud moment, so I’ll let that little light shine.

Stifle Me Not

May 16th Lesson: The Rejection is Taking its Toll

It has been 6 months since I discovered my husband’s secrets. That was a big rejection for me. For my own well-being, I had to reject him.

It’s been almost 3 months since I was laid off, being rejected from my own place of employment (that I didn’t care for overall, but needed the paycheck).

It is a regular basis that I get automated emails telling me that I’m rejected (in so many words) from yet another potential place of employment.

It is May. It is nice weather. This is the month every year when I start running, but I’m not feeling well. My body is tired, my sinuses are clogged, my head hurts. My body is rejecting me.

You would think that clearing all of this negative energy from my life would help lift me up, and some days it does, but I am learning that all the rejection is taking its toll on my body, mind, and spirit.

“I will get through it,” says my stubborn brain to all of this rejection.

Stifle Me Not

May 14th Lesson: The Magical Oil that Brought Peace of Mind

I have been combing through my daughter’s hair for exactly one month now since discovering Head Bug Epidemic 2.0. As of tonight’s combing session, I’m confident that she is bug and nit-free. I was fairly sure all was fine about a week ago, but those creepy little bugs (and the mess they leave behind) instill the utmost paranoia and anxiety in me. So I overdue the number of weeks of combing.

They seriously make me crazy and make me cry. I’m pretty sure I cried the first full week. The actual bug itself is creepy, but I don’t usually cry over bugs alone. It is the amount of work it takes with combing and preventing re-infestation that really makes me cry.

This time I discovered a new natural oil, Neem oil. It repels them AND it kills them. It is a such a stinky oil, but I swear it works. I read about it online and ordered some on Amazon. Peace of mind is everything.  The Neem oil really helped with that – and my gosh the smell alone was a reminder that it was working to repel anything that may want to live on our heads. It really does smell awful.

I could go into the whole story about Head Bug Epidemic 2.0, but I really just want to leave it in the past right now. I do have some tips for dealing with it that I’ll share in a later post. For now, I just want to give my daughter big hugs and continue to repel any unwanted head visitors going forward.

What’s my biggest lesson of the day (and the entire month)? Use Neem oil regularly to keep that crap away from our hair. We had some stinky hair, but it sure was soft! I will always keep a stash of that oil in our house.

Stifle Me Not

May 11th Lesson: I’ve Got This

Today I mowed the yard again. It was easier this time. The mower started right away and never stalled once. That was nice. It’s been a week since the last time I mowed, which was frustrating as all hell.

Are you all sick of me talking about yard work yet? It’s damn metaphor for my life right now. I can’t help it.

I was never one of those women that was all “I don’t mow the lawn” just because I couldn’t mow the lawn. It was because my husband always just did it. There was no big discussion where I announced that I wouldn’t or couldn’t do it, and he never said that I couldn’t or shouldn’t do it. He never cleaned the bathroom, and I never mowed the lawn. There were just some tasks that we each owned and didn’t share. I certainly wouldn’t have been sad if he cleaned a toilet as I’m sure he’d be quite happy if I mowed the lawn (correctly, his way).

So here I was today, confidently strolling through the yard with my non-stalling lawnmower. I didn’t even mow over anything dumb, like a bunch of rocks. Before I knew it, I was done. I gave myself some positive self-talk before I started and that may have helped.

I know that the next time I mow, it may not go as smoothly. There may be some challenge. But for now, I’ve got this. I can do this. Today I learned that I’ve got this.

Stifle Me Not

May 10th Lesson: Timing is Everything

Today I was in a big funk. I didn’t do anything particularly productive.

Wait, I did fold three loads of laundry. And I did apply to two jobs.

I spent entirely too much time on the cover letter for one. It drained me. Cover letter writing shouldn’t drain me, but it does. When I’ve been a hiring manager in the past, I hate reading the cover letter and go straight to the resume. I was trying to make it not suck. Trying not to suck is tiring. Like “Hey, I don’t suck, here are my skills and experience, but I’m not boring, wait, I have a personality, but not too much that I seem desperate, and oh I like your company, and I’ll fit into your culture, and do you like me enough to call me yet?”

So after doing a whole lot of nothing this morning, 3 loads of laundry, and two job applications, I was just a little over being stuck in this no-job rut. I’ve been trying to make the most of my time “off” by spending quality time with my kids, doing some much-needed yard work, cleaning out weird shit in the house that is long overdue (like the freezer was disgusting, ew).

After I put my son down for his nap, I cried pity party tears of frustration and was overwhelmed by my own unknown future. I just like to just get things done. Too much thinking gets me to over thinking which gets me into trouble. I let myself have my pity party, and then went back to checking various social media sites entirely too much. And in the midst of my despair I saw a new email from a company that I had talked to at the end of April. It was just a phone screen interview with the recruiter, so I knew the next step was either a rejection or a phone call with the hiring manager.

Before opening the email, I braced myself because the first sentence started out with “Sorry…”, but it was the beginning of a quick apology for them taking so long to get back to me. It was a positive email from the recruiter asking about my availability next week for a second phone interview with the hiring manager.

My tears of self-pity instantly vanished and I had a little ray of hope again. I can do this, I just need to hold on a little bit longer. And this is one of the jobs I actually liked and hoped for a call back.

The funny thing about this position is that a similar situation happened in April. I had just gotten a rejection email from another company, I went into pity party mode, and the next thing I knew I was reading an email from this current company asking for a first phone interview.

Today I learned that sometimes timing is everything and you just have to wait. It may not work out, but then again it might. Let’s stay positive for this one. I want this one.

Stifle Me Not

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