28 August 2008

listy list list

So my shrink and my best friend have both frequently expressed astonishment at how much time I spent doing housework. That's what I spent my evening on tonight, so here's a little run-down, transcribed from my to-do for tonight. (Note, I am blogging at 11:50 pm and I didn't even cook dinner, I just reheated leftovers.)

I got home at about 7:30 - which is not unusually late for me - and sat down and wrote the following list, in all its tedious, tiny-itemed glory:


go for walk


make lemon pepper cashews

laundry (W)

use up basil to make pesto or tomato sauce (I heart my cuisinart mini-prep, it's so much easier to clean than the big guy and perfect for a small job like pesto)

eat dinner

clean catboxes



go to bed early

clean fish tank (W)

prep Inty's meds for tomorrow morning

wash and refill cat food bowls

remove evidence of ravages caused by dinner, cashews and pesto from kitchen


refill brita

The ones with lines through them got done tonight; the (W) items are reserved for the weekend.

So I don't know - is this excessive? Because it all seems very normal to me to want to do this kind of stuff on a regular basis - this is totally regular maintenance stuff, nothing too ambitious - yet I probably won't get to sleep until well after midnight, and I need to be into work at 8 so that means getting up at 6:30 for realsies instead of hitting snooze until 7:15.

Whatever, if I'm normal or not doesn't matter, I am in serious need of the long weekend coming up. I plan to hang with our colony of cats, actually get some reading done instead of reading three pages in bed before I fall asleep ... oh, and I totally have a list of bigger projects to get done around the house this weekend, of course. Because long weekends are made for domestic puttering and naps and drinking beers with lunch. I hope the weather is nice.


Maggie said...

Is getting the items on your list done causing you stress? Are you just gettng this stuff done because it's stuff you decided to do, or are you compelled to get it done in a way that makes me feel like you'll lose it if you don't? Because if not, don't worry about it. Besides, I wouldn't call a lot of that stuff "housework". What are you supposed to do, spend all your free time sitting in front of the tv?

Sue Dickman said...

That's an interesting list, mostly because I do many of the things you do but don't put them on my to-do lists. (Of the items on yours, I'd probably put the walk, the pesto, the laundry and the kitchen clean up on mine.) But I'm also of the mind to get little things done in the time I'm waiting for something else to happen. e.g. I steep my tea for 4 or 5 minutes, so I often do quick vacuums during that time, or refill the cats' dishes or do some dishes. Would it feel less onerous--and would you still do everything--if your lists were less detailed? It's an interesting question.

Cara deBeer said...

I really like the list thing because it's a record of what I've gotten done; otherwise I'm apt to turn around at the end of the week and say, where the hell did the week go and what have I got to show for it? Or get up late in the morning and then realize that shit, I've forgotten to prep Inty's meds so now I'm going to be even later ... you know?

And yeah, I totally did the catfood dishes and refilled the brita in between other stuff - usually those tiny things do't make it onto the list, this was just a total transcript of the evening's activities. It's like "pick up shoes from living room floor" - you do it, but it's not really list-worthy.

I definitely enjoy doing all the stuff and/or like the end result - the problem is I end up doing so much around the house (which I lump into the general category of "housework", not that taking a walk or blogging really is) that I don't have time to read or sleep enough. So my balance is off, maybe, and I should think about how I can make more time for reading, sleeping, playing with the cats and maybe relax a bit about the vacuuming and utilize the dishwasher moer (even if it doesn't dry dishes, it's still easier than hand washing everything.)

Katharine Weber said...

A few presumptuous thoughts:

I think you should utilize Dave more.

One definition of neurosis is when you don't have thoughts, your thoughts have you. I feel as if you don't have a list, your list has you. Unless you derive personal satisfaction from certain tasks, and we all do, for sure -- there is nothing like a linen closet of perfectly folded towels in contrast to, say, a half-finished novel to make me feel accomplishment and completion in some small way -- then you might want to question th necessity for each item. Who is it for? For whom does it matter if this thing is done a little less often or a little less well? And maybe that person needs to step up for that task.

Cara deBeer said...

Yeah, he is aware that he is not pulling his weight. We are in discussions about what changes he will make. In the meantime, your criteria are probably going to be helpful in terms of the order in which I do things.