Making Time To Take Care Of Your Creative Self
Alright, internets. First step of recovery is admitting you have a problem, right?
Well, OK. Here goes…
I, dear internets, am a control freak.
I am a doer and not a delegator.
I am a firm believer in if you want something done right, you do it yourself.
I am a caretaker.
I am a clean freak.
I, dear internets, am exhausted.
More so mentally than physically, but exhausted, nonetheless.
People pop out mini versions of themselves so they are automatically granted a little army of minions to do all the annoying, time-consuming tasks of life like cleaning and such, right?
That’s what I thought.
Well, damn. I may be missing that boat.
So, what do I do now? I don’t plan on having a little army of children. I do have a little pack of pups, but they’re useless.
I get snubbed all the time when I ask them to do the laundry or vacuum their hair and food crumbs off the floor.
Useless, I tell ya. We only keep ’em around because they’re cute.
And so, that just leaves the husband and me.
I have taken it up on myself to do most of the cooking, cleaning, and dog care. The husband is usually the designated dog bather and almost always cleans up after dinner. And I’ve been more than OK with this setup because I’m the one home most of the time, and I don’t bring home nearly as much bacon as he does. That would be none, actually. Nada. I bring home no bacon.
However, I’m tired, y’all. Working mothers, I applaud you and bow down to your stamina and courage. I now see the importance of morning coffee and an evening glass or two (or the whole damn bottle) of wine in your lives.
But, wait… we’ve already determined we don’t have children. And, I bring home no bacon.
So, where do I get off complaining about being tired?
I have no idea. I have no excuses. Granted, I did say more mentally tired and not physically. Shit, give me a cup of coffee, and I’ll come over and clean your house after I clean mine.
I don’t really mind cleaning so much and doing the things that need to be done. I think it just boils down to the fact that I hate feeling like I have to do these things and that they take up so much of my time. I also hate routine… especially a routine of basically doing things that are deemed to be chores.
Don’t get me wrong. I like organization. And, I love cleanliness. I’m not all ‘throw caution to the wind’ when it comes to my day. I have actually had to create a “work” schedule to keep myself on track with my writing and creative endeavors. I guess you could say I just like a loose, flexible, moldable routine. I need structure with freedom… creative freedom.
Lately though, I’ve just been feeling like a glorified housewife, a stay at home [puppy] mom, and a dog walker. That’s my life. There is no brain fuel left over for creativity. And folks, that is putting a huge damper on my ambitions for the year. I’ve already had to modify those goals twice to be more realistic. As in, I’ve had to put “dog walking” in my schedule.
If you have dogs with awesome internal clocks, you know that a flexible routine is not their forte. For example, walking our dogs twice a day so they’re exercised enough to be pseudo well-behaved dogs takes about two hours of my day. So, in the schedule it goes! I’ve been trying to get them to learn how to do crossword puzzles to tire their brains. They just stare at me like I’m crazy.
Now, the husband would tell you that if I just leave things be, he will do them. And, he does. He’s not lazy, folks. He’s not one of those husbands that needs a goddamn (and horribly-named term, btw) honey do lists. Gag. Just writing ‘honey do’ makes me want to puke.
It’s his control freak wife who leaves nothing for him to do, and gosh darnit… she doesn’t even call him honey! The gall of this woman.
Half of my problem is control and the other half is part procrastination and part needing things clean and in order. I see a dusty bedroom or a dirty floor, and I need to clean before I can do anything else. I often wonder if I’m cut out to be a creative because you read and hear about all these creative, artistic types who are messy. I don’t know how to be messy! I blame my mother.
Now, there are a multitude of ways to rectify this “problem” I have… and maybe you have, as well. Free time just doesn’t happen. You’ve gotta demand it.
the messhouse for a few hours to do whatever it is you desire to do. Easier said than done, I know. But, you’ll feel better if you just leave it.
- Outright ask for help. Ask the significant other to help more around the house. Support is more than just about financial support, and it goes both ways. Communicate your needs with each other. Also, if you do have little kids, utilize a mommy daycare swap or enlist grandparents or other relatives to watch them for a couple hours a couple times a week. Leading a busy life means having to actively carve out free time for yourself.
- What if you just can’t leave the house? Learn how to redirect your focus even if immersed in chaos. Yes, a messy house is chaos in my mind. I’m not sure how to do this yet, but I’ll keep you posted. Ambient music helps me focus as well as café sounds. Maybe try meditation? Maybe blinders!? Out of sight, out of mind, right?
- Create a reverse reward system. You do what you want or desire to do for a couple hours a day (writing a novel, in my case) and you get to reward yourself with say, vacuuming. Sounds wacky, right? It just might work, though, for us nutcases. ;)
- Create a schedule that allows for the need to clean or whatever on your to do list and stick to it.
So, I already implement a few of these actions. As for #5, the husband and I have talked in the past about utilizing a calendar for a cleaning schedule. So, I’m starting one today. My hope is that even if something needs to be done, and I see that it’s scheduled that I won’t feel compelled to do it immediately.
Mind over matter, my fellow control freak procrastinators. Mind over matter.
Well, I’m off… dog walking is currently on the schedule, and the little
time sucks monsters cute pups are getting restless.