I'm not the biggest fan of domesticity. You wouldn’t need to dip far into my blog to know that. At best the washing, the emptying and re-filling of the ironing basket, the tidying - AKA the 'pile' of yesterday's activity moved to the bottom step to create a hazard to be walked around - the cleaning, the cooker cleaning (only the top, obviously) the food shopping (granted, only ten minutes on the internet these days but oh! the putting away), the bill paying, the cooking (scrap that one, I find cooking quite therapeutic), the weekly bedding changing (just kidding - annual) are all tasks to be got behind me so that I can get down to the day job.
And after that's ticked off, well, then I get to write.
At worst, domesticity makes me grumpy.
I'm not ridiculously house-proud. Sure, I like a general air of tidiness and probably more accurately, a sense of order. I despise having to wade through disorder to search for something when if-it-had-been-put-in-its-proper-place, you hear me, don't you? And I strive for a level of cleanliness to prevent disease. But I'm not trying to prove anything. Show-home perfection is not in my make-up. Until that is, I've spent all day polishing my house and domesticity crown. Then, the remnants of the snack on the scrubbed work surface, the post trail right next to the recycling box, the shoe tree re-planted in front of the cupboard in which shoes rightfully belong, then I could happily kick them, and also the offender, into the next village.
I did say domesticity made me grumpy.
It's the futility really. It's the digging a hole and filling it in again each and every week. It's the time sap with nothing lasting to show for it. It's the monotony, I suppose.
Really, wouldn't we all prefer to be doing something else?
No? Checks mirror. Yes, it was me: I wrote that. Let me explain. I have just had an operation on my stomach. I've lost an organ or two, nothing vital, except their absence means that for six long weeks I'm not allowed to lift, reach, open, close, teach, run, jump, shop, carry, push a trolley, iron, fill a kettle, cycle, pour a kettle, lift a pan, move furniture (three months for that one, apparently) and so the list goes on.
It's not so bad, I thought, as I stared wide-eyed at the nurse reciting the list. I shall read.
|Let's start with this little lot.|
Phew! Six weeks of all that and you know what, I might actually have a handle on things again.
|Ticking off the To-Do list in the sun.|
Two weeks in and yes, I am doing all these things. I'm feeling more in control and there's great satisfaction in reaching the end of my, admittedly shortened, to-do list. And yet, guess what's irking me even more than the sun shining but my bike standing forlorn in the kitchen (it's a long, leaking shed story), my depressingly clean trainers in the cupboard (of course), my drawer bursting with pre-operation laundered kit? What irks me more (ok, perhaps not more, but it's significant and better for the story)?
The washing. The ironing and please God, give me the strength to put the sewing machine back in the cupboard.
You know, I think that when they whisked away some of the insides of my stomach, they took a slice of sense as well. Please remind me of this when I am cursing the many and varied barriers to writing. Please remind me that there is a semblance of satisfaction in being on top of domesticity, that I don't like asking my family to do seemingly simple tasks when they have imminent exams and hectic jobs, that I hate to take my busy friends up on offers to help when I'm the one who has more time. Normality. I think it's normality I crave.
Feel free to direct me here when I have my normality back.