Laundry and Life at 2am

So today has been a looooong one. It started off blah-enough. Did a little time-wasting on the computer. (No really. I didn’t accomplish anything, so totally just wasting time!) Finally drove the whole time-wasting nail into my head far enough that it prompted me to get up and move…to sorting dirty laundry. Oh the joys!

So the kids and I were off to Wally to return a mattress protector (wrong kind) and get quarters so we could go do the requisite 15 (-ish) loads of laundry for the week. This was after 20min of fighting and locking each other out of the car while we fight over the front passenger seat…ugg!

We walked in carrying 1 not-right-kind mattress cover and walked out with cotton candy, drinks, cream cheese and chives snack crackers (my fave!), paring knives, 4 boxes of cereal on sale for $1 ea(!!), and 3 new timers….but no quarters.

So cool that I found those timers! $5 each. I had been contemplating forking out the $14 for one from FLYlady because my timer has been “dis-ka-peared” for a couple of months. Yes, I have one on the oven and one on my cell phone. Yes, they work. No, I don’t use them. Just last night I admitted to myself that while not having a handy timer is NOT a valid excuse for not doing my 15min chores, I truly would be more inclined to do them with a handy timer. That said perhaps I should just go ahead and pay the $14. After all, a tidy home is worth it, right? Too true, but I had so hoped to one day get the kids their own timer since they were just as “out of practice” as I am with the little quick-cleans. No way was I gonna fork out $14 x 3! And then I find one at Wally for $5! Cool! I could get all 3 of us a new one for the same price as the other. The neatest thing is that, and I kid you not, I have looked at Wally repeatedly over the last 2 months for a timer. The only two options they’ve ever had was $12 or $15. I just couldn’t do it, especially since there was that cuter one for the same price online…

Sorry. Got off track with the whole timer thing there. (Can ya tell I’m easily amused?!)

So we left Wally with a lot of stuff, just not the quarters we’d gone after. Go figure. Thankfully the machine at the laundromat was NOT out of change. So the laundry did get washed…by me…while my oh-so-helpful children played on and around…..A DUMPSTER!

I am so not kidding either!  Cool thing…a sweet man noticed the elusive duo and their generous hamper-toting help *cough, cough, sputter, sputter* and carried a hamper out to the van for me, then loaded them all in the back and closed the hatch. So sweet! And they say chivalry is dead…pshaw!

Back home again I drug out all the leftovers from our nummy homecooked meals (I cooked every night, I know Mike must’ve been shocked!) this week, and started the marathon drying session.

The kids did ok until about 6:30pm when I started getting them ready for bed. Early you say? Not a bit of it. For going on 2 months solid now it has been close to 11pm every night before they get in bed. I’ve been getting them started earlier in the hopes that if they are just absolutely insistent on taking THREE HOURS to do a 15min routine, maybe they can get to bed before 10pm.

Yeah right, Ma! Horrible bickering/fighting followed by tantrums ensued. Of course. Why not, right? So at 10 min to 10pm (WOOHOO!!! Score!! They made it by 10pm!!!!!!!) I came back out of the kids’ room with them both in bed. It was still another hour before they were asleep, but we’re making progress at least!

Then I had a horrible mini-pity-party. I totally tried not. I did. I just didn’t do a very good job, I’m afraid. =(  It was late, again. I was tired, still. Hubby was relaxin’ at the computer, and I was looking at a table covered in leftovers that needed to be put up, a sink full of dishes that needed to be washed (I cleaned out the fridge…now I can mark that off my project list!), a dishwasher to be unloaded, at least 4 more loads of laundry to dry/fold/put away, a huge pile of trash to sweep up and NO dustpan for miles around, full trash cans to empty, counters to scrub, etc.

I was feeling whiny and put-out. Totally. I tried not to, I really, truly did. But man! It’s hard not to sometimes, I tell ya! Anyhow. I stomped a little, I slammed stuff into trash cans a little, I wasn’t exactly gentle with the dishes going in the dishwasher, etc. I muttered under my breath some. I prayed. I asked Mike when I would get a day off. I prayed a little more. After about an hour I had the table cleared of leftovers, the dishwasher and dishes sorted out, several loads of laundry dried and put away, dustpan located and put to use, and the trash cans emptied. Also I was feeling much less whiny and put-out.

So I sat down to read some blogs while I waited on the next dryer load. I came across this: TwentySomeone I read the little blurb, if you will, about both this book and the one they are working on (?) next called ThirtySomewhere and went, “Mmmhmmm. That’s exactly what I’ve been trying to figure out. Where do I fit in?”

