I have a problem. It’s a big problem. It’s a problem that hurts my throat and hurts emotions. I am a yeller. I yell a lot. I yell over big things. I yell over little things. I yell over dangerous things. I yell over stupid things. I yell at my kids. I yell at my husband. I even yell at myself. I need to put a stop to it. It’s not healthy for me or anyone else. And now my kids yell. My husband yells. Dear heavens, I’ve created a family of people who can’t do anything but yell at each other.

Yesterday on Pinterest, I ran across a link to a blog I hadn’t seen before, The Orange Rhino. Yeah, I know, it’s a funny sounding name. It’s even funnier to read the subtitle, “I can’t yell, but I can still pick my nose.” The obvious hilarity of the statement aside, the I can’t yell part caught my attention, so I clicked over. It’s like this woman lives inside my head, except she has four kids and is an orange rhino, a funny orange rhino. She too was a yeller, and like me, she decided to do something about it. So she challenged herself to go 365 days without yelling. She created all sorts of rules for herself, like if she yells, she is reset back to Day 1. Yes, you read that correctly, she has to start all over at the beginning. She also created a yell-o-meter. Levels 1-4 are normal and acceptable interactions with her kids. Levels 5,6, and 7 are big no-no’s – especially number 7, the raging scream. Seriously, the woman lives inside my head. How does she know I’m a rage screamer?

So I called my husband in. “Hey look at this!” I say, pointing excitedly at the screen. He looks at it and he seems intrigued. “I’m going to do this!” I say. He nods and says, “Me too!” Yay!!!!!! That means we’re on the same page. That means we can help each other out when the going gets rough and we really want to yell and scream. I didn’t expect him to be excited about it, but he definitely wants to do it and I even got him to like her facebook page. Score one point for me!

So we decided to just dive right in. Today is day one. November 21, 2012. It’s 8:36 AM and I haven’t yelled yet. That is actually an acheivement. Sad huh? But also good. Getting the boys ready for school and out the door on time so we don’t miss the bus and I have to drive them 30 minutes by car is difficult. It usually results in us arriving at the bus stop at the same time, or just after our bus (thankfully we have an awesome driver who waits a couple minutes before leaving). It also results in a lot of yelling on my end to get them to hustle. And today neither happened. We were at the stop a full five minutes before our bus and not one person yelled, well except for when D hid behind under the dining room table before jumping up and yelling “Boo!” But I’m pretty sure that doesn’t count.

So, I hope to chronicle my journey here. It helps me to acheive my other goal, regular blogging. Maybe by posting what happens here, it will also help keep my eyes on the ball and deflect my emotions as I try to find interesting ways to share the daily trials and tribulations of not yelling with my very small number of readers. Any support you want to lend is appreciated, especially if you too are a yeller and want to take the challenge with me. So here goes nothing, and everything.