Fertilize This.

On my morning commute this morning with coffee in hand, I was ready to wake up with my favorite morning radio talk show. I was thoroughly disappointed with the sudden shake and toss out of bed it gave me. Over the radio waves, a lame, loud woman complained about her life and how “the grass is always greener on the other side” adding a super-charged jolt to my a.m. java.

One after another, anonymous callers dialed into the station confessing their personal insecurities, envy of their friends and disappointment in their spouses, children and lives. I know I was alone in my car, but in that moment – I felt embarrassed for those callers. And seriously sad. After toggling through the radio stations, I decided it was too early for honky tonk and whiskey or talk of “shakin’ me all night long” and so, I shut it off.

As I continued on, I thought about the phrase the woman stated so confidently:  The grass is always greener on the other side. And as I often do, I analyzed what the heck that phrase actually means and who thought of it. I mean, why is the grass greener on the other side? Am I not watering properly? Using the right fertilizer? Having my neighbor’s dog secretly mess all over my lawn?

Who are these magical, mystery gardeners on the other side? I want to meet them. I feel bad for my neighbors. When they look at our yard, they get totally jipped out of that aha moment.

It made me think of everything in my life and what it would be like if it was completely opposite and “better” or, at least what I’m told would be better. So…that means I’d have to change the following:

  1. Be Single – No thank you. I have married the male version of myself. Why would I be single again when I can get in double the amount of trouble I did pre-him? I would, however, like to give a shout out to the top crazies I’ve dated including: the man who showed up with a thousand flowers one birthday after we’d been broken up. His mother then proceeded to call me and tell me that I’d ruined her son’s life and he was going to pass up college for me. Awesome. Just what I always wanted. I wonder if he’s living in your basement now. Also, a quick “what’s up” to the guy I dated who would show up “randomly” at every place I was at and conjure up different ways to explain how it was fate. I now hate the movie when Harry Met Sally. I’ll never forgive you for taking that from me.
  2. Be Rich – Why would I give up “ballin’ on a budget” as my husband and I say? The less you have, the less you have to worry about. I mean, bills are bills and need paid. I’m not saying that I don’t worry about money. I do sometimes, but I don’t want material things to change the way I look at the world. Things that are free I love are: the beach, fresh air, running, my animals, family, friends and the smell of saltwater. It’s not how much you have – it’s what you have and how much you can give back.  Also, coupon clipping can be fun. I don’t care how much money I ever make. The day I stop getting excited when I find a deal on food or clothes is the day I will no longer have a change jar that I excited to cash in for “real money” or scream when the grocery has buy one, get one! I don’t ever want to know that person.
  3.  Be Like Someone Else – This is something I think everyone thinks about. Maybe not being an identical twin to someone else, but stealing a few attributes – hair, body type, personality, spouse, friends. The thing is, you have to know you’re awesome because you’re you. What makes anyone unique is simply that they are. They are different in their own viewpoints, behaviors, looks, strengths and weaknesses. It wasn’t until I was in my mid-twenties that I started concentrating on what version of me I wanted to become. When you can just accept who you are and try to improve the things that aren’t great – a serious sense of peace overtakes your life and you start to see things that you’ve been missing along the way.

If you’re thinking of what you wish you could change in your life, you’re downplaying the things you would never want to. You’re forgetting the things that you are blessed to have. You’re forgetting that the stick-figure girl with the perfect body who only eats the salad bar for lunch each day will never know the simple pleasure found in a single bit of pie (well deserved, of course). And the perfect Stepford wife/mother would kill to have the free hours you get every night. On the other hand, it’s important to always be pushing yourself. If you are unable to look at your life and realize some things within your control can use improving – then you are complacent. There’s nothing wrong with being complacent if you’re 100 percent happy with status quo. If you aren’t, please dear God – do not call my local radio station to tell the nation your indiscretions. Be organic and different. Make your lawn as green as you can with what you have.

Tips for watering found here.

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Put a Lid on It!

I have a confession. I have a horrible, dirty and wasteful habit. It’s embarrassing and a problem. Mostly for others, but who wants to have that stigma following them around? I have no idea why it started, but I feel compelled to share this idiosyncrasy with the world because…well, it’s weird.

Hi. My name is ____ and I am an habitual do-not-put-lids-on-anything-er.

This problem started about a year ago. I denied it, in the beginning, in instances that I brushed off as being results of rushing off to work, being covered up to my elbows in salmonella or having too much to drink the night before.

The thing is, it’s now affecting other genres of my life. Just the toothpaste? Nope. I’ve investigated elsewhere and found lids missing from: contact cases, toothpaste, hair supplies and everything in the shower. Even the $1 travel shampoos. What the heck?

But it doesn’t stop there. I snuck a peek in my refrigerator and found that while I may also have an issue hoarding condiments, I also like to use my refrigerator door as a graveyard for broken or barely there lids.

I remember a few months ago that I dropped a bottle of mustard in our kitchen, only to have it spill its golden guts all over my floor. After cleaning it up, I took its perfectly half-mooned lid and laid it on top of its body. While I’m still making confessions – it no longer had twist-ability capabilities. I fumbled erratically through the sea of lids trying to find a matching one, but there wasn’t one. So, I left it on.