As I was folding the next dryer load it occurred to me what (one of!) my problem(s) is. I’ve been trying to figure out where I fit in! Why is that a problem if I’m 29, so definently headed into the “figure out where you fit in decade”? Simple. I haven’t figured out who I am yet! I should have been figuring that out these last few years and I haven’t been! I’m all mixed up and out of order. (This will come as no surprise to most of the people who have known me longer than 3min.)

I kinda suspected. I mean, there have been warning signs, sotospeak. This little conversation that keeps replaying over and over in my head for instance:

MyFriend: What’s your style?

Me: Ummm, sweatpants and a t-shirt? *chuckle* I don’t have a “style” really.

MyFriend: Yes you do. You just haven’t found it yet.

And the song called “Glad to Be Me” off of this album that has been bringing me alternately to tears and cheers, is another.

Also there’s the whole feeling-like-I-don’t-know-what-is-ME thing. Ya know…like some people are all about the western dress and singing and they just kinda exude down-home-on-the-ranch-ness, while others are so very suave and sophistacated it’s clear they totally know who they are and what they are about. Some people are totally organized and with it. Some are so comfortable in the skin they’re in it almost makes a gal want to scream! There’s the sewer, the baker, the committee-leader, the teacher, the nurse, the garage-saler, the picnic-taker, the cheerleader. Then there’s me…I don’t know what I am. I don’t know WHO I am. I don’t know my style. I’m not comfortable with the skin I’m in, cause I don’t know anything about it.

I’ve been hyper-freakin-out about not knowing where my place is… am I supposed to be doing xyz in the church? in the world? at home? Where are my boundaries? Am I in them? Or out of them? Should I have gone there (in a don’t-even-go-there-kind’ve-way) or not? I’ve been trying so hard to figure this all out and it has occurred to me in little nagging, wondering kind of moments that maybe I shouldn’t be trying to figure this out right now…that maybe the first thing is to figure ME out. What I’m about, what I’m good at, what I’m never going to be adept at, who I am to others, but even more-so…who I am to myself, and even more importantly than that…who I am to God.

Tonight it makes sense in a weird kind of way. I’m 29, sure, but only just beginning to truly step out and grow up. I’ve been hiding from the world and myself almost since I moved out of my parents house. I know there are people who would tend to disagree with me on this, but it’s true. I tried stretching my wings for awhile at first, but they got clipped, and so I quit. I’ve been kinda mindlessly plodding through since. I poured myself so much into the idea that I had to be completely self-sacrificing to my family that not only did I not allow myself to try and figure ME out, I’d feel horrificly guilty on those occasions that I did indulge or treat myself in any fashion.

I thought I was supposed to lay aside every bit of ME and devote myself completely and utterly to my family. I didn’t. I couldn’t. I didn’t even come close…and I’ve hated myself for it because I thought I was failing at a very basic level. I guess in a sense I’m paying for it now because now I’m 29 and while the one part of me is saying “Ok, it’s time to start looking at where are we supposed to be in life/in church/in the world/in our marriage/etc.” the other part of me is starting to pipe up from the backseat, “umm, excuse me….please…I mean…ummm…I hate to be a bother, but….well, I think maybe…I don’t mean to be a nuisance, really, but it seems as though, perhaps…well, I think we may have forgotten something….I don’t think we picked up the passport as we were leaving the ticket counter. I do hate to be a bother, but I think we might actually need that before we’ll actually be able to get where we’re actually supposed to be.”

Those pesky voices. I think now I see why I named one of my categories on here “the changing me”. Perhaps that was another warning sign that I blared right on by!


1 Response to “Laundry and Life at 2am”

  1. 1 Craig February 29, 2008 at 11:28 am

    Appreciated your thoughts here (as well as your link to our site). Seems you’re seeing the need to being answering the real question of your twenties, but feeling guilty about doing so later in your twenties.

    A couple words of encouragement: the twenties are more fluid than just “the twenties” (think more 18-35 for starters), so don’t feel the door gets slammed on the time you have to answer the question (in all actuality, you’re going to be answering it for the rest of your life).

    Secondly, just because you feel you’ve wasted time in answering the Who am I? question doesn’t mean that you can’t; remember, you’ve got all the data! With a little bit of work looking back and evaluating your experiences (the book would be very helpful for you in this), you can still begin answering the question; you haven’t missed the window.

    Hope some of that is food for thought and helps. Do read TwentySomeone and see if that serves, and do pray for us as we write ThirtySomewhere this year. God’s best.

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