Thoughts On Being Insane

insaneWe’re having fun seeing all the excitement (and irritation) about our house. The most fun with the graffiti has been seeing strange cars drive by our house and having people stop and look, but not speak to us when we are out front. The best word to describe their expressions is dumbfounded. Before the story hit the Columbia Patch, most of the people stopping really seemed shocked. One of my neighbors speculated that the curious really didn’t know what to say to us and probably assumed we were vandalized. Once, we went out to say hello to people taking pictures and to tell them what was up. They quickly drove off before we could say more than, “Hi!”

Thankfully, most of the comments are positive. It makes me smile to know so many people found a splash of joy from our fun. Only a couple comments have been a bit sour. I ignore those. They’re either by people who don’t know us at all and are expressing an opinion to which they are entitled, or they know us and are hiding behind a fake name. I give little energy to folks in either category.

One of my favorite comments is the one that calls us insane, as if having a bit of insanity in one’s life is a problem. It made me laugh being cyber-judged by someone making a decision based on a few goofy pictures and a short story about strangers on the internet. It made me think about this Dr. Suess quote:

Those that matter don’t mind and those that mind don’t matter.

The truth is, the people who matter in this case know, appreciate, and smile at my kind of crazy. They’re the ones we trust to enter our home in a pinch to take care of our dog and help us put together block parties. They’re the ones who bring food or help get the kids to and from school when you are recovering from surgery and greet you with a hug when they haven’t seen you in weeks because everyone is too busy living. They’re the ones who think, “Who else but YOU would have that idea?” and might even say it out loud with a smile because they know it would make me laugh. I’m so blessed to be surrounded by such amazing, fun, and loving neighbors.

As for being called insane, I prefer to be called a little crazy. And I completely own my crazy. What fun is life if we can’t be a little off our rockers now and again? Besides, I can’t really deny that there is a pile of evidence that would put my sanity in question:

  1. In 1995 I convinced a group of 11 college students (when I was a college student) to plan and organize a leadership conference for 500+ students across 6 or 7 states when I had never planned an event… ever. Not sure even now, 17 years later, if it was a bigger feat to convince the University and Residential Life powers that be to support my crazy idea or to actually pull off the conference. Either way, all signs for “insane” pointed to me then, too.
  2. Summer of 2010 when the PTA at my children’s elementary school self imploded, causing one of the biggest community micro-dramas I ever experienced (and hopefully will never experience again), I decided to become the new PTA president. My husband isn’t joking when he says, “Her solution to the problem was to be the new president when everyone else quit.” It definitely took a special type of crazy to even think I could make it work. I’m still amazed I was able to convince enough parents to step in with me and stay strong when ever fiber in our bodies was telling us to run far, far away from the rubble caused by a very small handful of parents who I believe at their core meant well but had very different ideas than most for how to achieve desired results. In the end, I learned I was stronger than I thought and to avoid poking bears.
  3. 3ish weeks ago I decided that to celebrate my 40th birthday I’m holding a fundraiser 5K to benefit the Howard County Food Bank and Athletes Serving Athletes. I’ve only ever participated in runs and other races, never been involved in planning one. So far, I’ve got most of the logistics worked out after a variety of conversations and emails with people who have been involved in race planning. But I’m certain this is another example that proves mild insanity considering said event is less than 6 months away.

Who cares?! What’s going on with your renovation?

The big question now is: Is all the graffiti still up?

Most of it is, yes. The contractors have been busy with the new front and back porches. All of the graffiti in the back of the house is gone and some of the work on the front of the house is down too. Most of the good stuff is still up and making our neighbors smile. There might be a few who are cringing, but we love them anyway. They’re kind enough to smile and wave as they drive by and not show us the face palm once they pass. Assuming the weather cooperates, new siding could be up by the end of the week. But, it could be early next week before it happens. I’m almost sad to see it go, except that I know what’s coming and am really excited to see the house when it’s all done.

Stay tuned for more pictures of the progress.

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