I’ve become numb to its relentless game. Every time I use it, I end up with more mustard than food. I should throw it out – but it’s a perfectly good bottle of deliciousness. So, I keep it. It’s a sick, sick cycle.

I have thought hard about this problem. Why, after about a thousand mornings waking up to a crusty toothpaste top, spilling cat food across my clean counter or having lotion spew across my new bamboo rug (with more crevices than the side of a mountain) can I not stop? I’m addicted.

For a while, I contemplated as to whether or not leaving caps off of things was a very literal interpretation of what I try to entertain in my life – being open, free-spirited, shaped like a bottle?

It’s all very confusing. I have talked to friends and family causally about my problem, but I didn’t think anyone would understand. My husband seeks refuge in our guest bathroom and no longer uses any condiments out of fear other than hot sauce, which is now hidden safely in a small corner in the top shelf.

Therefore, I felt it appropriate to seek help in an unbiased setting with other people who have this problem. After googling around (thanks for making me feel more alone Google – even with my very specific search), I found something. Someone had attempted to start a forum and entitled it: “I Will Put the Lid Back on the Ben and Jerry’s.” They must also feel ashamed by their addiction as they didn’t give their full story.

So, in the hopes of breaking the ice and finding a solution, I decided to kick-start the forum with the following letter:

Dear Ice Cream Lover:

I, too, enjoy ice cream. However, that’s not what I am writing you about. We, obviously, both share an embarrassing problem that hurts ourselves, others and our favorite sweets and bottled-goods alike. I don’t know about you, but I would really like to put an end to this. The gateway to my problem was toothpaste. Can you believe it? How can something like a shining knight that fights cavities and has a delightful aftertaste be so evil? My problem started there and moved its way into my shower and then into my kitchen. Nearly each week, we lose another condiment friend that just never had a chance without a lid. I seriously doubt this problem will change overnight. Maybe if we sponsor each other, we can support each other through this trying time. If you can complete 30 days of putting lids on your B&J, I will send you some broken caps off of my bottles as a memento of where you were and how far you’ve come. And you could send me some ice cream (please use dry ice as I live in a hot climate). This is the start of a beautiful relationship and I feel really good about it.

Thanks,

Lidless

I’ll keep you updated on what I hear back.

No Frame of Reference.

I felt like a mad woman on Sunday. Flipping over chairs, digging through dirty heaps of clothes, exhaustively foraging through our garage like I was the star of Gold Rush. Alas, my search was unsuccessful. On the bright side, I got my workout in for the day.

Later that night, to my dismay, I discovered the individual behind this pandemonium.

“Hunnie, where did those solar lamps go that were in the garage?” I said to my husband as we strolled together during our nightly walk.

“Oh, I threw those away. They sucked and didn’t work anyways.”

I stopped dead in my tracks. I blinked a few times staring at his blank face that read: Why are you freaking out? NOT a big deal, babe.

Yeah, well  Helena Bonham Carter made the worst dress decision of her life at this year’s Golden Globes and I bet he would tell me that wasn’t something to freak out about either. And not in a good way.

In that instant, a part of me reverted back to fifth grade when my best friend and I sat next to each other in English class. Whenever it was someone’s birthday, this particular teacher would pass out oatmeal creme pie cookies. Looking back, this probably wasn’t the proudest moment of my childhood, but we would snag an extra one while our “desk buddies” were out of class for tutoring. I can remember our other classmates pleading for us to share.

“No! This is MINE!” We would forcefully whisper.

After my momentary flashback, I came back to the present. “Why would you throw those away? I bought those with my own money?”  I asked. And it’s true. When we said “I do,” we also vowed that money, or the lack thereof at this point, would never be an issue in our household. We would each have our own stash and both contribute to a shared fund.

I know that once you get married, you share everything.  But at that moment, I felt possessiveness over what I felt was MY property. Not ours.

And I know it sounds silly, childish even – but I’d like someone to tell me there isn’t a gray area when it comes to long-term relationships or marriages. There’s a sudden shift somewhere between feeling so comfortable in your relationship – and in the understanding the two of you have – that you find it inconvenient to ask for permission to throw out old fraternity sweatshirts and your disgusting towels that hardly pass for dog rags, let alone suitable enough  to display. I’ve accepted that you and the mini-beer fridge have an undeniable bond and let you keep it.

At the end of our walk, I turned to my husband and told him that it wasn’t a big deal. Really. In the scheme of things, it’s not. Still, I wanted to illustrate that we will continue to have different things throughout our marriage that one of us will consider trash and the other a keepsake.

My husband and I later laughed together at the mental picture of this, but I told him that what he did was sort of like me busting into his man cave and picking up one of his pricey medical books or collector baseball cards and exclaiming, “These are USELESS!” with no consultation and immediately throwing them away.

As long as neither of us becomes serious hoarders, we should quiet any whisper of a battle and keep the lamps. Statistics show that couples that fight over money at least once a week are 30 percent more likely to get divorced than those who don’t. After searching around, I found a cute article here that illustrates how to clean up, without clearing out, peacefully.

I’m curious to hear from you. In your past or current relationship, what thing did your spouse claim was no longer needed and haphazardly disregarded with no frame of reference?

I Had a Great Post.

I had a great post up as of last night, but felt it might get me into trouble so its been made private. If you want to check it out – I can email it to you!

I hate getting older and following rules…