22 July 2008

File Under: Be Careful What You Wish For

Dammit! I had a whole post nearly all written and then Inty walked across the keyboard and erased the whole thing. Fucker. Good thing she is cute or we'd be eating cat steaks for dinner.

So anyway, what I was writing about was how recently we found a cleaner* (via the friend of a friend) and how now I feel really unmoored without my long list of tasks to do at home and constant pressure. I spent last weekend reading and feeling lazy and guilty about it. I could easily generate another list of tasks, of course, but the point of hiring a cleaner was to get away from that. And I've been telling myself for months now that when Dave is busy doing band stuff, since that's basically him off with a hobby (it's not really, but you know what I mean?) I should spend the time that he's away doing something I really like to do, not cleaning ... but I always ended up spending the time cleaning because if I didn't do it then, it wouldn't get done, and then I'd have to listen to Dave freak out about how the house was dirty and cop to it being partly his fault for not being around, which just made me feel worse about everything, which is why it was easier to just keep the place clean.

But now that I don't have to do that, I don't quite know how to use my new spare time, and I don't know how to stop feeling guilty about not being busy every second of the day - equally as busy as Dave, who works full time, goes to school 1/2 time and is in a band - unless I create more stuff for myself to do. So ... I find myself in the familiar position of having what I wanted but being too neurotic to enjoy it. I'm sure this is something that I'll be discussing with my shrink, but in the meantime I'll be taking deep breaths and telling myself that it's OKAY to take some time for myself. Really. It is.

* it took a long time to find someone partly because I wasn't that aggressive about searching and partly because I wanted someone independent, not like Merry Maids, where you pay the service a decent hourly rate but the people doing the actual work get minimum wage - but then I was also a little skeeved by the idea of just grabbing a flyer off a lamppost and inviting a stranger into my hours for a few hours while I wasn't around. I read Nickel and Dimed like a good liberal. I heart Ehrenreich anyway. So I pay our cleaner about twice what my own hourly rate, which seems fair to me - she's got to pay for her own health insurance and plus cleaning toilets and vacuuming is hard, gross work.


Rooie said...

Take up knitting. It'll give you a whole 'nother world of stuff to obssess over and something to keep your hands busy and if you take a class, you'll meet new people.

Or not.

Kay said...

Hey I was just thinking how quickly you found and got set up with a cleaner. If it were me, the idea would still be rolling around in my head and then eventually I'd forget about it. I always admire your ability to follow through.

And listen. Dave's as busy as he wants to be. No need to try to keep up just for the sake of keeping up. First - his life won't always be like this. Second - you work full time and run the house full time. Cut yourself some slack, honey.

And I second rooie's suggestion. There are plenty of classes and groups around. Maybe this Fall I'll be able to hang out and knit with you. Word is this summer semester's as bad as it gets.

Anyway! Kisses!

Maggie said...

Dude, man, I am the QUEEN of hobbies and activities for keeping your hands busy. I spend so much time on bedrest, I've spent the past eight years doing everything from making homemade mobiles to knitting to sewing to creating online greeting cards and desktop wallpapers to making jewelry to decoupaging everything that has a flat surface! If you'd like some ideas or patterns or instructions or anything along those lines, seriously, let me know. :)

Cara deBeer said...

It's not so much that I can't think of things to do as feeling guilty about not doing productive things all the time ... like Kay says, no need to keep up with Dave just for the sake of keeping up.

...although I would still really like to learn to knit and now maybe I do have time to learn properly. God, I'd love to get into more craft-y stuff. But I think fiction maybe should come before that.

Cara deBeer said...

Fiction writing, that is. Wish I coul edit comments.