And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. ~ Kahlil Gibran

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

I'll Think About It

Last night, I was talking to the Sarge about how grumpy I have been getting about my work situation. Not the Big Boss B*tch Situation (just so you know, the two-faced woman sat and acted like nothing had happened when she and I were at work together last night. She also once again denied to the Sarge that she had any problem with any of us overnight staff. Why the note, then?!), but rather the fact that I work such crappy hours that the rest of my life falls by the wayside just so I can get through.

I was lamenting that I couldn't seem to be more like Sarge in the fact that she is able to look at the bottom line so clearly. She says to herself: "Self, if you want to take this trip or have this doo-hickey you need to make the $$ to do it. Go out, make the $$, and when you have it you can enjoy your trip or doo-hickey and quit doing whatever you had to do to come up with the money." It works really well for her, and I have been trying to do that in my own life. I try to convince myself that I really want to just get into a house and get debt-free (excluding the mortgage, which I would be happy to just pay down a bit ahead of schedule). After I do that and have some $$ in the bank for emergencies, I can quit all this insanity and work part time at something I enjoy and that won't ruin my health.

It's not really working though, and this is what I was telling the Sarge about. Right now I am feeling like there is no end to this miserable lifestyle I have chosen for myself, and I am pretty bummed about it.

Then the Sarge came up with a comment that just blew my mind. She said: "the thing is, you have to take care of yourself. No matter what job I have or how many hours I work, I always make sure to take care of myself first."

My brain just stuttered to a stop. In a flash of insight brought on by the combination of Sarge's ability to cut to the heart of every issue and my complete trust in her and her discretion I blurted out "But I don't know how!"

Incredibly, it is true. I mean, I know how to keep myself clean and fed, but I don't really know how to take care of myself in the way that Sarge meant.

So now I have to figure out how to work that into my busy schedule, as well. I know I am probably making things more complicated than they have to be (Sarge would surely tell me so), but I am having trouble coming up with priorities. I know that doing things that make me happy is part of taking care of myself, but I can't help but think that I could enjoy those things more if the house is clean and the laundry is all done etc before I try to do things for myself. I would be able to enjoy them with a clear conscience, so to speak. By the time I get all the chores done, though, there usually isn't enough time for me to do things just for me.

I will probably be pondering this one for the next week or so. Then, just about when I am ready to give up on wrapping my brain around the issue, the solution will most likely come to me in a blinding flash and a head-slapping "Duh" moment.

Right now I am looking forward to that....


Gina said...

I have no words of wisdom on this one because I would like to know how as well. Sarge is probably right.

Lisa said...

You hit it on the head when you said, "By the time I get all the chores done...." You know, the day you die there will still be laundry to do, dishes to wash, meals to cook. But you will already be dead, having never cared for yourself or taken a little bit of time to make yourself happy.

Life is too full of options to waste it all by chores. Housekeeping has never been a big priority for me. i mean, I clean, but postponing everything else until the house is perfect is a recipe for walking away from it all just to be rid of the responsibility.

I'm probably not saying any of this right. The bottom line is, If mamma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. You must get some enjoyment out of your life everyday. Otherwise, everyone around you will feel your frustration and unhappiness with your life. Even if this just means 5 minutes of peace for yourself to think, read, or stare out at your garden. Do it! Your very life depends on it!

Catty Ax Lady said...

It truly is an experiment in retraining your brain...I came up with the gardening and sewing things as something I could do to make ME happy. Because I totally agree with Lisa that if Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. But how on Earth can I go work in my garden when I've got 2 days worth of dishes sitting in my sink??? When the boys don't have clean socks, partly because, well, they're boys, but partly because the rest are sitting in the dirty clothes basket? The little things, along with some bigger things, have forced me to forego my gardening/sewing plans once again, because although it would make me happy, it would make me SO guilty too, and that ain't happy.

Barefoot, I totally "get" you. I'm so glad I found your blog.

Fr. Peter Doodes said...

Hi Barefoot,

My 'Duh' moment returns on a (very)regular basis; usually when I remember the words of Elaine St. James

"Let’s go back to basics and remember that all we really have to do is put a roof over our heads and meals on the table. Beyond that our time can be better spent enjoying our lives, being with people we love, creating things we love that don’t harm the earth, and contributing something meaningful to the world." From 'Simplify Your Work Life' 2001



Wendy said...

For me it was a matter of deciding what is important to me RIGHT NOW, and then doing that thing or at least working toward that goal. The other thing was deciding that I wasn't working myself to death for MONEY, even if I need MONEY to get where I want to be. Instead, I'm learning (it's a really slow process) to find ways to get the things I need without money (freecycle, library ...) and I'm learning to use my money to bring what I really want into my life. For example, if given the choice between some really cool kitchen gadget that I've been longing for or local organic beef, I'll choose the beef.

I know that you're already very frugal, and you're reading Your Money or Your Life, and I do know how hard it is to be working two jobs (yours and your husband's ... oh, I guess you're actually working three, aren't you?), but I also know that if my husband needed to quit his job - the one that pays the bills, we'd find a way to make it work. There are dozens of things we could do that we're not doing now, because we're working or because we're tired or because, because ....

Anyway, step one is to set your goals, and then figure out how, within the framework of what your life is RIGHT NOW, how you can achieve it. I wanted a farm, and I was convinced that I needed to live on a much larger piece of land to achieve that. Now, I know that I can have a farm right here, right where I am, on only a quarter acre.