Jack of Many Trades

House Work: Laziness and Self-Perception

Originally posted: 2013-07-16

A fairly common scene played out over the weekend. We left the house to do a bit of yard sailing and errand-running around nine. Got home around noon with a box of candle making equipment I paid a dollar for at a moving sale (anybody have any good recommendations on where to learn candlemaking?) and a crock pot (still in the box, from that same sale).

We're looking into using a combination of slow-cooked recipes and batch cooking to reduce the amount of cooking required after work. Between Amber's chronic pain and the fact that I work until 8 and she has to be in bed at 10, even a recipe that takes half an hour takes a lot of our evening.

But anyway, we got home from our errands. I booted up the computer and messed around for a while, and took a nap. I started dinner but didn't feel like getting up when the timer went off, so Amber served. I apologized for my laziness.

She looked at me like I was being ridiculous, and pointed out that I had done two loads of laundry and one of dishes, cleaned the bathroom as well as the kitchen counters, neatened the bedroom, watered the plants, and swept in addition to starting dinner.

I had failed to count all of those things, either because they used appliances (laundry, dishes) or because they were jobs that I didn't consider myself "good at" and therefore I assumed somehow that since I probably hadn't done them perfectly, I didn't really do them. This is a thing I am going to need to work on if I'm going to be the proud householder Mara wants me to be.

I am pretty sure I come by my neuroatypicalities honestly and at least partially genetically. My dad was finally diagnosed with an anxiety disorder a few years ago. When I was in high school, he was laid off, so he kept busy around the house. I used to come home from school to find the kitchen smelled so strongly of bleach than I couldn't eat in it. He would rake the leaves in the wooded areas of our property. And there was never any making him happy. I could spend an hour or two cleaning my room, but it wasn't ever clean enough and I never had enough space to put everything away to his satisfaction. I did all my chores and never heard about it unless I messed something up or did it wrong, which was often.

But I can't honor anything with my housework if I don't see and appreciate it for the work it is. I need to be more cognizant of the fact that I do it. I need to make sure I'm doing it well if I'm worried I'm not. I need to enjoy the feeling of a clean house, rather than seeing housework as something I do merely to avoid the nagging feeling that I should go straighten up the living room in the middle of the night.

I should do it with joy, or at least with confidence. That's my goal.