I hate the expression emotional rollercoaster. I especially hate it when someone uses that expression when they talk about separation and divorce, or even dealing with a narcissistic, cheating spouse. It contradicts the truth of the emotions. A rollercoaster is something I choose to ride, and even sometimes pay to ride. I know the ride will be exhilarating, fun, and thrilling. I am securely seated with a nice padded restraint that promises to keep me safe. There’s a nice attendant that smiles as we leave the station. Sure, the ride has ups and downs, but I choose to experience them. And they are good ups and downs. I know that an up will be followed by an exciting down, and I know when the ride will be over. As for my marital situation, I may have chosen to marry the jerk (that’s a whole different theme park ride altogether), but I didn’t choose to get screwed over (and screwed up) by him.
I was mowing the grass yesterday in what felt like 100% humidity. My cheating husband has the $4,000 lawnmower that I paid for during our blissful marriage (no hard feelings, really), but thanks to my family inheritance, I am a proud owner of a 1993 electric push mower. Not just any electric push mower, but the kind with a plug (and a cord).
I have someone that helps maintain the property where I live (about 2 acres), but the backyard where my son plays requires more maintenance than the rest of the property. My goal yesterday was to simply mow that small patch of yard. I pulled my inheritance out, dusted off the cobwebs, and plugged her in.
I cannot describe the acrobatic maneuvers I made while trying to avoid mowing over the extension cord. But let me tell you, it put Cirque du Soleil to shame. After I was done, I felt so triumphant. I was sweating, hot, and not thinking about my husband. The smell of fresh grass and the victorious feeling I had inspired me to mow another adjacent patch of land. It was a bit of an intimidating hillside, but I was the master of the mower and nothing could stop me.
You never truly know how steep a hill is until you mow it with a push mower connected to an extension cord plugged in on your porch. I’m no expert, but that hill had an incline of something between 20 degrees and 80 degrees. That’s when I really started sweating. And when I started trying to figure out the most efficient and easy way to finish the hill without killing myself.
That’s what my current marital state feels like. It isn’t an emotional rollercoaster. What it really feels like is mowing a 45 degree hill on a 100 degree day with a 1990s electric push mower plugged into a power outlet 15 feet away.
Even when you’re going down, you’re still working a machine that is working against you. When you’re going up, you’re either pushing or pulling something that doesn’t want to go. The entire time you’re sweating because there’s no breeze and you’re half-blind because there’s no shade. And you know that when you’re done mowing you aren’t really done because the grass will continue to grow.
So the next time that someone pats me on the back and tells me they can only imagine the emotional rollercoaster I am on, I will graciously invite them to come mow the hillside and see what they think.