Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Clutter of 32

I used to think that at some early adult point in my life, my ability to grasp both sides of my plate, firmly, would develop.

In my view of the future world, homemade eggplant parmagiana would be a weeknight dinner, my dishes would be washed and put away, the beds would be made (without any protruding sheet corners), my children would have a bed time routine that included cuddling and stories and nightlights, and my writing career would develop late into blissful nights of inspired words like “feathering.”

The to-do lists of my mind are horribly cluttered and put me in a frenzy. The immense number of things that have to be done for living in this moment makes future moments feel heavy.

Spending an hour cleaning reminds me that there is dust under the couches, books in disarray, and a bathroom mirror to wipe. Grading 4 essays an hour calculates out to more hours than I have in a weekend. Knowing I only have a few minutes until Mozely wakes up from his nap before he is hanging on my legs, crying, makes me want to avoid dinner altogether. I am constantly counting my moments, until my eyelids collapse while I try to get one post written or even one paragraph. Then I count the number of hours I have until I have to wake up and start it again.

I don’t think I’ll ever be caught up. I’m running the treadmill and it’s just about to trip me up.

I have two goals for 32. And maybe I’ll feel like I’m moving forward instead of in the same place.

*I will exercise, every day, except Sunday.

*I will begin writing. Something.

When I hang out with people with clean houses, calm kids, and dinners on tables, I think,

When was I supposed to learn how to do this?  These people have sewing projects, and family game nights, and yoga in the mornings. They have Halloween decorations up and manicures and dress well. They also have kitchen towels without stains that actually add a decorative touch to the place. They return their library books back on time. They go to dance class, soccer games, and even buy the shoes their kids need for these. Their kids wear actual pajamas instead of just randomly assorted stained cotton clothing. I am seriously impressed with these people.

I’m not sure I need all of that. But maybe I need a maid.


Stephaniexrobertson said...

Yeah I vote  you get a maid!  Why not?! Seriously, a BYUH student wouldn't cost you too much and then that is one less thing.

As I was reading the admirable traits you listed I felt ashamed to claim that I have some of them, because if I have them then maybe it makes my friend Mariko feel bad about herself?  But then I got thinking, "Well yeah, we all have some of those, but I can't do a fraction of the things Mariko does." So there you have it.  The old strengths and weaknesses argument that keeps us going and frustrated and wanting and satisfied all at the same time.

But I really do think you should get a maid.  And I can totally put some Halloween decorations up in your house. 

Mariko said...

Why should you feel ashamed that you have it together? I love that about my friends. I often ask myself, what would Jill do to clean up in here, or what would Stephanie do to liven up this space. Usually I can't totally follow through but I do think those things. I try to learn a few things from you guys. :)
I'm a bit ashamed of having someone see my mess. Ha ha.

Sent from my iPod

Damaris said...

If you were able to do all those things you find admirable plus work full time I would be sure you were using heroin. Working full time sucks all of your time away. 

Mariko said...

I guess that's true. I do know some people who work and still have a working order to things. Even teachers. Maybe they are on heroin. ;)

Damaris said...

I doubt they feel like they have it together. Maybe they have older kids who help. Enzo folded and put away two loads of laundry. I paid him $1. Best money spent ever. When kids get older and willing to help life gets easier.
Sent from my iPad

melinda temple said...

agreed, damaris.  working takes your life.  you don't have time for halloween decorations at home.  and who the heck needs 'em?  save that for later when you're old and neighbor kids come trick or treating.  i have no interest in decorating for holidays.  christmas, maybe.  
and i do think you should get a maid.  our babysitter cleans the house while we're at school, and it makes me so happy everyday.
i have a theory that everybody has an "alternate life" that they think they should be living.  a life that's more organized, calm, fulfilling, and fun.  in my alternate life i cook, run, and go to the beach with my kids.  but i'm learning that real life just isn't like that because my life was designed to be hard and make me work, so i can be a more compassionate, meek person.
so i'm trying to not pine for the life i can't live now.  and i'm trying to celebrate what i CAN do. and if running that treadmill is what you can do, you're super amazing.  
i can't believe how many people you help and teach beyond your family.  you're giving a gift to many kids who don't deserve it and don't appreciate, but won't be successful people without it.  it's a gift to society really.  you'll have time for sewing projects later.

Carol Yuen said...

I know exactly how you feel! Everything you've just said is what I feel constantly! I feel like I don't have my life together just yet and seeing everyone else all put together, houses decorated and clean, sure makes me feel inadequate. I need a maid too but how could we afford that on our teacher salary which barely lets us live here in Hawaii?! I mean, I love living here but it sure would be nice to have a clean house. Shoot, I'd love to just OWN or even have a place to call my own instead of living in a tiny one bedroom. You are definitely put together more than I am! I don't even have job security (yet)! Anyway, basically, you're not alone. Maybe we can do heroin together :P or just eat bacon.

sienna said...

for seriously, you could move to utah where everything is cheap and not have to work so hard just to make ends meet, but then you would live in utah and you would be wishing you lived in hawaii. i like having two goals for next year, easy to remember (if not to do). love you and all you do!