In large part just because it’s October, but to some extent because we’ve got the holidays looming and am chomping at the bit for something I can control, I have been tidying up my life for the last week or so. I have cleaned out my closet with extraordinary results, and though I have yet to take the bag of donations to the thrift store down the street, I have got plans to do so soon, and I think you’ll agree this should count. I have shredded old paperwork no longer needed (I don’t think I need those checking account statements from 2003), taken apart the inside of my refrigerator and washed every single piece in the sink before putting it back together again, and have made three to-do lists – Home, General, and Freelance – from which I plan to tackle a few items every day.
I have ordered all my Christmas cards, have almost caught up on email and paperwork (hold on, Santa Monica, I paid that parking ticket yesterday!), have reorganized the ridiculously disastrous hall closets (almost!), have indulged in some fairly fruitless pantry organization and some less fruitless baby proofing, and have discovered that I may be the only person in the world who has (finally) thrown out their never-ending stash of Christmas gift bags in October when the rest of the world continues to stockpiling them. In addition, I identified the three biggest things that make our house messy and stress
us me out to the point of distraction – errant dog hair, miscellaneous dust and office clutter – and I am working on solutions for two of them (a renewed commitment to dusting for the second, and putting away stuff instead of leaving it half-hazard in the office. For the first one? We got nothing. A lint brush? A better vacuum? Because the dog stays.)
And I have been tidying up myself too. I have been feeling quite moody and stressed out and on the verge of grumpy-ness for weeks now. So, I have started taking time to enjoy the little things. First, I made an appointment to get my hair cut and styled (granted, it’s not until December, but hey...I don’t have much baby-free time these days), last weekend I left Daisy in the very capable hands of Daddy, and indulged a long walk with an old friend and then followed my tired feet up with a pedicure, and I purchased a Groupon for a massage in the somewhat-not-so-distant-future. Hopefully this will help with the massive head-aches I’ve been experiencing. Also, Casey, Daisy and I have begun taking a lunch-time walk to the park for a picnic.
Parenthood is hard work. I had just settled into a full-time mommy, part-time freelance writer/editor routine when the semester started back up. And you know what? Teaching a full-load and full-time mommy-hood is exhausting. Not to mention that my freelance work has picked up. Hey, I’m not complaining, someone has to pay off those school loans, so I’m grateful for the work. But, I find myself staring at a computer, shoving toy after toy at Daisy to keep her fussiness at bay, in order to get just a little more done So, I have vowed to start saying no to excess busyness, taking time each day to relax with a cup of tea, and some fun toys and books with Daisy to just enjoy her. She’s only little for a short time, and I don’t want to miss it because I was in a stressed out irritable haze.
And yes, it’s sort of woo-woo Oprah-ish and certainly not the sort of stoic, always being productive household I was raised in, but you know the saying, “motherhood is part joy and part guerrilla warfare.”