Friday, September 4, 2009

Where is the year going?

I didn't think 2009 would pass me by so quickly. I wanted to start a blog - which I did. However, I thought I'd be able to write in it at least once a week. Obviously the perseverance needed to write a novel evades me! Here we are, almost half-way through September and nothing much has changed. I still have a job that isn't quite what I want, and I still can't keep up with the housework. I was right when I said that the housework obsession would not last for more than a few days!

I have been going to a book discussion group which has now dwindled down to three of us - was it me? I was convinced by one of my daughters to go to sewing lessons with her so that we could do something together - guess who's still going and who decided it was too much? Yes, I'm still going every week, stuck on my second item of clothing for the year - a jacket - what possessed me - why not a tea towel or a handkerchief? Next time it will be something useful that I will want to make again! Seriously though, I really do enjoy the lessons - even though I get there too late because of work meetings. I know how to fit a pattern and I've learnt that pattern sizing bears no resemblance to the size of clothes in shops and that I mustn't feel like an elephant every time I measure myself and then look at the pattern sizes. Self-esteem goes for a slide downhill if one isn't prepared for cutting out the biggest size and even adding bits of paper here and there!
I thought 2009 would be a year of change, and as I write this I realise that it has been - of sorts. I have expanded my horizons (slightly), and I've started to make changes in my work by changing workplaces. It's not huge, but it's a start. I mean, who would have predicted that it would be me spending hours looking at patterns and materials in shops and on the internet ? Certainly not me!
It is those I love that I count as my blessings in life. Who am I without their love?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

No time for blogging!

My daughter and partner have arrived back from a very long overseas holiday. So much for cleaning the house. Things are everywhere! However, I  have discovered that while I clean my teeth I can clean the bath and/or the bathroom basins at the same time - amazing that I've never tried this before! I can also clean the kitchen cupboard doors before they get dirty - saves so much time and is much easier. Another thing I've noticed is that if I do something as soon as it needs doing, then I don't stress about doing it!

The other benefit of course, is that keeping on top of the housework is good for remaining active - hence, along with a sensible diet, I am losing just a little bit of weight.  Don't know how long this housework thing will last, but I don't want that guilty voice in the back of my head saying 'you're lazy, clean up the house...'

The daughter who has arrived back home is good too - she never lets a minute set on the dirty dishes! If only her mother could learn that one!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I'm a housework freak! I've gone through the whole house - tortured myself because it was over 40 degrees (can never find that symbol) outside - but I kept going and going! My eldest daughter (bless her heart) decided (on the very day that the house was IMMACULATE) to cook dinner at my place and have her girlfriends round for a swim. I was so paranoid about things getting messy again that she must have thought I was...paranoid! So I'm still going around with wipes and sprays (my friend who worries about the environment should note that I'm using environmentally friendly products)  driving everyone crazy - or out of the house (preferably out of the house so that it can stay tidy).

So this is what being obsessive about housework is all about - do I like the new me? Well it probably won't last beyond a few days so I guess I should enjoy the guilt-free days and then work out a PLAN! 

I don't think those who love me will love me much longer if I don't get back to the normal, not doing THE housework, me!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Mothers and daughters, husbands and wives

When do mothers stop saying the wrong thing? When do daughters stop taking offence at innocuous remarks? When do mothers stop doing the same? Is it all mothers and daughters or just some?

I always thought there was a middle child syndrome - you know, the one who isn't the oldest and yet has to be an older sister (no experience with middle boys myself so have to speak of girls)! Yet now I have a feeling that my own mother is having digs at me in a very subtle way. She describes people by their 'thinness' - and I know that she has hated the fact that I turned from a thin person into a slightly overweight one. It's as if I let her down somehow. Did I really let her down by not remaining 'thin'? Why does she, like so many magazines, value the ability to remain thin so highly? I eat healthy food, I try to walk as much as I can, I hope that I'm healthy and fit enough. I think I'm a good daughter. Why isn't that enough? Or is it all in my head?

My own daughters who are slim themselves are always saying that they need to be slim. "Have you looked lately?" I should say, but I don't want to hurt feelings, and repeatedly saying you are not fat, you look lovely etc seem to only add fuel to the 'I'm fat' fire.

Do slim people get jobs before those of us who carry a bit more weight? Are slim people more intelligent? Do slim people always get what they want? Or do they not even think they are slim in the first place? Perhaps they lack in self-esteem and need something to carry them through life - others saying how good they look or how slim they are. I would love to hear someone say to me that I had lost weight - I'm sure I'd feel better about myself. Why is this the case, when I know that I'm not very overweight and I have a fairly healthy lifestyle? What more can I do? And am I obsessing about the very thing that my mother and daughters obsess about, and if so, how is it possible to stop?????

