I hate yard work.  I absolutely hate it.  I don’t mind pushing a mower, but pulling weeds, planting plants, watering them and maintaining the exterior of a home isn’t something I am good at, nor do I have the desire to even get good at it.

Two years ago, I purchased my home with my husband.  As we walked the house and saw the potential, we both fell in love.  Sunroom off the kitchen, chair rail in the dining room, a guest suite for our out of town friends, and stonework on the large porch.  We could overlook the less than appealing yellow vinyl siding and brown trim…

The only problem I saw was the yard.

This great house sits on an acre and a half of land… and to some people that isn’t a lot – to me, it might as well be 80 acres.  My husband loved the idea of having that land.  He wanted it, and said he would maintain it, so done deal!  Just 30 days later, we closed on our Kentucky home.

Just eight months later, I found the photos of his girlfriends and we separated in June.

June.  Just in time for yard work.  Just in time for weeds.

I worked so hard all summer to maintain the exterior.  Weed whacking, mowing, raking.  I made it through summer 2017 with a relatively nice looking yard.

Winter came and hit me hard.  I lost my job, had to pay taxes, other unexpected costs hit me, and I was just trying to maintain a bank account with a positive balance.  I drove Lyft and Uber, I started bartending and I landed a great full time job.  I worked hard all the time.

Spring came, financially I was recovering well, and I thought, oh this will be easy… I can do it just like I did last year.  But I didn’t.  I didn’t have the time or the energy to maintain that damn yard.  I spent hours on Saturday mornings mulching and weeding one area to have another look trashed and neglected.  It became a cycle and one I could barely keep up with.  Then, my home was hit by a mudslide.  My fence came down, the drains were clogged, mulch washed away, grass caked with mud and it was too much to clean up solo.  The weeds grew, the beds remained unmulched and the exterior of my home became a hurtle I couldn’t get over.

It’s his fault… I didn’t want all of this.  AJ did.  He wanted this land.  I wasn’t supposed to do this alone.  This isn’t what I signed up for.

Everyday I’d walk up and down the stairs to my home past overgrown grass and I’d cringe.

It’s his fault.

I’d get home, close the door behind me and see my well decorated living room, beautiful navy blue dining room, my (small) cute kitchen and my relaxing sunroom and I’d be able to breathe.  I didn’t need AJ to enjoy all that.  I could cook and clean, no problem!

But the weeds….

I wasn’t supposed to do this alone.

Week after week passed.  I tried to find helpers.  I tried to find the energy to start.  Maybe just one area at a time, but I just couldn’t.  I couldn’t because it reminded me that I am alone.  Divorced.  Cheated.  Left with stuff that I still need to clean up.

And to be frank, it sucks.

It especially sucks when I recently hosted my parents.  Knowing they would see the physical representation of my leftover baggage of my divorce.  The weeds.  My home, the inside – clean, tidy, beautiful and the outside – unorganized, overgrown, ugly.

One day during their visit we pulled out of my driveway and I blurted, “Just don’t look at it.  Don’t look at my house… it’s embarrassing” and I just started to cry.

It had been a while since I cried about anything, and I was sobbing about my yard.  I was crying because of the weeds.

But once I pulled myself together, my mother said, “This is the last hurtle you need to get over.  You are still healing.”

That whole day, I was an emotional mess.  I was emotional because I was emotional.  Where was this coming from?  I’m fine, I’ve been fine.  I’m over the hurt.  This doesn’t make sense.     

My parents saw I needed help.  A thrust to the other side of this roadblock in my healing.  And that is what they did.  They demanded we forgo the fun plans we had for one day on their visit and we clean up my yard.

I pulled weeds, my dad mowed, weed whacked and swept, my mom trimmed back overgrown plans and vines.  A few Miller Lites and four hours later, my house looked like a home again.  I can’t remember the last time my yard looked that good.  I can’t remember the last time I felt so loved.

The yard isn’t perfect. I’m never going to have the perfect plants or cascading flower boxes, but it is clean and tidy. Manageable. Not so overwhelming.

I’ve said it a thousand times… healing needs a team. Thankfully, I’ve got a great team to help me even if it means pulling those overgrown weeds.

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