Tuesday, July 6, 2010

15 is My Lucky Number…

I was feeling very socially anxious this afternoon which was very discouraging, but I knew I needed to get to work mowing lawns. I am so tired of sitting at home and doing nothing with my life and it has really invigorated me lately.  I have this zest for living lately that is uncannily odd for me most days.  A month ago, I wanted to die I was so miserable mentally and emotionally.  To use that old cliché, I decided I better get busy living instead of dying.  This meant I better start taking chances, being assertive, and living with gusto despite all the many obstacles that face me with my family and their fears, wants, and desires.  I am going to be 40 years old soon and I didn’t like my previous life. I abhorred it.   I want to turn 40 with a completely different life than I have.  This is going to be hard with my father’s influence upon me, but it can be done with due diligence and a bulldog like tenacity that my father often exhibits.  Dad has said himself that I have a lot of him in me and I am going to use it to my advantage from now on instead of suppressing it in cowardice and acquiescence.

Today would’ve been our usual grocery day and mom forgot to tell Charlie about it unfortunately.  I almost panicked when I realized I have only two cans of Chef Boy Ar Dee and a loaf of bread to last me until Friday on top of the fast food meals Charlie is bringing me every night.  I didn’t have the  heart to tell Charlie we needed to go to the grocery store today after he will have worked all afternoon so I took it into my own hands to get up the money for some groceries today.  I’ve already been so much of a burden on Charlie this past week. He has Horsefly, and then he has me as well until dad and mom get home.  Charlie says I am dad’s Horsefly.  That always makes me cringe, but Charlie means it in a goodhearted, kind way.  I am not going to be dad’s Horsefly anymore I have decided. 

I have found it very life affirming and self esteem building for me this money making venture of working.   I keep telling myself that even though I feel socially anxious about it, I have to get out and work through it to overcome my fears.  It is like overcoming a phobia of snakes.  You just have to finally handle the serpent in the grasp of your hands to quell the fright.   “Could I get up the courage today to walk to a strangers door and ask them to mow their lawn?” went through my mind after a little internal pep talk that wasn’t very optimistic in it’s nature.  I made it out and on my mower, though, despite the heat and despite my fears.  I was very proud of myself as I puttered down the road on my way to better myself monetarily and emotionally today.

I had tried probably five houses to find no one answering when I stopped at one house that needed mowing, but it wasn’t that bad as to be embarrassing.  I was over in the black neighborhood a few blocks over from mine.   Neighborhoods and churches are still pretty much segregated in the Southern small towns.  I didn’t have much hopes of a business deal, but tried anyway.  I turned off my mower, gulped hard, and walked to the front door ringing the doorbell.  I felt totally out of my element today.  I wasn’t near as cocky and self assured as I was yesterday.  A petite little black lady answered the door with a warm smile that went a little ways to setting me at ease.

“Ma’am, would you like your grass cut?” I asked nervously as my hands shook. I know I looked like some crackhead the way my hands were trembling.  “I’ll cut it for $15 dollars.”

She told me, yes, it needed cut and that her lazy teenaged son wouldn’t get off his butt from playing video games to do it. I laughed at her candor and felt even more at ease.  My hands quit shaking.  I cut her grass and finally quit when she walked out to bring me an ice cold bottle of water for which I thanked her profusely.  I swear that was one of coldest and best tasting bottles of water I have ever drank.  I was so hot, dusty, and sweaty.  The humidity was oppressive today.

“My older sister has been looking for someone to cut her grass and she lives a few streets over,” she said. “Do her house next.  I’ll call her and tell her you are coming.”

She told me the address and the house and car color, and I thanked her, finishing my water.  I headed several blocks over searching for a blue house a with a blue Chevrolet Caprice out front.  My riding lawn mower moves at a snail’s pace in it’s highest gear and it must’ve taken me thirty minutes to get there.  I finally found it!

This job is actually kind of easy with a riding lawn mower.  I mean it is hot and sweaty, but all you do is circle the yard until the grass is cut.  I will eventually have to buy a weed eater to do a better job and that worried me today – that I wasn’t doing a complete job like I see all the yard services do.  But for $15 dollars? What can you expect?  I am dirt cheap as far as mowing lawns are concerned I have learned from asking Charlie about it earlier on the phone this afternoon.  Charlie is also an astute business man like my father and said I should be asking for $20 to $25 dollars. It worried him, though, that I was out hustling and mowing lawns.  He thinks I am on a manic high he told me and kind of scolded me for doing this. “You’ve just gone wild with your father out of town,” he told me sounding exasperated. “I don’t know what I am going to do with you!”

The previous ladies sister was her exact opposite except for their height.  This lady was very obese and walking to the screen door to meet me was very labored for her.  I told her I was the guy her sister had called about and she told me she would pay me when I finished.  I got another $15 for cutting a very large yard.  I probably spent $5 dollars in gas.  I had my large gas can strapped to the mower today not taking any chances, though. Maybe, I am just not a very good business man. This is all new to me, though, and I am learning.  Baby steps Andrew, right?  I would really like to support myself doing this someday.  I would love my own yard care business.  If I can just keep up this momentum I seem to have lately about hustling and bustling and not give up over time – not let that momentum slip away.  I just can’t let my social anxieties and various disorders stop me from living life and making an income anymore.  I don’t want to be poor and dependent upon disability for the rest of my life.


This IS The Fun Part! said...

Are you keeping a list of each address you do - and the date you were there? Then you can go back to each in order and have a regular route you're doing!!

Great job! And groceries!!!


glittermom said...

Its good to see your getting out and doing something constructive..I believe that will help you with your mental issues...Good job!! Keep up the good work!! Dont let your dad get you down as he will probably be against all this...

Leaking Moonlight said...

Hey, Andrew. I was busy, busy today too. It felt good to be out and about too even in high heat and humidity of the deep South.

And ditto on the glass of ice water when I got home - best ever!

PipeTobacco said...


I am glad you are having a grand time with the WalMart and lawn care work! It is nice to see you so pleased!

I must ask you about the current background on your blog.... it is akin to a library filled with books and I LIKE IT VERY MUCH!!!! May I ask about it... where it is located? Is it a free layout? Would it be something I could relatively easily adopt? Again,I really like the look of this on your site.


justLacey said...

I think getting out and about will help too. It's very depressing to be stuck at home with nothing to do and no money all the time. If it weren't for the fact you were initially drinking, I would be even more excited. I am hoping you haven't had a need to in the last few days and will focus on that. Andrew you are doing great. I know your dad might get his trousers in a wad when he gets home, but I think you have shown yourself you can do some of the things you thought were un-doable for you.

justLacey said...

Forgot to ask if you got your bar-b-que plate tonight?

kristi said...

I mowed for 2 hours tonight. We have two mowers but our brand new one threw a belt, I am mad, but atleast it is under warranty. Now we have to take it in to get fixed in a week. We have 4 1/2 acres so I will mow again tomorrow and probably one more day this week, it is neverending and we have had tons of rain. I do love to mow though, it gives me time away and I take my MP3 and think about things as I mow and jam out.

TheBipolarMom said...

Awesome on the grass cutting, you are really taking a big step forward, this should truly help with the anxiety.

Agree that keep a log of addresses if possible.