Wednesday, October 15, 2008

In Which Pig-Filthy Becomes Less So

In general, I have control over about 35% of my life. A few things I am very on top of, many things I'm handling okay, and most things are just going all to hell--what I'm on top of and what is going all to hell generally shift around a lot.

For instance, currently I am on top of my teaching--I'm past that beginning of the semester slump that had me so worried for a while, I'm feeling that my students enjoy me and are learning, and if I could just keep all their papers graded and get those four kids to keep their laptops closed during class, all would be peachy. I'm also happily on top of my blog writing--I'm a writer and a photographer by vocation, and this is a creative outlet that I'd missed since my undergraduate days. Our family has managed to eat home-cooked food for most of our meals for a couple of weeks, now--that's a big challenge for us, because neither Matt nor I enjoy cooking, nor are either of us particularly good at it. The yard, which often looks as redneck as our roots, is coming together for the fall with some lasagna garden plots set up and some shrubs moved to better locations and a likelier location for yard toys--it would be nice if Matt finally hauled away the trash he cleared out of the garage on LABOR DAY, however.

Things I'm handling--the children are happy and well-parented, though I always want to spend more time with them and focus on them more. Matt and I are paying more attention to each other with our put-the-kids-to-bed-early-and-then-order-out date nights; yeah, out-of-the-house date nights would be nice, but neither of us are wired to like leaving our kiddos. I'm getting some exercise and outdoor time, although more would be much better. My etsy shop is doing okay, although just okay. I've been able to spend some good time making things for my house and my family, which is nice for the nurturing, you know.

Things that are going all to hell--well, the house is pig-filthy, for one thing. Eh, not so much the house--the girls and I do a lot of work at the living room tables, so those are spotless. The playroom is pretty neat, and the bedroom and nursery basically just need to be vacuumed. The kitchen isn't as sticky or gnat-y as it can be. My study, however...well, I've had a busy couple of crafting months, remember? Remember?Oh, dear--have you lost all respect for me now? Mind you, I can see that this is a problem. I mean, this is supposed to be my creative sanctuary, my workspace, my mental clearinghouse, and my mental clearinghouse looks like...THIS? So yeah, I dig to the bottom of my big blue bin of fabric, dumping stuff out on the floor so I can see better, and when I find what I need I don't exactly put every piece of fabric back in the bin. The girls spend the morning coloring on construction paper and don't exactly put every piece of paper away when they're finished. Will didn't put her abacus back on its shelf after doing some math work. The grocery bag is full of paper for the recycling bin. That big grey backpack is my teaching stuff. Some of the other stuff is just...stuff.

That was 9:00 am. Here's 11:00:We did not go to the wonderlab for storytime, we've not gone to play in the leaves or over to the park, we've not made beer bread or peanut butter cookies. Hell, the girls aren't even dressed. But the study's a little cleaner, especially the closet and the bookshelf, which you can't see, and the lockers, and the cubbies on the left, which I want to move out of the room completely.

2:00 pm. As I uncover additional layers of stuff, I'm having to vacuum periodically, now. The fabric from the big blue bin is now stacked neatly in the lockers where it's supposed to go, the stuff from the lockers has been moved to the closet where it's supposed to go, I've reclaimed an entire level of the bookshelf from toys to books, and gotten rid of a LOT of recycled fabric that instead needed to be dishrags or just somebody else's fabric, frankly. What I have not done is read a single book to a single kid today, encourage anyone to eat a vegetable, wash anyone's hair, or, my personal favorite activity, MAKE anything today.

4:00 pm. Still cleaning, still drudging, now sort of ignoring some neighbors with whom I'm "friendly" but not friendly (you know? They're neighbors--you have to "like" them, but do you have to like them?), I watch my kiddo raking leaves and acting generally just adorable and seasonal and picturesque through my study window. I don't go out and spend half an hour snapping photos for posterity. Who am I kidding? Of COURSE I go out and snap a million photos! She's raking leaves!!!By 5:00 pm, it's game over for the day. I've got to jump in the shower, get dressed, get my teaching stuff together, and be in my classroom logged on and ready to lecture at 5:45. I don't have much left to clean in the study tomorrow, but I REALLY want to make tied tutus instead of cleaning, so if Matt wants to get an extra lot of date-night loving tonight (Romantic loving, gutter minds!), maybe he cleaned off my desk for me and swept and mopped the floor while I'm here at school? Maybe?

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