Wednesday, May 16, 2007

well, of course...

we've lived in our house for 17 years. right after we moved in i got a book of advice and how-tos for first time homeowners from the library. i don't remember much about this book other than this: anything that you want to do your home needs to be done in the first two years after you move in or you will never do it. how true.

when we first moved in, we had a newborn and a strict budget. that combination of circumstances meant that after we paid to have the hardwood floors refinished and painted the interior, our time and money were gone. thank goodness we knew lots of people willing to be paid for their manual labor in pizza and beer.

since those first salad days, we have done a fair number of updates to the house, mostly interior things, but recently, i've been busy in the yard. in the past i haven't done too much. this was in no small part due to the fact that my neighbor has a very ugly back yard, strewn with cast off, broken down little tykes goods (her daughters are into double digit ages now, far past the developmental stage for plastic play houses), rusty swing sets, a giant trampoline, two run down homemade dog houses, three broken barbecue pits, a deteriorating picnic table, countless trash cans and innumerable bicycles. she also seems to think that taking out one's trash, cleaning up after one's dogs or mowing one's lawn are tasks that only need be performed quarterly. so, beautifying my yard felt a bit like an exercise in futility.

something in me has snapped, though, and i am dedicating much of my time to creating a living environment (inside and surrounding my home) that reflects who and what i am.

there have been many discussions of late in the queen's household about change and what that change may signify. remember? hair length...tatooes and the like? so the hair has been shortened (i'm heading to short hair by degrees) and i've decided on a tatoo, but am waiting for a particularly significant anniversary to mark my body (more on that later). and, of course, all of that thinking lead to even more thinking.

i started to ponder what holds me back from doing the things i so often wish i was doing or hope for. often, in more ways than one, i was holding other people responsible for my contentment. "if only so and so didn't feel "X-way" then i could do {fill in the blank}. but you know what? that's just not fair.

if i love roses and forsythia and hydrangeas and azaleas and peonies, and i want to be able to cut them for a bouquet in my dining room, then it's up to me to plant then, water them, tend to them and arrange them. i refuse to wait until my neighbor cleans up her act, because that will mean that i may die before getting a garden that i love.

if i want the basement cleared out of my junk (yea, hi, there, kelly, you can use this entry against me sometime in the future when i say that it isn't ALL my junk...i know it is), then that's on me. same with cleaning the basement floor and painting it...if i'm the only one in the family that it bothers, then it's my job to do something about it.

ditto for painting the bathroom, reorganizing the hallway linen closet, culling my closet for out-of-date clothes. i have to take care of me and my stuff. that's not anyone else's responsibility.

because, here's the harsh reality about this "aha" moment...i am the only one ultimately on the hook for my own happiness. wishing that someone else could read my mind or figure out what it is that i desire just breeds resentment. i can make myself happy and if a trellis covered with trumpet vine makes me smile then i need to get my hands dirty and plant one.


Kim said...

I've got plenty of trumpet vine for you!

Becky said...

dang-this is an aha to out-aha all of 'em--you go girl! can't wait to see your yard.

Snoskred said...

Hi, it's Snoskred here. I found you via Nablopomo last year. I'm just dropping by to let you know that I read your blog with google reader whenever you update, and that I enjoy your blog. I'm re-doing my links on my blog, and I have linked to you in the sidebar.

I wanted a lemon tree for a really long time. The other half would not let me get one. I asked, I begged, but he kept saying I didn't need a lemon tree. One day I was out with my parents and some family visiting from interstate, and we went to a nursery. I bought one, planted it, I've watered it all summer long, and now the lemons are ready to pick.

Now I want a lime tree. I paid $3 for a single lime the other day. That's crazy! And this time the other half is going to let me get one. ;)

MB Shaw said...

Wise words.

shar said...

an excellent post - got me thinking - thank you!