My sister-in-law’s birthday is today. She decided that for her birthday, she wanted to go camping with as much of each side of her family as possible (as in, our family and her husband’s). This is great – except for the fact that we are leaving in less than a week and I really need to be home getting things done. I explained to the birthday girl that we would probably come out tonight and then I may just stay home tomorrow until Mike gets home from work around three and then come out. I told her right off the bat that we wouldn’t be camping, just visiting, which she expected. We don’t really have a tent and aren’t set up for it, and the family seems to be okay with this. But even visiting requires packing and thinking of a dozen things you will need for three children of different ages. I think what my sister-in-law wanted to hear from me was that I would come out with the kids in the morning for breakfast and then Mike would come out when he was done work. The trouble with that is my kids’ need for naps. Erik is small enough that he can sleep anywhere and Jenny can sleep in a bed, so she could take a nap in someone’s tent, but Elias hasn’t learned to sleep out of a playpen yet and I’m not about to cart the playpen out to the campsite. Grrr. So the best thing for me would be to stay home Saturday morning and get some work done and give the kids an early nap and go out at three o’clock. But the response I got from my sister-in-law made it sound like she’s going to be very disappointed if we don’t go out all day tomorrow. Ahhhh!!! Why does this have to be so difficult?!?
The facts are – 1)all those projects I listed still need doing, although I did take the recycling in and cleared the countertops in the kitchen. I also took a few things to the shed, so I am a tiny way through the list. 2)I hate it when my kids don’t nap and the fact is that for all the help I’m promised, it’s me who deals with them when they’re grumpy, which they definitely are when they haven’t had naps. 3)Erik had shots today which means that I didn’t get any work done today. 4)I am not looking forward to the process of packing for our trip, but if I can get a bit more housework done before we go, it will be easier. If I have to pack a bunch of stuff and then wash it all after this weekend and turn around and do it again on Wednesday, I’m going to be stressed out and grumpy for the first half of the week and it may prove to be a bad beginning to my trip.
So what do I do? I keep people happy. I go in the morning. I hope that I can get enough done this afternoon and the beginning of next week to be ready for leaving on Wednesday. I sit around in the heat at the lake, wishing I wasn’t there, just to keep people happy.
I really need to learn how to say no.
Or rather, where have I been? I know, for awhile there it looked like I’d be writing nearly every day, and then I just quit. I’m pretty sure something was going on when I first stopped writing, but then I just started reading so much, I didn’t feel like writing. I made my way through about five novelsand I’m almost at the end of the sixth with one more in the queue. I also cut my hair and pierced my nose since my last post. I don’t even think I mentioned planning to do those things. The nose is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time and the real reason I decided to cut my hair is that it was worth fifteen points in the photo scavenger hunt I’m doing for the city. But since I pierced my nose on a Saturday and cut my hair on the following Tuesday, I’ve made a few people think that I’m having something akin to a mid-life crisis. The haircut is pretty extreme for me…even though it isn’t very extreme at all. It’s just pretty short in a few places and somewhat trendy. Yeah, I know. I usually just hate trendy things, but I’m very happy with the outcome. As for my nose, it hurt like crazy but I love it and even Mike is getting used to it. He had about a year and a half to think on it…seeing that I decided then that I really wanted to do it. It just took me this long to actually get it done. The funny thing is that typically all this new-ness would have cost me a pretty penny, but I had a coupon for a free body piercing (I know..funny, isn’t it) and it only cost me $2.50 for the tax or something. Then I called around and found a salon in town that has an apprentice who is FREE! Hooray! My sister-in-law actually got her hair cut for free the hour before I did and both of our cuts turned out pretty nice.
