Three weeks ago I was complaining to John about how, when it comes to the “things on my plate” I have not figured out a way to create a balanced meal, so to speak. In the last four months I have gone from an almost two year dry spell to simultaneously running a blog, interning at The Grand Cinema (check out my first movie review!), and building a life as a brand new homeowner. This all probably sounds like small potatoes to most people, but for this girl its overwhelming and it all happened at once.
Since November 2014 (yikes!) I have been technically unemployed. Sure, last summer I cleaned houses for my friend who owns Brilliant Cleaning (detail oriented, safe & ethical, non-toxic house cleaning in the Tacoma area) and I ran a church newsletter for a year, and of course all along I was learning how to become a better cook, keep us on budget, clean(ish) our small apartment, and manage our schedules. But technically I didn’t have a “job” for a year and a half and thus I found myself with a lot of free time.
I quit my barista job in 2014 to stay home temporarily for two reasons: 1) survival, and 2) housewifery. I was depressed. Really, badly, darkly depressed, and I needed rest, play, and therapy. I also had never really had the chance to nest and make a home for John and me to share because our first year of marriage was so bad. We were finally living on our own, making enough from John’s work to actually pay all of our bills, and I was desperate to build furniture, and cook whole chickens, and scrub the toilet while my knight in short-sleeve button-down’s went off to slay the bacon.
For a while I did all of those things and it was gooooood. But after a while the guilt started to set in because I wasn’t making any money, and I got bored without any structure, and I slowly became overwhelmed by the lack of work I had to do. John and I have always agreed that I will either stay home or work from home when we have children, and I’ve always wanted the flexibility to manage and run our household, but there were no children and it wasn’t enough for me to just be at home. As much as I abhor the admission, I had too much free time and it was making me depressed. I would wake up in the morning and feel totally overwhelmed by the task of having to decide what to do that day. God, that sounds obnoxious! But truthfully, unless I had thought it through and made a list the night before, I would feel stressed and as if I had already failed from the moment I woke up. Those days typically looked like bingeing TV shows (PLL, TVD, The Originals, New Girl…) folding laundry (never enough), doing dishes (also never enough), spending an hour (or more) getting ready, and eventually making it to the grocery store. There were also a lot of naps, and a lot of guilty feelings.
Now I sit here—8 p.m. on a Tuesday night writing a blog post over a day late on the heels of a two week hiatus (sorry!!!), in my new and disheveled house that I OWN, dreading my morning alarm for work because there are still so many dishes to do before bed—and there’s TOO much on my plate! I wanted to be a housewife for a while, but I didn’t have a house and it was longer than a while. So I applied for an unpaid internship AND bought a house at the same time. Now I have a “job” (“job” in quotes because 1) it’s an unpaid internship, but I still werkwerkwerkwerkwerk, and 2) it’s the type of work that registers as legit in my mind, unlike all of the other things I do and feel aren’t good enough) which takes up time and mental energy, and I have a house begging me to put it together and host cocktail parties in. I even have an office for PrettyRx-ing in, but no time or desire to clear out all of the boxes filling it from floor to ceiling because I’m tired from my kick-ass job at the theater.
I went from feeling bad about how loooooong it had been since I quit my barista job and feeling like a loser, to having the thing I was staying unemployed for plus some. My head is filled with paint color schemes, dining room chairs, hanging light fixtures, appliances, changing work schedules, independent films, networking opportunities, professional attire, blog deadlines, pink, and money. My days are full of dishes, laundry, furniture moving, decorating, Target runs, Home Depot runs, OfferUp and Craigslist hunting, searching for underwear, running almost-late to work, running home from work, and going to the grocery store at 6 PM hoping John will be late from work. It’s like someone turned the faucet all the way on (funny story, we had two leaks in our first week, so, yeah, literally). I can’t seem to draw my eyebrows on straight, let alone blog about it and I don’t really know what to do in this rainy season.
Do you feel this way? Do you have the tendency to dump everything off of your plate only to find there is nothing to do? And then when you have something to do, realize that you’ve taken on too much and can’t do it? Or, are you way better at this than me? Do you majestically juggle work, homemaking, creativity, rest, play and taking care of the people in your family? How?!