I remember about 12 years ago (when I had put on quite a bit of weight by being too sedentary and eating for comfort) on my husband's birthday we decided to go down to the beach and have lunch together. I had a meeting to go to first and just before we parted he said, "you look like a whale." I said nothing, but walked off to my meeting - going a bit earlier and into the toilet of a cafe checking myself in the mirror. I didn't think I looked that bad - I took out the shoulder pads (fashionable then) and felt better. To this day I have never forgotten the feelings of absolute hurt I felt by that comment (not meant in jest). What began as a lovely day out very soon turned into a day of wondering why I looked so ugly and fat.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The hug

Near and dear, about household affairs rather than housework - guilt still gets to me all the time - will never leave me - and perhaps it's well-deserved.

you were a lost soul
who couldn't find himself and
I couldn't help you
find you either.
every day became harder,
more stressful, more depressful,
for you
and for me
and for our beautiful girls.
where to turn?
you turned to me
for the simplest of things
a hug
'i need a hug'
and I refused
not giving you a hug until after
of a heart attack

Friday, January 9, 2009

This house, this mess!

How can I ever get around to real housework when I have to take down Christmas trees, unpack cases, drive to and from the airport, go out to dinner and write and research? Oh of course I have to check emails and send text messages and make phone calls - the list goes on! Real housework is at the bottom of the list.

However the key is to make a list and prioritise with no procrastination. I'll do it tomorrow! I can't put it off much longer. Middle daughter and her partner are coming back from a very long holiday a couple of weeks earlier than I anticipated. Such a lot to do with so little time! She is the neat one and I can't let her down - at least not for the first few days. I want her to think that I'm the tidy one!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Gardening failure

Arriving home I was picked up at the airport by my daughter who promptly told me that even though she had watered the tomatoes and pansies they had somehow all died! The tomatoes and pansies are in pots and indeed they looked just a little bit dead. "Did you pick any tomatoes?" I asked. "Well no - I don't eat them and the others went mouldy while you were away!"

There is no arguing with a 20-year-old. I can't work out whether or not she did actually water the plants. I've done a bit of pruning of the really dead bits, picked a few overly ripe tomatoes and looked at the pot with the pansies in it with great sorrow. Perhaps it's the end of pansy season anyway!

I have no time for housework now that I've been in the garden - I'll have to work out my plan of attack tomorrow and buy pansy replacements. Not even feeling guilty yet!

Bye for now!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Guilt about housework not done!

It gets me down and I can't stop myself from feeling guilty all the time about not doing enough housework. So I've decided to work my way through this guilt I feel by actually doing something (about the housework). I won't afford a cleaner (so many I've had in the past have done nothing more than a lick and a promise - please promise me you'll never come back) which has led me to believe that I could do the housework myself. Well I know I can, but why do I not?? I procrastinate as though I were back at uni with an essay due in tomorrow morning with an extension of a few weeks (or months) Once I get started, of course there's no stopping me. Except for the desperate need for a cup of tea/coffee, a biscuit, morning tea, lunch, to go to the shop, to make a phone call.........

Why do I even feel guilty? I think it's simply because the bathroom needs cleaning and the floors need vacuuming and mopping and every time I move I sneeze. I'm not working at anything else either (except for writing my blogs which are new and quite an addiction at this stage) so I've quite literally run out of excuses. No more can I procrastinate and do other things instead of housework. As you must realise, I don't have the answers or any housework help at all, but I'm working my way through it!

I have received much advice over the years and here is some of it:

My mother: Do the whole house on one day a week - you feel so good when it's done - well I have no doubt about that but is it achievable for ME? Mum can never be disturbed on her housework day - it doesn't get changed for anyone or anything. I can't do that so we'd be back to the guilt again!

An aunt of my late husband (whom we visited on a Sunday afternoon while she was happily cleaning the lounge room): Do one room a day - then you never feel as though you are doing much at all really - sort of a good idea in theory, however once I get the vacuum cleaner going I don't like to stop (just in case I leave it sitting in the next room for a month or so) I like to keep going through the whole house. This of course gives me a great sense of achievement as well as an almighty backache.

A friend (a couple actually): Don't do housework because you waste water and those cleaning materials are bad for the environment. I agree to a certain extent but it's not what I'm looking for (although they have no guilt which is half my problem).

Compiling all this information so far leads me to conclude that what I need more than anything else (and I know it would work) is MOTIVATION. Now motivation doesn't come easy - to me it's overtaken by procrastination. How is it possible to be motivated about housework????? This is the question I will leave myself to ponder over the next day or two - when I get back home faced with a lot of things that need doing!