I have finished painting the front door at least the outside part. I will still paint the inside to match the living room, the soft butter yellow. I added daisy curtains that once hung in the kitchen, throwing away the old, ancient almost, ugly lace curtains that came with the house. I also am ready to paint the last little bit of shutter that I neglected to do two years ago. Ahem. OOPS. The door needs to be replaced, but first the picture window with the bullet hole and the rotting wood, and the screen with the giant hole in it. I am stressed for some reason almost overcome with an anxiety that I cannot name. It is gripping me and I need to let it go. I decide to take some of this intensity of energy and use it for something worthwhile, something other than the self abuse I do to myself, the self loathing critical voice that always runs on a low volume but when I am anxious, it shouts in my head. I cannot quiet it. (Honestly it has not been too bad for a long time but for whatever reason it has been bad for the last couple days (PMS?)) I rake out the dead leaves and sticks from under the rhododendron, clipping off all the maple seedlings that have planted themselves, weeding out the stick tights and weed whacking the last of the violets all leggy and ugly. I also finally use all my strength to pull off the large broken branch of the arbor vitae that fell last summer. I really need to buy a hatchet. I trim off the weeping cherry variety (inedible) and some of the dead and leggy branches of the arbor vitae along the edge where the ivy is thick. I leave enough of the thick rambling branches around the bird feeder to allow the birds to feel secure in their approach. Now as I write on the back porch the male cardinal is sitting and looking at me from one of the branches I left intentionally. There is sumac and more maple and one large oak seedling here hiding under the hedge. I work to open up the area where the fence blocks the view, but leave the areas above 6 feet. I like my neighbor I just don’t want her to see me picking at my nose or drinking a third beer. Call me crazy but I love my privacy even here in the city. I make a note to talk to Angelo about the ugly fence pieces, I would rather have something matching, than the three pieces of broke down ghetto crap that lives between our yards. I am covered with stick tights, and something that is making my upper chest itchy, and I sneeze so loudly that the neighbor two doors down shouts God Bless You.
I go inside and sweep and clear away the sandpaper and wire brushes and scrapers, and hang my load of laundry on the line and as I stand hands on my hips, muscles shaking from exertion I feel good. I am wimpy and would be embarrassed to have someone observe my grunting struggles with the brush, but I did it. By myself. And I like that. I like that I am such a strong woman. No I will never model in a short skirt, and nail polish lasts about five minutes on my hands. But I shrug my shoulders. But I am good with that. I am good with this girl. Even if it is hard sometimes. Yes but there it that voice self critical, why do I even question it? Ah there it is the rub. Why do I even question it