I’ve turned into a slug. Yes, you heard me right … a slug. No, I am technically not one of those tan, slimy mollusks you find lurking in your garden … but I am a slug nonetheless. While those garden-variety slugs are a member of the Gastropoda class, I am a member of the “I-have-a-million-things-I-could-be-doing-but-don’t-feel-like-doing” class.
Most generally I feel it easy to justify my membership in this “class” by the mere fact that I work outside my home full time, thereby making it easier to rationalize, to curious inquirers, my lack of a spotless, dust free, perfectly organized home. This slippery excuse works most of the time, rightfully so … except for days like today … a holiday. I have the whole day off. The kind of day some of my female friends look forward to because of all the “things they can finally get done.” Those are often things like organizing their closets, alphabetizing their canned goods, ridding every square inch of their homes of a stray dog hair here or there and knitting their bellybutton lint into mittens for every member of their family. Okay…..maybe I should ease up a little on the sarcasm here but it seems like they put a lot of energy into things that no longer hold any appeal for me……or never did in the first place. I, on the other hand, seem to become less ambitious with each passing year. As evidenced by the fact that on days like this, my “to-do list” turns into a “not-done list”. I may start out fairly well but, inevitably, I end up reading, napping or surfing the internet while still donning my jammies for most of the day. Meanwhile I could, at times, write my next blog article in the dust on my TV stand or knit a sweater with the cat hairs that “unite” to form ‘draft dodgers’ around my baseboards. Oh don’t get me wrong …. I LOVE it when everything in my house is dust-free and organized. I am just not very motivated anymore to do what it takes to get it that way. Further evidenced by me, still in PJ’s writing this, as I watch with resigned fascination, a solitary cobweb dancing like fairy wings from the corner of my living room each time the furnace kicks on and blows air through the vent below.
As I sit and ponder this fact about myself, I have unearthed a couple theories as to its’ root cause. Number one, perhaps, is that my dear sweet mother was much the same. She worked very hard, full-time outside the home her whole life. However, her real love was her family and therefore, when she had some extra time, she could be found spending it with my sister and I … baking cookies or taking us on countless dirt roads in the summer, braving tall prickly weeds and snake-infested ditches for wild elderberries to transform into her delectable pies. She was not about to waste that precious little time on chasing dust bunnies or scrubbing hummingbird spit off the windows. She was one of those “get-more-done-at-the-last-minute” kind of gals. I am sometimes the same. If I know someone is coming over, I can whip this place into order in a matter of minutes. But, as ‘they’ say, if you’re dropping by unannounced to see ME, that is GREAT and if it’s a non-workday for me, I will welcome you with a bed-headed, makeup free, bra-less, jammie-clad hug. However, if you’re coming to see or pass judgment on my June Cleaver skills, you best make an appointment, as June is not on the full time staff here.
I believe the other root cause of my lackluster “Suzie Homemaker” attitude stems from the changes involved with going from 24 years of married life back to bachelorette status. Back then, despite being busier, I do remember caring more along with feeling guiltier if these housekeeping chores didn’t get done. My priorities, though, like my mom’s, were my husband and child, not my house. So, even though it’s been 5 1/2 years, I think for whatever reason, I am just now starting to really enjoy my independence and freedom from “lack-of-time”-induced guilt. Unnecessary and harmful guilt. With no one here to answer to or to incite said guilt, I am gradually recognizing the rather heady feeling of liberation. I find myself prioritizing relaxation, de-stressing and enjoyment of the simple things in life ahead of being a slave to household chores. All in due time. As those of you in similar situations can attest, they won’t be going anywhere. Alas, the dust and cat hair accumulation stop for no one. Unlike Snow White, I have no technicolor singing birdies who will come and make my bed or sweep my floors while I dance about my house in a long white gown dreaming about Prince Charming. Shucks.
So, like it or not, it is what it is. My “get up and go” for many of the responsibilities of my younger self “got up and went”…..along with my tight, wrinkle-free skin, flat belly and short term memory. Hmmmmm………… my evolution into that Gastropoda class of mollusks might be more advanced than I imagined …..