Monday, 9 May 2011

Learning to let it slide

Before I lived with City Boy I shared a flat with two other girls. I used to churn out quilts, knitted garments and make lots of clothes, and made most of the Christmas and birthday gifts I gave. Other people would tell me that they don’t know where I found the time to do all this. I’d respond that I don’t have kids and I rarely watch TV, so if I have an evening at home I’m free to spend it at the sewing machine. Secretly, I suspected that if a lot of these people stopped watching Coronation Street they might have time too.

Now I know the truth. They were all doing housework. When I lived with the girls, there were three people working reasonable hours to share the housework. We rarely managed to eat dinner together due to busy social lives so I was free just to grab cheese on toast for dinner rather than cook properly. Now I eat with another person I feel like I can’t just serve up a piece of semi-stale cake and call dinner done. City Boy does do a lot round the house and cooks a few times a week, but he works much longer hours than me, so the bulk of it falls on me.

 Recently I’ve been starting to feel like the amount of housework I do is way out of proportion to the amount of time I spend in the house. I haven’t picked up my knitting needles in weeks, quilts I’ve started are languishing in the bottom of the basket and ideas noted down aren’t coming to fruition. I’m clearly doing something wrong, because I should be able to find at least few hours a week at home to create something. Either I’m too slow at getting the chores done or my expectations are unrealistic. It’s also a question of priorities I think – whilst I enjoy lovingly preparing delicious home cooked meals in the evening, I have to face the fact that I don’t have time to do this and do the other things I want to.  

This week I’ve had a lesson in letting go of the housework. I’m currently immobilised due to a back injury. In the last few days I’ve had x-rays, physiotherapy and I’m currently lying flat all taped up. I’m sure I’ll mend, it’s just one of those things that is going to take a little time and physio.

So City Boy has been looking after me, the house and the cats this week and he’s been fantastic. He works long hours and then comes home to cook me dinner, which is very welcome after a lunch that consists of whatever’s in the biscuit jar. He washes my hair for me and brings me yellow roses.

So no complaints there. But it’s incredibly frustrating, because I won’t ask him to do anymore than he currently is after a twelve hour day at work, and there’s seedlings that need planting out, laundry piling up and dust collecting in corners. And I just have to lie down and look at it. I can’t imagine what it is like for people that have to permanently rely on a carer. It’s driving me up the wall having to rely on City Boy to do just a few things for me for a limited period.
What’s the problem with lying around all day?
And yet the house is still standing. People and animals are still getting fed healthy meals and (at least for a little while longer) we have clean clothes to wear. The cat hair on the sofa is making my left eye twitch, but I’m thinking that if we can still function when I’ve done no housework for a week, perhaps when I’m mobile again we’ll be ok if I just let it go a few evenings a week and that we’ll survive if I just stick a couple of potatoes in the oven for dinner occasionally. Besides, it appears that once the floors reach a certain level of dust and cat hair they don’t seem to get any worse.

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