I have had a horrible day. I have never once believed that such a thing as Murphy’s Law existed but, for the first time, it seems to today. It seems to be one calamity after another around here and, if it’s more than I can manage to simply keep things somewhat picked up, then how on earth am I to manage the upkeep, maintenance and repairs of things, as well.
A few days ago I entered one of those silly internet games, a Dead Pool, in which people place bets on which celebrities will die in the coming year. We may as well place bets on which part of my property will go next…recent months have taken a clothes dryer, car, garbage disposal, garage door opener and refrigerator. Count the air conditioner and furnace in recent years and, of course, the roof…and then ceiling. Lord, how I somedays wish to dump this place onto a younger, more willing couple, fresh with energy and just starting out. Because it all seems to much to deal with anymore.
Yes, I am overwhelmed.
Many times I have thought about selling. Yet it will take tens of thousands to get in selling condition. And my children would declare mutiny, I’m sure. They are fond of this money pit in this charming and friendly neighborhood. It’s the only home they’ve known.
Well-meaning folks have said things like, “There’s a lesson in this somewhere.” Which is a good way to get my ire up. If there were truly one more goddamned lesson to be mined from the pain and heartache I’ve been through, I’d like to think I’d have durned well learned it by now!
Sometimes I become embittered and think, “If only things had been different…” By things, of course, we are discussing my wasband’s lack of income generation. We bought this home thinking of living here a few years and moving up to something better. But with a single income and two small children and a market which seemed to have peaked before we were ready to sell, there’s been no moving up…only a constant toiling. So I suppose if things had truly been different, we’d have sold and split our equity in a nicer home and I’d be back in something more modest. Something probably a lot like this!
I don’t know whether I’ve met Mister Right or not yet, but I think there’s one way I’ll know for sure if I do…he’ll ring me up and say, “How about I come over this afternoon and help you around the house and, after that, we can clean up and get some dinner.”
I know it sounds so ridiculously silly, but hear me out: As a single, stressed-out, working mother, my mind is nearly constantly occupied with a running list of to-dos, feeling completely overwhelmed at the sheer impossibility of accomplishing them all, and trying not to break down in tears of frustration or failure. And when I’m dating, I’m thinking that I can either spend time with my beau on the weekend or accomplish long-overdue tasks around the house. It would be nice to do both, but I can’t help but feel I’m sacrificing or giving less effort and attention than I ought to on both fronts.
I can’t imagine any guy thinking this dreamy scenario sounds appealing. In fact, it’s been suggested to me that I need to “let go.” But household maintenance is a reality — “letting go” adds up in ways that, over time, can lead to decline in property value. And, while I’m not abnormally anal about my housekeeping (any longer), I believe that keeping a warm, comfortable and somewhat clean home is one of the important ways I take care of my family. (I do — now that I’ve got a reasonable salary — intend to hire some help in this regard, so that it takes less of my time and psychic energy.)
Just hearing a willingness to partner, to work side-by-side, would demonstrate that a man has listened to me, knows what causes me stress and wants to help ease that stress (because I can’t very well allow him to make such valiant efforts to ease the stress I might feel at my job).
But mostly, a simple demonstration of willingness to pitch in around the house is likely to say — loudly — that this is the sort of fella that might make a good husband.
So if you’re sensing that I haven’t been as full-on committed to the quality of posts or storytelling in this blog recently, you’d be right. Thus, I’m going to give you a little glimpse into what I’ve been up to:
- I wrote a children’s book (obviously much cleaner than what I write about here), I’m working with an illustrator and raising the funds to get it published on Kickstarter.com. I hope you’ll support the project!
- I began a new gig that has me commuting across town, working all day and racing back after work to try and pick the children up before I have to pay a late penalty.
- I signed up for an online course to brush up on some new media skills.
- I wrote a down-and-dirty business plan for a statewide entrepreneurial competition. (I’ve been feeling overwhelmed enough so that, when I asked myself, “What’s the worst that could happen?” and arrived at being selected for the next round, because then I’d have to commit to further work on it…well, I figured I have nothing to lose.)
- I’m exploring the possibility of buying a business that I’ve admired from afar for some time.
Additionally, I’ve been working on summer arrangements for my children, car shopping, getting a new roof, trying to keep up with the house and yard work, and failing miserably at maintaining my exercise and meditation routines. And, while I’ve taken a break from the online dating game, I’m actually checking in to other sites that might prove more fruitful, either because of sheer volume or who knows? There are some cool concepts out there that I want to try…which you may hear about if I find I’m inspired to write about them.
After a few-month period of shedding and releasing just about anything “extra,” it seems I’m now doing my damnedest to bite off way more than I can chew. You know me by now: always trying to find my balance, I struggle with wondering whether I’m genuinely pursuing multiple passions or if I’m just throwing a bunch of shit at various walls to see what will stick. I am, in fact, a bit overwhelmed, and yet I’m managing my stress much better than when I was in the social pressure cooker of my old work life. I’m just plugging away, step by step, working toward my passions, knowing that the “right” things will fall in to line naturally.
And, with that, I’m gonna go and get my “om” on, and follow it with some zzzzz. Dream sweetly!