So...how was your weekend? Since my last post on Friday(!) I had a roller coaster of mental health, which upon reflection makes me wonder if I might be bi-polar.
Friday night I felt okay. Commented on some blogs, caught up on some reading, and then went to bed early 'cause there was nothing on TV. My 5 year old has gym class Saturday mornings and so I stayed home with my 7 year old until they got back. Then, because I hadn't showered or dressed yet (and it was before noon) I went back to sleep for a bit.
And when I woke up I still didn't feel like showering or getting dressed or waking up or doing anything, really. For reasons that can't be fully explained to "normals" like my wife, my mental state was in shambles.
I've mentioned before that my hobbies keep my mind occupied and away from dark, destructive thoughts. Well, my sports card collection is all sorted and I'm out of money. Also, we ran out of Mountain Dew and Monster late last week. And so by 2pm Saturday I was wandering aimlessly in my small, messy house at a complete loss for how to fill the next 8 to 10 hours.
I actually tried to go to bed again...but my body would not allow it. However, it would not allow me to do yard work, either. And my wife/kids hate it when I clean their things - even though every other room in the house is a FEMA-level disaster area, they will not let me clean the way that my A.D.D./Asperger's/probably just a neat freak because my mom owned an office cleaning biz brain knows how. They have many
What they're not cool with is when I try to clean up their mess because within a minute of them walking into the newly-cleaned room, one of them will inevitably shout "What did you do with my ____?" And so, after finally learning my lesson, I have begun Operation Shutdown and trained myself to disregard even the smallest mess left by the females in my life - unless they leave a mess in my room. I still do the dishes and take out the trash but I no longer pick up their shit, and if I can't find something like the remote control or the tablet charger, I give up after a quick search.
What all this means is that I just wanted Saturday to end, and I actually wished it were Monday because at least I'd have a reason for getting out of bed - even if that reason was my crummy collections job. I honestly don't remember how I filled the afternoon/evening hours.. and it was two days ago. All I remember is pondering the meaninglessness of my existence a lot more than usual and wishing I had a (second) hobby.
Sunday is the only day all week that I don't have to wake up for any reason - but I had slept so much on Saturday that my body wouldn't let me stay in bed past 9am. I was a bit grumpy about this, but I soon forced my way out of my beleaguered mental state.
I still didn't have the physical energy to do yard work - and the last time I went out into the Life After People experiment that is my backyard I contracted poison ivy, scratched up my arms and legs, and my whole body was sore for the next three days. I considered walking a block or two to the store to purchase an energy drink, but two thoughts stopped me. The normal-functioning side of myself disliked the idea of using caffeine as a crutch (I do enough of that on work days) while the dysfunctional side of myself gave up on the notion of going out in public once I failed to find the exact pair of socks I wanted to wear.
Somehow I managed to convince myself not to waste both weekend days and so I ventured out into the backyard while wearing old socks with holes in them to build on the meager progress I had made two weekends ago. And you know what? I actually enjoyed it. D and I have owned this house for about eight years, and the backyard has always been a mess. We have a rusted old shed, a giant "Christmas" tree, and a row of bushes that shields us from our neighbors to the right.
Our neighbors to the left have basically abandoned their house.
Apparently the house is owned by an elderly woman who lives somewhere else, yet refuses to sell the house nextdoor to us. She has (at least) one son, and I'm not sure why he doesn't live there, but once or twice a month the son will come and mow the lawn in the front yard only. Once a year he will rent a dumpster and dispose of the junk inside of the abandoned house. But they do nothing about the jungle growing in their backyard - and the trees drop seeds into our backyard, which quickly grow into thorned mini-trees all over our property.
When it rains - as it has far too often this season - the weedy thorn trees grow quite high and are too big to cut down with the lawnmower. Also, I obviously cant mow the lawn in the rain. So the backyard was quite a shitshow until recently, which is why I suddenly have an urge to maintain it.
My father-in-law used to handle this kind of thing, often while D and I were working and my oldest daughter was in school. He had all the right tools, he knew what was poison ivy and what was just weeds, and he knew how to fix the lawnmower and/or weed whacker when it wouldn't work. But he wasn't the type of person to explain these things to me. I didn't even know how to turn on our hose, or if the lawnmower gas comes from the same place as car gas.
But now that he's gone, I've developed an interest in learning these things so that I can maintain my property. I still need help from the family (the fallen tree isn't going to chop itself) and I need to acquire some tools (I was using scissors to cut the weed-trees since we don't have gardening shears) but I may have found something with which to occupy myself on those days when I'm feeling completely worthless and detached.
Yorkshire Pudding, a.k.a. Yorkie, a.k.a. Y-to-tha-P asked me if I take any pictures, and after digging through D's pile of papers, coupons, and random gadget wires she finally found the camera cord so I could take some backyard pics and upload them.
This is the yard. The neighbors in the back fixed their fence today; the tree you see in pieces back there had collapsed on it (click to embiggen)
A corner view of the dead tree, and some branches I couldn't chop/carry:
A closer look at the collapsed tree. It appears that the wood rotted out.
This is the right side of the yard, behind the "Christmas" tree. I still haven't cut down all this crap.
Backyard of the abandoned house. See what we have to deal with?
The right side of our house is basically nothing, just this dumb staircase that bumps up against the neighbor's property.
As you can see, I've killed most of the weeds (but not all of 'em). My plan is to lay a tarp down and fill this with mulch or walking stones or something cheap to clean up this area.
If I am able to make any progress on my yard this summer I'll keep you posted. I'd consider these the "before" pictures - although I just mowed the lawn and did most of the difficult weed removal..so maybe these are the "after before" pics?
Hopefully this will go better than my plan to lose weight and eat healthy. It's a good thing I didn't take any "before" pics of that!