Anyway, before I start to gross myself out with all this self-glorifying writing (that’s what it feels like anyway), I will say that all the reading has definitely affected my house negatively. I did finally sweep up on Monday night and put a bunch of things away, but the kids’ room, our room and the kitchen have been in need of work for months without being touched. I almost feel inspired today, but the temperature is rising fast inside and out and I may wimp out in favour of laying in bed in front of the fan when I have some time. It seems like the only time that the house is cool enough to work in is the middle of the night, and there’s no way I’m going to clean in the middle of the night. So for now I’m going to do what I can and wait for cooler weather.
Our trip south is rapidly approaching – in about two weeks, we should be in Washington and then in Oregon on the 23rd for my sister’s wedding. At the moment, I’m just waiting for Mike to talk to his boss about taking two extra days than what he asked for. Here’s hoping…
So, no promises, but I’m thinking about slowing down on the reading after I finish the next book, which would probably mean more writing. But you never know, I may find something else to occupy my time.
What happens when members of your family want to come over to play a game and your kids are napping so you can’t really go anywhere (therefore, the suggestion of going to their house is out)? You say, okay, and you clean. Frantically. In half an hour or less, usually. And the best part? Your husband helps!
Mike talked to his sister after we came home from a birthday party yesterday and she and her husband wanted to play a game. Because our kids were napping, we had to stay here and having done not much of anything social, we wanted some interaction. Mike passed the phone to me and I asked his sister why I was talking to her. Her response? “Mike wasn’t sure if it was okay if we came over.” Like I’m his mom. But he’s looking out for me. At least…well…a dozen times? now, he’s invited people over not giving any thought to the mess in our house and it’s totally freaked me out. So this was a nice gesture, and as soon as I hung up the phone (after saying yes), we went to work. I started Mike on the dishes while I did some basic pick up. We swapped jobs the rest of the time, sweeping, wiping down the table and countertops, picking up clothes and toys. In the end, it only took about half an hour and the whole first part of the house (living room/dining room) was clean! Not perfectly clean, but pretty good. It has actually been a number of months since I could see my entire tabletop. Okay, maybe it’s been almost a year. Still, it’s clean now – wiped down and de-junked. We were able to play a game on it and not push things out of the way. Mike and I even played another game after the kids went to bed. Usually I’m too lazy to want to push the mess aside and so I turn down game playing. I was falling asleep by the end of the game, but it was still quite nice to do it. It’s not like the house is perfect, but I’d invite almost anyone over right now, while usually I have a restricted list that is kept to Mike’s single guy friends (what will they care?) and my closest girlfriends and one sister-in-law (the one with a child..who can’t blame me for having a messy house now that she knows how easy it is with kids).
It’s not the same kind of satisfaction felt when the cleanup is thorough and far reaching and well thought through, but it’s still satisfaction that I felt this morning. And maybe it will inspire me to do a bit more. Maybe. I’m not making promises here.
I was just saying to my mother that I prefer to write no more often than every other day, because I don’t want to get obnoxious. And yet I keep coming back. My apologies. Maybe if I think of this as a journal that no one reads, I can get over my fears of disappointing people.
I’ve learned something about myself (again?). I’ve really been wanting to paint, and have managed to do some sketching, but just haven’t gotten around to pulling out the canvas I bought and starting on something. I have been spending too much time on the computer and not enough time doing other things. What this means is that my house is wrecked (no surprise there) and I haven’t done anything creative. In many ways, doing something creative – and cleaning up after myself – would relax me enough to get some housework done. The trouble is that when my house is so messy, I don’t feel that I should be doing anything creative. Yes, folks, it’s a vicious cycle.
I just searched to see if “vicious cycle” could be found on wikipedia as one of the most overused phrases of all time, but instead found out that Vicious Cycle is a tribute band for Lynyrd Skynyrd in northeast Ohio. Fascinating. It also seems to be the name of a number of bike shops across the country.
Today, as much as I could complain more about my kids and the weird things they do that make my life more difficult, I won’t. I need a nap and I think today I won’t deny myself the luxury of it. I’ll just set my alarm for an hour from now and then if I can manage to get up, I’ll do something productive.
Or just end up on the computer some more. We’ll see.