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Posts Tagged ‘domestic goddess’

Sleep is a wonderful thing, as long as you can get some. Supposedly, as we get older we tend to need less sleep, but that doesn’t seem to be the case for me. I’m still off-line for that nine to ten hours a shot that I was back in high school. Longer if I’m having a bad headache day. Which seems to be all the time anymore.

I’ve made several attempts over these last few “self” employed years to get on a consistent daytime schedule. My husband is up at the butt-crack of dawn to head off to his bruiser of a job and it just seems reasonable that his dutiful wife cleave to the same schedule so she can be the domestic goddess and have dinner waiting for him when he arrives home.

Okay, you can stop laughing now.

While most nights I do cook dinner – it does seem a fair exchange since he’s been out dealing with the nutjobs known as humans – I’m hardly the stereotypical housewife. Even that word – housewife – is an archaic annoyance to my ear. Yes, I handle the dishes and the laundry. Occasionally I even vacuum and dust. But that’s because I’m the one at home, not because I’m the woman. If our positions were reversed, my husband would be wearing the frilly maid’s outfit carrying the feather duster when I came in from the cold, cruel world.

Sorry. You probably didn’t want to see that.

Anyway, these last few months have been challenging in the sleep department. Though I have the new prescription for the post-detached retina vision, we haven’t had the money to get the new glasses. Every time we turn around it seems something else more important comes along to demand what few cents we have. You may think that getting new glasses is pretty important, and in the general scheme of things, you’re right. But when the choice is new glasses or fuel for the only vehicle that gets my husband back and forth to work, or new glasses vs. utility bills, well, you can probably understand why I’m still sitting here with an eyestrain headache.

Being a life-long migraine sufferer, my body has basically one response to any kind of head pain: shut down. I escape into something resembling sleep. But it’s erratic. I’ll be down for three or four hours, then up for anything from two to twelve hours, then down for twelve hours and up for two, down for four, up for six, etc., etc. Really hard to maintain any kind of schedule when you’re fine for a couple hours and then get hit by that dart from the big game hunter.

And even when I am “sleeping” I’ll wake up several times for various reasons, or no reason at all, so it never seems like I’m getting a full straight batch of time. Or I have really intense, detailed, bizarre dreams: the zombie apocalypse happens while my husband and I are at one of our historical events, and I’m stuffing loads of embroidery supplies into my back pack while my cats sit on my shoulders or run around my feet and my husband is loading ammo into something that looks like a cross between a bow and a sub-machine gun; aliens have attacked and I’m leading the resistance and trying to figure out how to escape from the skyscraper we’re trapped in that is now morphing into an old Victorian mansion that has money stuffed in the cushions of the couch but we can’t leave now because the party isn’t done and I have to find my husband; I’ve suddenly manifested superpowers but have to take a running jump to fly like Ralph in The Greatest American Hero and my telekinesis blows out the headlamps of a guy I’m mad at but then the dragons are trying to shoot me down and I land in a refugee camp where I’m looking for a bathroom but the only one I can find has its porcelain thrones at the ends of the arms of one of those spinning octopus carnival rides.

Yes, I’m well aware that I need professional counseling…

If it’s any consolation, it’s not any better when I’m awake. That’s why I’m a writer. And even though I have done very little with my current projects as far as putting things into words on the computer, I’ve actually accomplished quite a bit of problem solving for those projects. There are many times when I wake up and can’t get back to sleep because my brain is in overdrive. I’ve cleared up a couple issues I had with several of the characters in my current novel, which has also helped me figure out more of where that monster is going. It’ll mean a significant re-write of the 60K words I’ve already done, but, hey, I got nothing but time, right? And I’ve doodled with several short story ideas for the collection I’ve talked about e-publishing, which has given me an overall theme for it as well. I’m feeling pretty good about where I’m going with both projects, even if I’m way behind my original time line.

And so what if my sleep schedule doesn’t match everybody else’s? The only person I’m beholding to is my husband, and I make sure he’s taken care of. The only other thing I need to be concerned about is that I’m as productive as possible while I’m conscious, given the visual limitations I’m dealing with right now.

I spent a lifetime trying to do things the way other people told me they should be done, and it just didn’t work, and I just wasn’t happy. Now that I’m doing things my way, for me, I’m experiencing a lot more satisfaction with my life. So I guess the whole point of this meandering rant is, it’s your life, find what works for you.

And what works for me right now is another nap…

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It lurked under the table, skittering about to avoid each swipe of the broom. A malevolent little bugger despite it’s fluffy, soft exterior, and completely disregarding any sense of order or cleanliness. Who knows how long it had hidden there. Weeks, perhaps, or even months. Time has no meaning to such evils.

