Thursday, January 24, 2008

In a rut, still digging


So, we were having a convo on one of my bulletin boards about what someone called 'invisible people'. You know, waitresses, cashiers, baggers, etc; folks people tend to ignore.

Fast forward to this morning.

I was doing the morning washing up and, as I sometimes do, dwelling on the fact that I wash the same dishes over and over. Same plates, same glasses, same bowls; sometimes three times a day. Over and over.

And the same clothes. And I sweep the same floors, twice a day; let the dogs out; leave at promptly 12:45 to wait for Boy to get out of school; snacks at the same time; supper at the same time; watch a few minutes of a film; go to bed. Rinse and repeat.

I realised that I feel like one of those invisible people; like a photocopy of a photocopy, blurred and indistinct. I spend all day doing things that anyone could do, contributing nothing unique or valuable, making absolutely no difference in the world.

Heck, aliens could abduct me and replace me with a similar unit and no one would be affected. Are there no pictures of me because I really don't exist?

All the mommy websites, books, and magazines say "take time out to do something for yourself".

Yeah? What? And when?

I used to have a dozen projects going. I haven't gotten to work on an outside project in 6 months; or an inside project in a year (heck, I've got a burgeoning list of basic repairs that desperately need doing). I haven't been to the stock sale in months.

I used to do all sorts of crafts as well as draw and paint. I used to write. All of that's out the window. The crafts require a place to set it up and leave it out safely. And I can't do anything of that sort without uninterrupted quiet anyway or I lose my concentration and it's the opposite of relaxing.

I used to love gardening. I had a wee little garden (in the English sense - mixed flowers, trees, shrubs, and veg) that was just mine but the babies took it over. It's now strewn with plastic toys and beat up here and there.

Still, I stubbornly worked at my garden for a bit. I kept it as tidy as possible and kept replanting. This winter pretty much did it in, though, as the only thing I got time to plant - collards - suffered. I had six gorgeous plants and the gate got left open and the pony ate all of them but one (and smashed my pots and dragged stuff about).

Ditto with my books and collectible junque and furniture. Not that the pony got in and ate them, lol, but that they've been smashed, ripped, scratched, and lost.

I know one is not defined by stuff, but it gives one a sense of accomplishment, of worth, to be able to say "I made that", "I grew that", or "That is my meticulously researched and accumulated antique beer bottle cap collection". If I were to fall over dead right here on my Wacom Tablet, I doubt anyone would say: "Man, she sure got a lot of firewood in and stacked neatly!" or "Jeez, I can see myself in these plates!"

Would anyone even realise I'd croaked until they ran out of clean socks?

Anyway, so this morning, after I washed those same. dishes. again. I went out to get something out of the car and discovered ... the gate standing open and the pony in my garden.

Is it stupid to cry over a collard plant?


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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 7:57 am   5 comments


At 12:29 pm, Blogger Kizz said...

No, it's not stupid at all. I'm sorry you're all violated like that. I hope that your first project is to find yourself some inviolable space and that it happens soon.

At 8:00 am, Blogger Mrs. Chili said...

No, not stupid at all, and no, you're NOT replaceable. Ask Mr. Asshole - he'll tell you just like I did.

I know EXACTLY how you feel - truly I do (the bit about "would anyone miss me until they ran out of clean socks got me). Really, though, the only way we've got out of that is to advocate for ourselves. Make people responsible for respecting YOUR spaces and YOUR things. It's probably going to be a struggle (it is for me), but it's worth it.

At 3:29 pm, Blogger Tilly Cat & Pip-Squeak said...

No, not a stupid thing to cry over, but it seems to me like you're having a bad day (week, month, semester?)

"I know one is not defined by stuff, but it gives one a sense of accomplishment, of worth, to be able to say "I made that", "I grew that"
Yes, that would be all your babies. Their values, their personalities, the memories you gave them by being their mom and by providing their siblings, their world, and shaping their way of life.

Example: You wash the same dishes over and over because you don't use a dishwasher. Because you're thrifty/environmentally responsible. You stick with it because that value is something you want to instill to your family. THAT is your legacy.

You don't have a garden anymore because you LET the babies take over it. You gave them the experience of playing in the garden. THAT is your legacy.

I think the "mundane tasks" and everyday drag of motherhood are like paperwork in a job. Necessary, but not the essence of the work.



At 4:13 pm, Blogger Danielle said...

We are the silent, unnoticed workers. Our children are our legacy and our work is the home. Heck, I work outside the house and still feel that way.

The only time that I have felt better about it is when I get a little more selfish and force others to give me my space and time. I felt guilty at first but in the long run I am a better mother and person for it. Just little stuff like going shopping my myself without a time frame helps me. Getting the groceries are still a mother's job but it gives me the space.

Right now it's making sure that I get the sleep that my body needs. Mr. Husband and I haven't had much time to talk because I'm going to bed soon after the kids so I can get my sleep. I get up at 5:00 to exercise and get ready for work but that is really my time. I feel bad that Mr. Husband and I don't have more time together but I'm more relaxed when we do because of the time that I have taken for myself.

At 2:00 am, Blogger Kathy Harrison Fuller said...


Again, thank you for articulating what I have felt over the past year. Ditto to the rest of the posters about you legacy blah blah blah..When you are knee deep in the muck - you can't see how those beautiful snot-filled sick faces will be your life's work. (Sorry dealing with URI in my house 3 of 5 sick and I'm going down fast!)

Hang in there - it will be better -spring will be here before too much longer! Sounds like you have Cabin Fever - try an see if you can have EGH do some of the mundane task for a day and go to either bed early with a book or just go out by yourself for a walk.

Big (((((HHHHHUUUUUGGGGGSSSSS)))))or Mom of 5 in upstate NY!


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