Identity Crisis

Yesterday, I did something that I had never ever done before in my life: I mowed my yard. After Number 3 provided me with several training sessions on how to properly do this, I felt confident to finally do it all by myself.

I woke up fairly early on my Independence Day off and decided to tackle this chore before it got up to a thousand degrees.

With a sense of accomplishment I methodically filled the gas tank; I primed it; I checked the throttle; I held the handlebar down; and lastly, I pulled the stringy thing with triumphant force.


I pulled again.


I pulled again and again and again and again and again and again. Dead.

How quickly one goes from pride to despair…

Tail between my legs I retreated back in to the house. I did what any self-respecting woman would do in this situation: I cried.

Actually, I sobbed.

I have a college degree and I can’t figure out a stupid lawn mower that my brother spent hours showing me how to use! My 95 year old neighbor mows her yard like a champ but I can’t get mine started. Every person on this great planet knows how to mow their yard… except me.

I don’t know how to mow the freakin’ yard.

And what seems silly to you but was embarrassingly obvious to me during this legitimate meltdown is that it’s actually not at all about a stupid lawn mower…

The spouse formerly known as “Muffin” and I are getting a divorce. He did all the mowing and the yard work. He enjoyed it. He was good at it. But he’s gone– happily enjoying his new yard-free condo with our cat and I’m left alone with this house that I simultaneously love and hate. The little things I took for granted, like mowing the yard, are now my responsibility… and not so “little” after all.

Life as I know it is forever changed.

But change isn’t always a bad thing… After maybe too long of a cry I eventually sucked it up, called my bestie, and let her come over and help me. Turns out, I was doing everything right but in my zeal I simply primed the tank too much and it flooded. After it rested for a bit, the mower started up beautifully! And guess what? I mowed my yard.


Crooked lines and all, I’m so proud of this picture. It wasn’t just about “mowing the yard.” It was about facing an obstacle and conquering it. And life, really, is just one obstacle after another sometimes.

I don’t know what the future holds for me. I don’t know if I’ll ever remarry, move in to a new house, have another pet, or ever refashion another article of clothing ever again… I really don’t. But I do know that I’ll get through this. And even if life is different for now… It’s still good. And life is too short to be anything but happy and grateful.

8 thoughts on “Identity Crisis

  1. You have changed a lot in the past few years. Sometimes those we love can change with us, and sometimes not. It is not too different from a person recovering from a drug or alcohol addition. I know a little about this because my husband has done it. He left most of his previous world behind. Other than his mother and children, only one person from his previous life stuck with him as he made positive and necessary changes for his happiness and survival. Odd how that happens. They like you sick (whether they admit it or not) and can’t handle the change to health. You can do this. You have already proven it.

    1. You’re absolutely right… life/people is/are “funny” sometimes. In the end though, I believe everything works out the way it’s supposed to. Thank you for the compliments and the words of encouragement. I appreciate it! 🙂

  2. Oh so sorry that life is hard right now. You have been such an inspiration to so many. Take some time to grieve; remember how many people are cheering for you; don’t ever give up! Thanks for being so open about your weaknesses, just want you to know that I don’t know how to start a lawn mower either. Growing up my dad and brothers took care of the lawn; then I was on my own in apartments; then I got married and had a husband and eventually four sons to take care of the lawn. Keep up the good work, I promise, life will get better and you’ll find news ways to be happy! God bless you.

  3. It was the same for me growing up: I had 3 brothers, then moved in to a condo after college, then my soon-to-be ex mowed for this house that I currently live in. There was never a need for me to mow or even learn… but, it’s not too bad. It’s a great calorie burner, so there’s that! 🙂 Thanks for the positivety and good vibes!

  4. I don’t do lawns – I have seen the requirement for getting that thing going and I know I can’t do it. My solution in this situation ‘Get a Man In”. I commend you for giving it a go.

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