Well, my week break is over. I did a much better job managing expectations this time, but I still feel disappointed by what I accomplished. I realize that I need to drastically improve the state of things around the house, so that I don’t feel like a failure when I can’t commit my weeks off to get things in order.
The problem is that I let things get so bad that I feel like I have to wait until I have a lot of free time to clean things up. This is only the case in certain areas of the house, but it’s such a small house that I can’t really avoid those areas when they are stressing me out. What I have to do is dedicate 15-30 minutes to upkeep every day. That way I wouldn’t always feel like I needed 5 straight hours to get things where I want them to be.
There is a chunk of time, daily, that I feel I can use to work on the house, the problem is it will be exceptionally hard to motivate myself then. The time I’ve identified is right after I’ve put the kids to bed. I usually spend the 15-30 minutes after I leave my daughter’s room in the glider, playing solitaire or mindlessly scrolling through my news aggregator. If instead of plopping my ass down and zoning out, I spent 15-30 minutes tidying up a problem area, the house would look pretty fucking amazing most of the time. And while yes, I do use that time playing mindless games on my phone to relax, the state of the house is a continual source of stress; managing that would be a much better stress eliminator in the long run.
I attempted to do this Friday night, after a particularly long evening at my daughter’s school helping with their African American Heritage Night. It was SO HARD to get my ass out of that chair and simply pick up random shit in the living room, but I motivated because I knew that it would make me feel better in the long run. Just like it can be hard to throw on a sports bra and work out, but I’m ALWAYS glad I did it.
So I heaved my sorry ass out of the chair and picked up. And I did feel better. I know if I could tackle a few big problems areas in my room this weekend I’d feel better about the state of things in general, and then maybe I could even weed out the superfluous Tupperware at some point too.
I have spent a fair amount of time this week feeling down on myself that I’m STILL not doing some of these things that I DESPERATELY want to do. I don’t know why I can motivate to do so many things that are hard for me but find other goals impossible to meet. And it’s not just the state of the house. I’m failing on the financial front, big time. I promised myself that I’d go back and track my spending in January and February after the fact using my bank and credit card statements, along with the notes I’ve attempted to keep about cash spending (which I don’t do much of). I also can’t say that I’ve only bought things I absolutely need in the past few months. That goal continues to elude me.
I know I’ve written many times about how these perceived shortcomings feel more and more like massive character flaws the longer I struggle with them. I don’t know how to change my ways on this stuff. Maybe I really do need some professional help, like a therapist to meet with weekly for check-ins. Maybe without that kind of support I really can’t do this.
But I can’t possibly afford a therapist right now, not in time or money. So I suppose I’ll keep trying and failing on my own. I do think I’m making small gains in the right direction, but holy shit it’s taking a long time for me to make any real progress. It’s so dispiriting.