Tuesday, August 14, 2018

I Think the Universe is Trying to Send Me a Message

I have been on fire for a solid week now. I cleaned my house and I've kept it clean. I've been riding my Peloton bike. I started cleaning out and packing up my dad's things and I'm almost done. I've even cut my yard a couple of times, post injury.

I just cut my yard on Sunday night and last night I was finishing a piece when my daughter comes up to me with a sign that the City of Houston left in my yard. I don't mean one of those little yellow notes on my door. I'm talking about a big yellow legit sign with a wooden stake that they stuck in my front yard kind of sign. The kind that announces to the whole neighborhood and anybody driivng by that you're a messy person, like they can't already see that for themselves.


My Half Cut Yard on Sunday Night

Apparently someone reported me because the weeds in the deep ditch that runs next to my house are too high. That same stupid ditch that I've told the City is too deep for me cut. It's a drainage ditch with a huge drain. They used to cut it and now they don't. There were some other things in my yard that I take full responsibility for, like a pile of branches. Those are me procrastinating and then cutting my ankle. I called the City of Houston today and discussed this all at length. The lady confirmed that a neighbor called it in.

My other theory is that the people who are always trying to buy my house think I'm poor and that they can bully me into selling by bogging me down with fees. I've heard that's a tactic. Or it could be the people trying to sell their house across the street. Whoever it was, the City is now involved and I guess I've been warned. I'm all out of time extensions in life to get this stuff done around my house.

As if all of that wasn't enough...when I went to help turn on the water for Miranda so she could take a shower (she had surgery on August 1 and she isn't at 100% yet) I found a mouse in the tub. Yes... a mouse.

Before you start totally judging me, since I just told you I got a City violation notice, and as if that isn't bad enough, I have an old house and it's Houston. My house was built in 1940 and it's on pier and beam. A mouse got in somehow and it found its way into my bath tub. Seth said the cats are just for show and I'm thinking of firing their asses. They did nothing when they saw the mouse and they ran out of the restroom.

It scurried around and around trying to get out to no avail. I freaked out and screamed. The kids came running with a bat and a golf club. We didn't want to bludgeon it or drown it, the only two possible options. We got the idea off the internet to put glue across a cardboard. That didn't work. Finally I thought of emptying out my "Jar of Happiness" from 2017 and Miranda told me to put peanut butter in it.

It got so excited that it almost made the jump out of the tub and we didn't want it getting out and running around the house. Miranda thought of putting cooking oil around the inside of the tub. That way the mouse would slip when it tried running up the side again. That worked. We were at our wits end when the mouse finally got tired, or was trying to find a way to get away, and it ran into the jar. Miranda immediately covered the top with a piece of cardboard to keep it inside. She carried it outside and released it across the street.

The irony was not lost on me that we caught the mouse in the "Jar of Happiness." I thought about how we filled that jar in 2017, but once 2018 started off on the wrong foot I never started a new one. Maybe the Universe is sending me a message. Maybe that mouse was a sign and catching it in that specific jar was a sign that I need to start a new happiness jar to get on with this year.

I'm now halfway to 49, the last birthday in my 40s, and that in itself is significant. I need to stop keeping a list of all the bad things that have happened to me in 2018 and I need to keep a record of all the good things from now until my 49th birthday in February. I have literally been carrying a list around in my Franklin planner of all the bad things that have happened to me in the last 12 months. I pulled it out, ripped it up and threw it away today.  I need to hit the Reset button and put myself into a different mindset. Thank you City of Houston and mouse. Universe, I hear you loud and clear.

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

It's Never Too Much or Too Long to Mourn

Is nearly six months too long to mourn? Different cultures have different traditions. Although there are the set days of mourning governed by society, be it 40 days or 3 years, your heart doesn't have a clock.

I was given three days of bereavement by my workplace and if I needed more I probably would have had to take vacation days. Don't get me wrong, I appreciated the time, but in the US we are expected to get over it and move on. I wish someone had told my heart and my mind that too. I've survived because I had to. I had to jump right back into work because I'd already been off for about a week, when my father was in the hospital.

I also had to keep going with the kids doing all those things I had to do with them and being a mom. This summer alone has been busy with summer programs, a short vacation to the Hill Country, visiting colleges, Driver's Ed, and now senior pictures before school starts in three weeks.

I wrote about that in May and how I felt paralyzed. Then I was trying to get back into the swing of things when I cut my ankle. I haven't run in months and I hadn't really really cleaned since before my dad died. Forget about packing up my dad's room... 

Then finally something happened this week. The catalyst was this damn bike. After being targeted with ads, from billboards, to direct mail, to digital ads, and commercials on my Hulu, I broke down and bought a Peloton.


I had been looking at the cost of gym memberships for the three of us and the cost was a bit much, unless I joined the local, one location, Y. I was on the fence about what to do when the Peloton ad on Hulu found me during a moment of weakness. They got me with their 0 down and 0% interest and I bought the bike.

Then the realization hit me that the bike was going to be delivered by human strangers who were going to have to enter my house and that I needed to clean. The living room had become a wasteland of junk and legos that had spilled out from their original corner. We had a lot of work on our hands, (seriously) but with the help of the kids I finally overcame my paralysis and I cleaned my kitchen, living room and dining room.

I feel so good now! It felt so good to come home today and to see clean rooms. It's like a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders and  I feel like I'm on a roll. My goal is to start packing up my dad's room this week. Once I can do that I can move on to each task on my list and the list is long! It will be nice to set up Seth's furniture in that bedroom and to help him decorate it. Cleaning these three main rooms really makes me feel like, what are two more rooms downstairs?

I won't even talk about the second floor yet but there's a goal for those two rooms too. Yes, I'm still sad and I know that packing my dad's things is going to be hard, but moving forward in my life is healing.