I have been folding a lot of laundry lately. I have been practicing the art of the perfectly washed dish. I know what it is to sweep the floor with mindfulness. I also know what it is like to ignore all of that and just veg out on the couch for hours because no one is home and no one else is watching me.
I have been engaging in a lot of housewifery lately. This is not the raising-children sort of staying at home, which worthwhile and anything but unstructured from what I can tell. My particular brand of home alone feels more like the Macauley Culkin movie with more reading and fewer hijinks.
I am not Donna Reed. I am not Martha Stewart. I’m not even Marge Simpson. I have a job, but it starts in the evening. I feel lazy and guilty if I stay in bed past noon, and so I get up and I try to “be productive.”
Here is a list of the things being productive could mean:
- working on my novel
- writing another blog post
- writing in general
- reading for articles
- doing housework
- running errands
These are things that are constantly on the to-do list. No matter what the day is, they weigh on me. I am sitting at the dining room table right now, currently doing one of the things on the to-do list, and I know that I could be doing one of the other things on the list.
Here is where prioritizing comes in:
I “like” to have the dishes done. It makes me feel really good when the sink is cleaned out. I don’t mean just that all of the dishes are in the drying rack (no dishwasher, folks, so this is a big deal), but also that all of the food is out of the drain and that the sink has been at least wiped out with the sponge.
I also really like the feeling of completing a blog post, or working on my novel, or sitting down for 15 minutes to take notes for an article.
It sounds easy. Do what makes you feel the best, right? But I know I’m going to succeed at doing the dishes every time. This post may not ever get finished. I may say something stupid and look dumb on the WWW. You all may hate my Donna Reed reference.
Which is where the time-suckers come in. I will do the quick and easy errand or housework, and to reward myself, I can eat a long meal out and read the whole time. Or I allow myself to sit on the couch and watch TV all afternoon. Who cares? You earned it.
Life doesn’t really reward us like that. Yeah, give yourself a break once in a while. But learn from me. Knowing how to match socks is no reason to buy yourself lunch today. Writing a blog post though? You deserve a drink!