Revelations: Relationships and Yard Work let’s talk real. I am not a psychologist. I do not have a degree.

Yet we attended the school of hard knocks, and we learned. So I think that qualifies us.

 What am I talking about. Life. In whole. My sister, Shannon stated it well when she quoted Gumpism with “life is like a box of chocolates….” But what the REAL challenge is this….what you do with those individuals.

I’ve come across many types of people in my life. From immature, to mature. From toddlers, to adults. From parents, to step-parents (me included), to those who had no biological children of their own (again my hand is raised here.) From those who are grown, to those who will never grow up. What have I learned? That Whitman’s could never make an assortment big enough to accommodate.

 Most of us live our lives to survive. Whether we want emotional growth, mental health or financial stability. We work on what’s important to us. Some take this too far and forget that others are around them. Part of what is now called the “Me Generation.”

Others do what we can to teach the people around us how to properly behave around us. What they do on their own time, or what they are allowed to do around others is on them. Not us. But we hope they take the lesson on further. I’ve learned to live my life as happily as I can. I do so with the utmost care of trying to it’s never at the expense of others. I try to live my life without regret. A lesson I started to learn at 19 when I lost someone very close to me, who was only 21. His lesson he tried to teach others in his short life. One I promised to try to live up to after his death. And one, I’d like to boast, I’ve done pretty well holding up to. Not to say there isn’t things in my past I wish had not occurred. But they were learning curves more than regrets.

Another thing I’ve learned is something my ex mother-in-law taught me. It was a simple “10 rules to a happy marriage” slip of paper that sat on our fridge for the duration. What were they? Heck if I remember, but I do remember rule #7. NEVER YELL AT EACH OTHER UNLESS THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE. Well, I think this rule applies to any relationship. Nothing ever gets accomplished that way. I almost always take a step back. Calm myself. Think clearly as to what I’m about to say before I begin the conversation. So that it’s just that. A conversation, not a “who can be louder, more hurtful or more obnoxious than the other.” Also things get said in the heat of the moment that are not meant, and can never be taken back. Something my boyfriend taught me on our first go run 23 years ago “bones and bruises heal, but the mind never does.” He’s right. I may forget a bruise from running into the coffee table. But I’ll never forget when someone’s mouth opened to spit expletives and horrible name calling at me, then try later to say “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it.” Riiiiight. Next?

I believe if you think clearly, take out emotion, and calmly speak with others…your point can be made, you’ll only say things you mean, and the need for “I’m sorry” can be left for proper placement.

Life has as more curves than Marilyn Monroe. More bumps and ruts than that city street that could swallow a small child, if left unattended. More strikes than a perfectly pitched Nolan Ryan baseball game. And more fumbles and fouls than a pee-wee league football game. And that’s without adding relationships to the mix. Seriously? To quote a cartoon short I so cannot remember the name of “will the pain ever stop?” Short answer….nope., I view relationships like yard maintenance. All relationships. Siblings. Parents. Significant others. Friends. Yuuup. All of them. You can’t tend it to perfection in one day. It’s an accumulative event. Also, it doesn’t stay that way. You must do upkeep and maintenance. Hence the word. It’s something that needs to be worked on every day.

Now, I’m not saying get into that yard every day, mow the lawn, trim the hedges, edge the grass and rake the leaves. No. Just like going full board into your relationship every day will probably make the other person think you need a little vacation in the big locked up place with other people wearing your matching “I love me” jacket. I know I would.

What I’m saying is, if you see a piece of paper in your yard…pick it up, throw it away. (Unless you live here in New Mexico. Count to 3, before you start your count, it’ll be blown into your neighbors yard. Their problem now, lol) Just like reaching out at least once a week to family, or friends. Just to say hi. I read something once that blew my mind. Can’t quote, but will give breakdown. “I was thinking about Jim today, wonder how he’s doing? I’ll call him tomorrow. 2 years pass by. Saw something that reminded me of Jim today. I wonder how he’s doing? I’ll call him tomorrow. 4 years pass by. The funniest thing happened today, I know Jim would love it. I wonder how he’s doing? I’ll have to call him this weekend. 5 years pass by. You finally get around to calling Jim, his wife answers. She informs you that Jim died of cancer 3 years ago.” It’s the little things, folks.

Each and every day, we mean something to someone. Just as they mean something to us. Break-ups and divorces. There’s something you see every day. The marriage to divorce ratio in this country is astronomical…..REALLY? Is that a possible to keep up? I mean if more people are getting divorced than married? WTF? Yes, people, I know. I was making a funny. The saddest part is the percentage of those people getting married, of how many will last until natural death (by which I mean one did not kill the other lol.)

Listen, we know life is hard. DUH! we’re living it. The truly hard part is dealing with it. Facing problems head on, and not taking the easy route and running. Yes, you saw me mention “ex mother-in-law.” I am divorced. We did not run. We did not take the easy way out. We realized that was the getting married part. Another thing about being a grown up. Realizing your mistakes, and correcting them. So, 4 years and 16 days later, we were back where we started. Single and friends. He re-married after much counseling to correct some issues. Had a son. And met a very unfortunately untimely early death in November of 2005. Goddess rest his soul.…so where was I? Right, relationships and yard maintenance. Imagine your relationship is your yard. A surprise flower now and again, trimming the vine that smacks you in the face as you exit your front door. A much coveted music CD as a “just cuz” gift, trimming that CatClaw bush/tree that likes to snag your sleeve and try to put you on your ass every time you pass. A box of candy in return for that surprise slip in of a bag of Bugles in his lunch, like digging up the goat head plants that stick to everything including teflon, to be tracked through your house and show up as a “helllloooo Dolllyyyyy” on the intimate part of the seam of your pants.

That’s the daily work. Then you have the big “spring time overhauls” which equate the big problems that can rear their ugly heads in a relationship. These are the big nasties that can cause resentment, screaming, and those sometimes “I didn’t mean it” hurtful things said. Whether it be money issues, the in-laws, the kids, work, each other or just about anything that gets your knickers knotted and crinkle your intimate bits.

Those things I refer to as “the boulders.” The things that cannot be managed by one person alone. A collaborative effort. Worked on together. If you keep shouldering that 700lb boulder in the middle of your yard by yourself, do you really think in time you’ll roll it out of your yard? Oh, you might budge it, wiggle it, or just get put on your ass out of exhaustion. But in the end…it’ll still be a 700lb boulder in the middle of your yard. Work together. Find a middle ground. What can each of you do to better the situation, change it, eradicate it or make it a perfect compromise that works for the both of you, at no loss to sense of self of course.

If you cannot do it together, call in an expert. You wouldn’t try to diagnose a disease killing your favorite tree. You’d call an arboriculturist. So when all else fails, seek help. They’ll give you the proper tools for making a wonderful yard all year long, or tell you it’s time to move to an apartment where they do their own damn grounds keeping 😉

 By the way Hunny, ahem, still waiting on that once flower? HA HA HA

 “I know I rant and rave a lot. I know sometimes people do not see eye to eye with my opinions. But what I do hope, is that I can help at least one person in their life. Then all my craziness is worth at least one thing. But what do I know, I could be wrong.”

~ Jen


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s