I’m not very good at relaxing. Those who know me best are sitting at their computers, nodding vehemently while (perhaps) shouting, “No shit, dumbass.” Even if I win at life*, I suck at relaxing.

When my life gets stressful, like it has been for the past few months, instead of doing the smart thing and taking a nice bath** or zoning out and watching some reruns of The Girls Next Door, I work. More. I take on more projects. I buy diseased plants from the nursery just to prove to myself that I can rehabilitate them. I add more pressure. When I feel that pressure? I add even more.

I actually DO own this orchid – and dozens more like it. They’re blooming right now. It’s gorgeous.

It’s a vicious cycle. It’s also how I get so much done.

Until I hit That Point. The point at which I realize I have so much on my plate that it’s going to smother me while I sleep like that pink goo from Ghostbusters II if I don’t watch out.

(I don’t imagine my pressure goo actually dances to that (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher song – I imagine my goo is into either thrash metal or Burt Bacharach or both)

It’s now the time of year in Chicago in which dead people vote, roads begin to get worked on, and everyone slithers out from their houses, all pasty, sluglike and squinting into the sun. We’ve not been outside unless it’s on the way to or from the car for the better part of four months, even after a winter as mild as the one we just had. We’re all a deathly shade of what I like to call, “Midwestern Pallor,” and we’ve, of course, forgotten how to be neighborly. After all, we’ve been hiding in our houses for months now – we’re just as likely to try to gnaw on our neighbors as we are to invite them for a BBQ. Our social skills have gone down the shitter.

But this weekend was one of the first genuinely nice weekends we’ve had in months that I didn’t feel like I was going to die from the flu or whatever. It was 80 degrees and sunny, though the chance for thunderstorms loomed large, they didn’t happen until nightfall.

I strapped on my ugly gauchos and an ill-fitting tank-top, noting my particular pallor was even more pronounced than normal, as I prepared to Tackle The Garden. If you’re read my blog before you will know two, maybe three things:

1) I love to garden. I also love hotdogs, the color blue, and Tom Jones.

B) The people who first owned the house went all bush-wild and added a fuckton of professionally landscaped – yet hideously fug 70’s style bushes. No, not vaginas. Although everything WAS a bush back then. The people who I bought the house from had let it all go to shit, so I’ve spent the better part of two kids and four years trying to hack the garden into submission.

3) I consider proper punctuation bullshit.

For the better part of two days, The Guy on my Couch and I tackled the garden. Mulching, seeding the lawn, bagging up refuse, watering, pulling weeds, training roses (sadly, not to shake or speak).

It was the best, most stress-relieving thing I’ve done in months. I’m reminded again of how much I need balance in my life. How much I need to stop, smell (or spray) the roses. How much better I feel after a good solid day’s worth of solid hard labor. How I need to remember that not everything is such! serious! business!

How I need to stop pushing and learn to breathe.

Just breathe.

*I don’t.

**No, I’m not 800 years old, I just know the value of a good bath. Oh shut your whore mouth 🙂

17 thoughts on “It’s Likely That I’ll Be Smothered By That Pink Goo From Ghostbusters II

  1. Gardening – the one reason that I adore spring. I am so jealous of you… I picked a hell of a time to sprain my ankle so that I can’t garden. Glad you found it so uplifting!

    1. What she said! I am terrible at relaxing. I either overdo it and later suffer THE GUILT. Or I give in a little bit but the whole time I’m supposed to be having fun? I’m thinking about all the things I “should” be doing.

  2. I feel horrible if I relax. Always feel like I should be doing MORE.
    Also: Ew, baths. Ever since I was a small child, I refused to take baths. Except once. Despite being terrified of anything with the skull and crossbone “poison” label, I scrubbed the bathtub until it was pure, sparkly clean. And then I let it “air out” for a few hours, “in case the chemicals were still there.”
    In the end?
    Took a shower.

    1. You are supposed to take the bath, THEN shower to get the bath stuff off of you. I take a bath then a rinse every night. LURVE that. (exept in the past few days since I missed a step on my outside stairs and fucked my knee up good, the scab is bigger than my knee and it kind of stings)

  3. I live in the Carol Stream area and have a yard that I will do ANYTHING to avoid maintaining. I offer it to you in an effort to maintain your stress. I’ll provide you will alcohol and babysitting services… LOL!

  4. It really is hard to relax when you have so much going on. For me it’s always, “Just let me finish this one thing and then I’ll stop”, then it’s about 10 “one more things”.

  5. Ahhhh yes,…..i love planting and digging in the dirt! It’s a stress-buster…. to feel reconnected to the earth and life. Your orchids are beautiful! I’m jealous of your weather…..it’s still snowing here in the pacific nw!

  6. We DO need new pictures of your garden! I don’t think you’ve posted anything since the ugly bushes were still around.

    The snow has fully melted off my vegetable garden area! I can’t wait to get out there and start planting – but first, I have to get my hubby to get the tilling done for me (I’m very intimidated by the tiller). So………….. I may never get my garden started.

  7. I spent most of the weekend also in the garden except do not have the same sort of enthusiasm and joy about it. I bagged FOUR garbage bags of dog shit. Two dogs. 6 months. No one picked up shit. Literally.

    My hand hurts. Badly. From the terrible pooper scooper. Add to your project list manufacturing an long one (to prevent back ache) with an ergonomic hand design that also provides cushioning.

  8. Would you like to work on my garden next? Because gardening is definitely in the “work I ignore” pile. I am good at ignoring, not so good at relaxing about it.

  9. Gardening is great. A couple of years ago, I moved 5 yards of mulch BY MYSELF over a weekend, because my husband’s back was out. I felt BUTCH.

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