Yard Work, Space Ships and Calming Down

We recently put our home on the market. And I have OCD tendencies. I also bite my nails. I always assumed this was some form of anxiety or a form of weakness until recently, when my husband shared this study with me. Apparently it’s a habit linked with perfectionism. And boredom. My life is finally starting to make sense.

House selling, combined with these character traits can make for quite the disastrous situation. However, pat on the back, I’ve been pretty even keeled thus far. Yesterday I decided the lawn needed some extra attention, so once the big kids were in school and the littlest was enjoying Mother’s day out I hauled out the lawn equipment and got to work.

We have an electric lawn mower that my tree-hugging husband insisted upon. I’m not sure if you’ve ever seen one of these contraptions but you literally plug it into an outlet and mow away. Men in big trucks laugh as they drive by because it looks like you are vacuuming the lawn with a space ship. You also get to play a fun game of don’t run over the cord and get electrocuted.


Once the lawn care items were pulled out, plugged in and ready I ran inside to open the upstairs windows and back door as well. It was a great day for just letting the house air out. We live in a great area and leaving the house open isn’t really a concern. As I was working I noticed several police cars patrolling and assumed it was routine, we see them from time to time as they monitor traffic etc. I continued to work around the front and back yard, pushing the space ship and just enjoying the sun. I checked my phone after a bit and noticed several text messages. One of my friends was sharing that there was a criminal on foot and police were looking for him. She named the neighborhood and I was immediately concerned, the area was one street away from me and my wide open house. I quickly began shoving items into the garage, locked the car and secured the back door. As I ran around to the front door it occurred to me that while I was in the back the front was open.

I wasn’t terribly concerned, you know, because I’m so fast. As I entered the house I heard a loud swishing noise. I took a couple of steps into the house to make sure it wasn’t my imagination. Indeed a loud swishing, banging noise was coming from the family room. I whistled, grabbed the dog and ran outside. I called my husband on the phone and explained the situation. As he urged me to call the police I chose a different plan. I locked Chips, our dog, in the car grabbed the metal rake and approached the door. I could hear the noise as I walked up and was convinced that someone was inside. I held up my weapon rake and yelled, “if you are in there just run out the back door!” I was answered with the continued swishing, banging noise from the rear of the house. I kept Calvin on the phone and decided to move further into the house.

With the rake.

As I approached the family room I began thinking, man that sounds like the washer… but I didn’t do laundry today! (Side note: If there are criminals that sneak in to do laundry, they are welcome in my house) I inched closer and the noise got louder. I raised my rake higher.

And indeed, the washer was on with a few rags and a random toy swishing and banging away. One of the lovely Goodbye Kids had pushed the timer button again.

I’m still trying to discern the moral of the story here. It might be Don’t do Yardwork, Ever, it could also be Don’t Approach your House if you think there is a criminal inside, but most likely the moral of this particular husband is rolling his eyes at crazy wild-imagination wife story is Calm your Life down.

In the recent days I’ve felt such pressure to be perfect and to look perfect as people inspect my home. And in an effort to make things faster and smoother I end up spending a lot of time chasing perfection instead of believing that things will happen at their given time. You see, Calvin had promised to work on the yard when he came home. And instead of focusing on other things I jumped the gun and did it myself. And as a result I ended up looking pretty silly. So yes, Calm down. For me, for you, for everyone.

About the author


Erica is an advocate for simplicity, family time, making a cozy home and loving others well. She is the community coordinator for One Orphan, the orphan care ministry of America World Adoption Association. Erica and Calvin have four young children; Elliott, Charlotte, Lola and Liam. They currently reside in Nashville, TN.

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  • You crack me up! Although – if it was a nice day and warmer than it has been – you had every right to be out doing that lawn!

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