In the gaze of the other

"My mistress' eyes are nothing…"

Getting Shit Done: Ten for Today

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I used to be addicted to productivity. My life worth was measured against what I accomplished during the day. And it wasn’t that I checked off a great big to-do list every night to inventory, but I did have a huge list of to-do’s. I wasn’t tallying my doings; I was just doing. 

My life was about doing this and that, getting things done: work, school, parenting, family, community, and even strangers absorbed my time. I went from morning til night getting shit done. Empowering energy drove me through brick walls to get to the other side.

But now, I don’t get as much done. I don’t have as much energy, though no less drive. I am determined but larger forces than my willpower overtake me most days. I don’t like to cook any more, me, who ground meat and vegetables to make my own baby food, who cooked and served 9 course meals to friends every New Years and Christmas Eve and other non-holiday days, and who still cooks Thanksgiving dinner for 30 each year. But the daily supper, I’ve lost my will to do so.

It started when the kids’ school and sports schedules became impossible. I was driving one down south 30 miles twice a week and the other 25 miles north another 2 days a week. No one was home at the same time, so we did a lot of ready-mades from TJ’s and grab and go food. I only cooked on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. And then, as the kids got older and preferred eating out or with friends and soccer practices got later, I just gave it up altogether. I can live on hummus and pita chips. They could all fend for themselves.

I don’t cook, and I don’t clean as much any more either. I have limited energy reserves, and with a house with all adults, mostly, I keep my work space, bedroom and kitchen clean only. The rest I farm out to hired help and 15 minute team clean ups once a week, prompted by my yelling. 

So now, my productivity includes three, four or five paying jobs–still–but not the non-paid house upkeep, cleaning, cooking, shopping and dozens of other administrative and domestic chores. I’ve downsized. 

So today’s burst of getting shit done struck me nostalgic. I wrote (paid) for five hours, attended a virtual meeting, shopped for whatever I couldn’t cover through Amazon for holiday gifts, food shopped, prepared my contribution for tomorrow’s pot luck dinner, exercised the Husky pup and cleaned the kitchen and my room. That’s a lot for me. Felt like old times.

 
Image: busy bees: pixabay

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