I’m a big Stephen King fan. Since junior high, I have read his books over and over, and am always excited when I see a new 800 page hardcover in bookstores bearing his name. It may be for this reason that I sometimes, ahem…or typically, create crazy stories about people/places/situations at which my husband just shakes his head.
When I walk Sullivan I circle our neighborhood twice. Two times around is a 5k. And I’m going to be honest. I’m pretty sure I live amongst serial killers, families who share plural wives, and a coven of witches. And you thought your neighborhood was exciting! Each time we walk I look at the houses, or if said killers/sister wives/witches are outside I keep my eyes on the pavement, but I think about their lives and what must go on inside those normal looking split-levels.
The killers are always tending to the dirt piles that are, coincidentally, the size of people. The wives appear to drive the same car but it’s parked at one of two houses all the time. We have big plots of land out here so they can’t just walk back and forth between their families. And the witches…well…I think it’s best I leave them out of this for my own well-being.
If you read this blog regularly, you know that I adore my husband. He’s a good good man, a phenomenal father, a wonderful husband. I’ve made all of those things clear, right? Yes well…as I’m assuming most of you sometimes experience…there are days? There are days when I want my husband’s head on a platter. Side note: it occurs to me that I should NOT mention this out loud when passing the house of the witches.
Yesterday was one of those days. For no reason other than the fact that he wasn’t around, I was pissed. PISSED. Our house looks like a frat house the morning after Homecoming. There are like 8,000 bees living under our front steps (Sully has been stung twice and a little neighbor boy has been stung once). And there is just a ton of sh-t that, in my humble opinion, needs to get done prior to school starting. And yesterday my lovely (I DO love this man) husband went golfing.
Now…to be fair…he ASKED if I minded if he went golfing. And I said no…although I was doing eight different things when he asked. The point is he was golfing, it went two hours later than he’d planned, and I didn’t get a damn thing done that I’d hoped. Why? Well…because there is a dog, and a little girl, and a friend, and dinner to make, and a pool to visit, and a dog to walk, and on, and on, and on.
My husband got home and was tired. Plopped down for a night in front of the TV. And it made me CRAZY.
I took the dog for another walk…it seemed wise to get out of the house. And I decided to do something a little different. Instead of imagining why the sister wives were at House A instead of House B, instead of searching for dirt mounds the size and shape of people in my neighbor’s “gardens,” instead of hustling by the house of witches (not that there’s anything wrong with that!), I decided to look up.
Ever since the little girls came into my life I’ve made a point to identify things that are remarkable but typically ignored. The first orange or yellow leaves in the fall, the first random snowflakes to drift from the sky, and the first buds on trees in the spring. Each season I encourage the little girls to seek out the things around us that are amazing, and beautiful, and special, and that make the world a little brighter. It occurred to me yesterday that while I do this for the little girls, I don’t do it very often for myself.
On my walk I noticed so many new things…
The leaves are already changing! It’s only mid-August and there are bright red, orange, and yellow leaves all over my neighborhood!
There are truly beautiful wide open spaces in my neighborhood. Across fields I was able to see a working farm with a fabulous big red barn.
And…ahem…there are pretty leaves on the street in front of a particular (hint: abracadabra) house.
I got home and felt so much better. So much more relaxed. And so grateful to be surrounded by such beautiful landscape. As I sat down to read, I looked out into my sunny backyard, where it had just started pouring.
Needless to say, my sh-tty attitude was nowhere to be found, and I was filled with wonder. Now that’s how you end a Saturday!
TODAY: What if, from time to time, I look at the beauty and wonder around me? What if, when I’m feeling particularly irritated, I take stock of the amazing things outside my own front door?