A Good Attitude

I dreaded waking up on Saturday morning knowing I would need to start lugging all the glassware, toys, trinkets and other random household items outside for the impromptu yard sale I decided to hold only the day before.

Operation: Purge was in full effect and it was time to get rid of the excess “stuff” from the house. Packing up would only be successful when that excess was gone.

I wasn’t really looking to make money. I’ve had yard sales before and rarely make any good money from them. I just needed to get everything out of the house and on its way to a new home. It was the process.

I thought it would be fun to have the boys help me with a yard sale. Last year, we had talked about having an art sale so Biz could sell some of his art. G wanted to plan an elaborate lemonade stand. Why not combine them all on Saturday morning?

I did not prepare for the event. I posted something on Facebook Friday night and told the boys we’d start taking stuff outside on Saturday morning. I put a quick listing up on Craigslist and hoped for the best.

G, on the other hand, woke up at 6:15am and made a checklist in bed.


He brought the checklist down to my bedroom, where Biz and I hid under the covers and thought about staying putting for just a few more minutes.

G was proud of his checklist and couldn’t wait to share. He turned a light on and started to read his list. He was ready to tackle the day and his lemonade stand duties. Number 6 on the list was key, he told me and Biz.

“You have to have a good attitude, Mom.”

“You’re absolutely right, G,” I told him.

And we got up and started preparing for our yard sale. I started taking things outside as the boys ate breakfast and a light rain started to hit my skin. I kept going, despite my doubt about the yard sale, and the boys eventually started to help. G made his lemon iced tea, poured it into cups, made a sign, determined his price, and set up his cooler. Biz, eventually, got his art outside. Our table full of stuff was strategically set under a tree so that the exact area we were in was dry. We hung a few signs (made by G, of course) around the neighborhood.

The rain was light and eventually stopped. We had a few customers. We sold some stuff, some art, and some lemon iced tea. A man in a dress stopped to tell me I was pretty.

We kept our good attitude and celebrated our success. Then we loaded up my Explorer and donated the rest. A carload of things we didn’t have to worry about anymore. That evening, we hopped into the car, drove to Boothbay Harbor and ate gourmet popcorn by the water.

As stressful as all of this is and has been, #6 really is key. I’m lucky to have one smart 9-year-old to remind me.

How’s your attitude today?


Wordless Wednesday: Lands End

lands end

Wordless Wednesday (7.30.14): Lands End by Jennifer Iacovelli Barbour

Linking up with

5 Minutes for Mom
Wordless Wednesday
Wordless Wednesday @ The Jenny Evolution

Taking the jump

“You can do it, B!”

It was the fourth time my son’s friend got on the platform for the zip line at a local ropes course. We were celebrating G’s 9th birthday. The plan was to have the boys go through the course, eat some ice cream, and then go home for some pizza and a sleepover.

I watched the boys go through the course with my soon-to-be-ex-husband. It’s one of those activities that I can’t do with my boys. The height and the fear of falling is too much for me. While I have no problem riding in tiny planes to Boston or in developing countries, I get dizzy when I’m up high and nothing is around me.

I could feel B’s pain. He said he didn’t have a problem with heights. He seemed to be fine on the platforms, but he was timid about going over some of the shaky features of the ropes course. He sat out some and tried others. Three times he went to the higher platform for the zip line, got hooked up, and said no.

I stood below watching his grit and determination. I was ready to take a photo and text it to his mom. His fear would kick in, and he’d politely decline to go.

But he kept going back up. He wanted to go on that zip line.

When he got up to the platform on that fourth time, the staff member was determined to get him to complete his trip. She talked with him about how to approach the zip line and asked him about his fears. She had him sit in his safety gear and feel how the line would hold him. The other boys would go up and show him how it’s done on the zip line next to his. Each tried to get B to leave the platform, but he would stand there frozen.

There were many people cheering B on as he stood on that platform. He stood there for what seemed to be an eternity as kids and adults continued to zip by him on the other line. He didn’t leave, but he didn’t jump off the platform either. He stood quietly thinking.

It made me think about how our fears can control our thoughts and actions (or inaction) in life.

Sometimes you hold on for dear life and muster up a smile.

huggingpoleSometimes you stop and let your mind play tricks on you.

waitingontheledgeBut you try. Because that’s all you can do.

If you don’t try, you won’t know what you can do.

gtiresYou listen to those that cheer you on and you quiet them when you need to concentrate.

When you are ready –  if you ever are ready – you take that jump.

And usually it’s not as bad as you thought it would be.


In fact, it might be far better than you ever imagined.

You might just turn around and do it again. Or try something even bolder.


When my son’s friend finally made it off the platform and zip lined off into the sunset (it was getting late at that point!), everyone at the ropes course cheered. It was huge.

B may have been a little embarrassed, but he was mostly proud. And he should have been. At that point, he had gone too far not to jump off that platform. Declining that fourth attempt wasn’t an option.

On the ground, I told him how proud I was of him and how I shared his accomplishment with his mom by text. He just quietly smiled at me. Though I’m sure he wished he was able to do it sooner, it was better late than never.

Courage won out and the fears were quieted.

Have you taken a jump like this in life?


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