It’s dexterity allowed a deft avoidance of any direct attack. It could bounce out of the way as if lifted on the very winds produced by any movement around it. It left no tracks and seemed to grow with each passing day, sucking up insect and crumb alike into its insatiable maw. And its intelligence, oh, it’s cunning little intellect, could drive the best of us mad with frustration. Like it knew exactly where you must look to see it, and then glommed on to a chair leg or darted under the refrigerator to avoid you. Wiley little bastard.

There is no greater foe, of course, for those of us who guard our homes against the crimes and pestilence of the outside world. While the hunt can be arduous, and the risk great, the reward for finally capturing such a deadly adversary is beyond the riches of the Tzars.

You must know it, too, friend. It tasks us all at one point or another. If not under the table, then under the couch, the bed, the nightstand, even behind the toilet. We all suffer its attacks. You know of which I speak, that dreaded beast, the bane of all domestic goddesses everywhere: the Dust Bunny.

Yes, I was cleaning this weekend. Okay, not really a thorough wash-the-walls spring-cleaning kind of thing, but enough to (hopefully) not drive away the people scheduled to come for a visit. With the whole money situation these last few years (read: we’re broke as hell), we haven’t been able to do some basic upkeep on our house like we should. Even something as simple as putting on a fresh coat of paint in a room has been beyond us, let alone new carpets, exterior paint and repair, or finishing the bathroom that got tore up for plumbing repairs (mumbly) years ago. Add that to the fact I’m lousy at serious cleaning, the house looks (and smells), well, let’s just say tired.

I’m good at keeping things tidy. I organize. I file, sort, stack, alphabetize, order, and store things. I do dishes and vacuum and even clean the toilet, but usually under threat of embarrassing myself in front of friends that are going to visit. If they could see what this place looked like under normal circumstances, they’d probably never play with me again.

I can find anything of mine in this house in short order, usually often in just seconds, even under complete darkness while hampered by a cat in desperate need of attention RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND!!! It’s one of those OCD things I have, which I think probably develops from the fact I’m extremely near sighted and hard of hearing. I have to be in control of my immediate environment under even the worse case scenarios, because, Goddess knows, I don’t have control of anything else.

This is in stark contrast to my beloved husband, who seems to think the chair next to the bed is a closet, and the floor next to his desk is a filing cabinet. He has a finely tuned ability to put things right in front of other things I need, or right in the middle of a walk way. It’s like he’s psychic or something. He, needless to say, doesn’t have the same issues with our house and its cleanliness (or lack thereof) that I do. But I think that’s part of that being a guy thing. It’s okay to eat leftovers cold, sheets only need to be changed once or twice a year, and farts are funny.

But what the house really needs, and what would help a lot, is a deep cleaning. One of those top-to-bottom-sort-through-every-nook-and-cranny-scrub-with-a-toothbrush kind of cleanings. I keep telling myself that I just need to pick one task to start off with, just one thing in one room, and then slowly work myself through the house until it sparkles. Unfortunately, trying to figure out the starting point just overwhelms me with all that needs to be done. And then there’s the whole laziness issue. Not to mention that fact that cleaning my own house doesn’t make me any money, whereas my weaving and needlework (and hopefully one day soon, my writing) do, so I stay focused on those things and leave the real cleaning (or, rather, the tidying) for those angst-ridden days right before friends come over.

So there I was, chasing dust bunnies around the kitchen, wondering how the hell the laws of physics aren’t broken by their teleportation away from my broom, and then equally stumped when all of a sudden they adhered themselves to the bristles and wouldn’t let go until the downward application of about 5,000 pounds of force, at which point they stuck to my hands like vampires just woken from a 1,000 year sleep. The theory is if I clean more often those vicious little fur balls wouldn’t get so big, but I’m not buying it. That’s a lie “They” tell you to keep you in line, to be a good little housewife and not make trouble. The truth is, dust bunnies are really from a parallel dimension and are launched into ours through microscopic unstable wormholes built by their evil overlords. They are the first wave of an alien attack and nothing we can do will stop them. Just when you think you have them cleared out of the kitchen, they show up in the living room, the bedroom, the bathroom. And since we’re all doomed anyway, what’s the point in cleaning?

Well, the point is, we mustn’t give up! There’s always hope, a silver lining in every cloud, a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Or, at the very least, take as many of them down with you as you can. Put on your Elmer Fudd hat, grab your shotgun broom and get hunting. The life you save may be a friend’s.

And just because your life is boring, doesn’t mean your writing has to be.

 

© 2013   Cheri K. Endsley   All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

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