Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Rush Hour


Here it is, rush hour.

Alex and Suki are in school. Maria ran her laps, and now she is settling into her desk. Geoff is on his way to work, and soon I will be taking Max into his school. But, right now I am stuck in traffic.

Just kidding.

Instead of jockeying for space and playing bumper cars with all the other moms and dads doing the parking lot shuffle, I sit for six minutes and add a few rows to a blanket I started knitting. From my sun warmed seat, I can glance at the long line of cars: stop go, stop go, stop go. Before, when I jumped into the fray, all I got was stress and tedium. Now, I get a little meditation, some progress on a relaxing project, and in the end zero traffic! I am no later, than if I rushed, and I am far happier.

I wish I could conjure an equally satisfying and effective plan for restoring order in this house. Should I start at the front and work my way back? Should I work from top to bottom? I could clean from the center, and continue to the four walls. Whichever way I go, I fear the traffic, stress, and tedium of my domestic perils are unavoidable.

9 comments:

  1. You are wise to avoid the crowd. It's interesting to watch everyone participate, isn't it?

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  2. I am with you on the pause theory of driving. Luckily the school run madness is our village is easily avoided by being just 5 minutes early.
    I drive my husband nuts by pulling over for a few minutes when I end up following behind an erratic and annoying driver. It gives me a chance to talk to the kids face to face for a bit, or maybe pick some wild flowers, look at the view or take a photo.
    In the same situation he would drive close behind getting progressively more irritated, until eventually an opportunity to overtake presented itself.

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  3. Natalie, I see you worrying constantly in this space about the state of your house! It seems a shame that such a creative, dynamic and interesting woman should devote so much of her life to wringing her virtual hands over housework.

    I know, it's a constant battle, and you have four kids (and their friends, and chickens and so on), and it is nice to have a clean house, but...maybe leave some spaces for Messiness? Nominate one or two rooms for Always Clean, with strict rules for all family members to Put It Away! and relax your standards in the other spaces?

    My and my brother's teen years were a lot easier once Mom said she was not going into our rooms for any reason, and if we wanted our laundry done, it was up to us to bring it to her. Our rooms stayed messy, but there was a lot less stress on Mom, and guess what? We got our laundry to her!

    Then as an adult, I used to spend a lot of time worrying about dirty carpets and piles of Stuff around the house, but once I was living with Miss Mes...I mean, Chef, I had to relax my standards a bit. As far as I can tell, nobody has rejected our friendship as a result.

    Just a view from outside...I want to see you have more fun, less stress! Heck, get those kids a chore list--Alex, you're on vaccum! :)

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  4. Thank you, friends.
    Thank you.

    Flartus. Oh my.
    You see me.
    I feel wide open, and you see me.
    Thank you.

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  5. I'm not a big fan of housework either, but I've discovered that I'm pretty happy if I can get at least one area or room completely clean. It feels much better than to do a haphazard job on everything. For some reason it tends to motivate me to do other things. :-)

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  6. Lol, I hope you don't feel too naked!

    I know, it's always more complicated on the ground, so to speak. I hope you can find a better balance, whatever your approach.

    Now...I have to go empty the dishwasher I ran two days ago (or was it three??) :)

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  7. My favorite activity when picking up my nieces from school on Tuesday is to save the New York Times crossword puzzle from Sunday and work on it while I wait.
    As far as housework, just think about all the fun that goes on there! Anyway, I take it a room at a time and just enjoy that room before I go on to the others. At least there is usually one neat room. But they are never all neat at once!

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  8. How many appliances are on the fritz? The crockpot knob disintegrated in my hand. The dishwasher won't drain. Adam's computer won't turn on and his watch broke (I know, he has a phone, why a watch??). My new mp3 player went silent. And only one toilet functions properly. All this to say that chaos is everywhere even if you can't see it. Beginner's mind...serenity now...

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