it’s called work

Work is simply defined as the effort or activity directed at accomplishing or producing something.  We have to work to be able to pay for where we live.  We then have to work to -keep up- with where we live; we have to work to keep our pantries organized, our towels folded, our dishes washed and put away, our floors vacuumed, our toilet bowls sparkling, we have to maintain our yards/gardens/landscaping, we have to maintain our heaters/air conditioners/water lines.  It all takes energy to do all of these things and so if you live alone, and have no one who you have to love or care for, well, that’s great!, you’ve used up all of your energy trying to maintain your way of living that it does not matter that you have no strength or time left to maintain your relationships.  Presently I not only now share my space with someone I care about, but the bulk of my heart lives only right next door to me.  I have many people to care for and care about within my acres of town, and working to maintain those relationships is hard work.

I find myself being short-tempered with all the people I love when I find myself short on time to get done the things I want to get done…I want to be able to play & visit  with my grandchildren and not be annoyed that they are making a mess and still have not organized all their Monster High dolls, I want to be able to relax & talk  with my boyfriend and not be annoyed that I still have four loads of wash to be done and he still has not put up new shelves in the garage.  The fact of the matter- I can do all of these things myself.  I can do anything that needs to be done inside or outside of this house and anything I don’t know how to do, I can find out how to do it from my Dad and if he can’t help me do it, I would have to hire someone to help me…but in general, everything I need done I can do myself, and therein lies the conundrum…perhaps being like I am, a bit OCD and a bit quirky, and way to insistent that it’s “my way or the highway” means that I spend all of my energy doing what needs to be done the way I want it to be done, that my effort to maintain what really truly matters most, my relationships, gets pushed to the bottom of my “to-do” list over and over and over.

I can’t begin to recall the last time I chatted with my daughter about how her school classes were going, or what was happening at her job, we talk about how little time she has to get her homework done because she still has five loads of wash to put away, and why is her dining room ceiling filling with nail pops, and why does her electric bill keep going up when she’s been so careful about everybody turning off the light switch when they leave the room…we don’t talk too much about what actually matters…her marriage, her health, the happiness and development of her children.  In the “old” days,  work was defined differently in that the MAN worked to bring in the money to get the house and the car and afford the food that fed the children, and the WOMAN worked to keep the house neat and cooked the food and kept everybody’s clothes clean…but that is all mixed up and jumbled up in this modern world, the separate domains are different…the feminist in me thinks is just terrific that I do what used to be defined as a “man’s job” climbing ladders, banging nails, repairing sheetrock and painting houses, and the 1940’s housewife in me positively adores cleaning her walnut floors with vinegar and a rag, and folding linens, and cleaning bathrooms, and cooking for as many people as I can get around my table on a Sunday afternoon.  For me, the problem is that I do do all of those things, I am both man and woman in my world, as many women are today, and the definition of ‘work’ in modern households is not the same as it was in my Mimom’s time, so it’s no surprise really that we women, well this woman, I,  feel we are failing at maintaining our relationships too, how much can we do, are we supposed to do, before we cry uncle??!!

I suppose if I was better at delegating, like a good manager would, the tasks that need to be done and who needs to do them, and could release the level of control I feel I need over everything, there would be more effort available for the work needed to maintain my relationships.  I feel with a new month soon upon me, and Mercury shortly thereafter to go direct, and all of this ‘Mercury in retrograde’ miscommunication hubbub should be over, it should be at the top of my “to do” lists to better maintain my relationships, or at the very least to work as hard at making them good as I do at keeping my towels perfectly folded, to tell people I care about them, and more importantly show it, and to ‘work’ on what actually matters, to put the energy into producing and creating and accomplishing healthy loving relationships…there will always be laundry to do, there will always be houses to clean and driveways to weed, but I must remember that I have to make the effort to make good relationships or there won’t always be a handsome boyfriend to talk to while we cook dinner, or a daughter next door to talk to about that loud noise we heard last night, or two little girls who call me Nana and think I am just super just as I am…I read a quote yesterday in Oprah magazine, “sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.'”  and I was thinking that is work I can live with…do what I can with today and if I don’t do so well, try again tomorrow…

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