Monday, July 31, 2017

New Terrain


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.

source

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 excuses reasons for this. But the simple fact is, I cannot stand to live in a filthy house, or sit in a filthy room, whereas they're totally cool with it. 

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!



~

11 comments:

  1. You remind me of how glad I am not to own a house with a yard.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Depression can do crazy things to your sleep patterns. I can sleep forever. At least, as far as I know... On bad weekends, I have slept from 8.00 Friday night until 5.00 Sunday evening (getting up to feed the kitties and go to the bathroom), and I could have kept on sleeping were it not for an enormous effort of will to get up for a bit before going back to bed so I wouldn't be a total wreck getting up for work Monday morning. Some days just taking a shower and brushing my teeth feel like a major accomplishment.

    You should see my yard. (Although technically it's a shared yard, I am the only one who has ever expressed interest in doing anything with it.) The weeds are officially as high as my waist. Shoulder height in some spots. It is truly a thing of white trash glory.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How were you physically able to sleep that long? That blows my mind. Sometimes I wish I could sleep through a day or two like that, but even if my body let me I doubt that D would.

      White trash glory, huh? Now I dont feel so bad about my yard/neighbor's yard. Everyone else on our street has hired a landscaper or built an addition to their house. Meanwhile I'm over here on the ghetto side of the street pulling weeds once a month :/

      Delete
  3. Good luck with your gardening endeavors. I have no interest in that regard and leave it to people who don't kill cactuses. (I have managed to kill a cactus.)

    When I get antsy, I work on writing or knitting. Perhaps you need a hobby like that. Or not.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I don't know if I'll be any good at it but I've got to give it a try.

      Perhaps I'll try writing a proper story again when my other hobbies are not enough to fill the time. (I'll be happy if I can find the time to read/write blogs)

      Delete
  4. Looks like you have a good-sized "yard". We English would call it a garden. I am surprised that there's nothing out there for your girls - like a little playhouse/den, a trampoline or a swing.

    Sorry to hear about the dark mood you experienced over the weekend. For me a good brisk walk helps to get things in better perspective. Things always look brighter after a walk... but improving your garden/yard may have the same benefit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The girls do have backyard toys, but I moved them out of the way when I mowed the lawn. They have a castle, a slide (which they've outgrown) and a sandbox (which is water-logged) No swing set, but there's a park down the street with a swing set and slide so we don't need one.

      I used to go out for walks but got bored with the lack of scenic escapes in my area. There is a decent park (a different one) with a small pond and a walking path that I used to walk to, but over the past couple years I've lost the will to walk that far. Perhaps I'll go again in the fall.

      Delete
  5. i must admit... i do go dormant for a while. i think it's just because my old posts were annoying me and i tried to ignore it, but i had to go on and delete all of them (a common, most common theme with me. i've been on blogger for a very long time with no evidence of which to speak of!)

    "And when I woke up I still didn't feel like showering or getting dressed or waking up or doing anything, really." oh God, that's the worst feeling. i honestly feel on days like it's as of my limbs each weigh 300lbs and i cannot bear to lift any of them. it's honestly like carrying a super heavy weight on your body. really feel tired doing nothing.

    i know this is weird, but my thing is binge-watching television shows when i feel that way. honestly, i'd get 'something done', i.e. finish off something i wanted to see for a long time but never got around to. that, or honestly, watch something that is a real tearjerker. crying really gets out everything for me.

    "But the simple fact is, I cannot stand to live in a filthy house, or sit in a filthy room, whereas they're totally cool with it." i'm the same. my God, my sister's room is in absolute chaos most of the time. recently she's cleaned it and organised everything thank God. i can't bear to think of sitting in there. fortunately, my mother too cannot bear to think of sitting anywhere that isn't pin drop clean.

    i think that you can look up stuff to do online also and actually put together the stuff you think you can do and the things you are probably not going to do and have it all as a list for whenever you want to do something but don't.

    (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!) -> idk why this made me laugh. then again anything food/fitness related makes me laugh.




    - Sam Lupin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, you’re back! Did we lure you out of your hidey hole? ;P

      “i must admit... i do go dormant for a while. i think it's just because my old posts were annoying me and i tried to ignore it, but i had to go on and delete all of them (a common, most common theme with me. i've been on blogger for a very long time with no evidence of which to speak of!)”

      You do that too, huh? I couldn’t bring myself to delete *all* my old posts, but I go through periods like that where I hate my own words and I assume everyone else feels the same. And then I go away for a while, thinking I’ll never come back (but I always do.)

      “i know this is weird, but my thing is binge-watching television shows when i feel that way.”

      That’s not weird at all. I don’t think it will work for me though; you have a lot more (current) shows you like, and you probably have Netfilx or some other streaming service whereas I’ll have to rely on old-fashioned DVD boxed sets and I don’t have On Demand in my upstairs room.

      “i think that you can look up stuff to do online also and actually put together the stuff you think you can do and the things you are probably not going to do and have it all as a list for whenever you want to do something but don't.”

      That’s a good idea, but it sounds like something I can only do when I’m doing something. I need a list of things to do when I’m not doing things…or something. (Now I’ve confused myself!)

      “idk why this made me laugh. then again anything food/fitness related makes me laugh.”

      I only laugh at my own attempts at health/fitness. Usually it’s something like Hahahahaha never gonna happen.

      Delete
  6. "For reasons that can't be fully explained to "normals" like my wife..."

    I can so relate to this, though I look normal so no one can tell. Er, probably everyone can tell.

    ReplyDelete