The way I see it, there are two different approaches to handling being stuck at home. If your housemates are in sync with your way of coping, all is bliss. If not, welcome to my world.
By nature, I am a slob. I say that without embarrassment; it’s been my way of life for so long that I am immune to its stigma. While I’m not worthy of an audition for “Hording: Buried Alive”, it’s safe you say you’d see a few piles of stuff in my house if you could visit.
But you can’t. And that’s what makes my confinement strategy so perfect.
I have no compulsion to clean, straighten, or organize anything in my world. The stacks of papers and piles of folded clothes are exactly the way I like them. If I need something from one of my clumps, I can just dig through. It may take time; I have plenty. I just stack it all back up—like Jenga blocks—and wait for my next turn to play.
My morning routine is comforting in its simplicity and lack of energy expended. I wake up when I want, put on fresh pjs (sometimes), waddle to the kitchen, get coffee and a protein bar. That’s plenty for my morning exercise.
Then, I read everything, silly and serious, on my phone feed. I have seen dozens of poor puppies rescued and rehabilitated. I’ve chuckled at jokes and stories that highlight the stupidity of humanity. And, I’ve shed tears of sorrow over the sadness out there now. That’s when I put the phone down and turn on the TV.
Lord help me. I’ve developed an addiction to a geriatric pastime. I’m watching “The Waltons” on Me TV. Every day at 11am, I wriggle into my couch corner and transport to the simple times and sappy stories of our favorite Depression-era family. John’s presence (and the world outside) evaporates like the morning dew on Walton’s Mountain for 50 or so minutes while I watch. Heaven.
After my Waltons fix, I am free to do nothing for the rest of the day. I’ve learned that I won’t do much unless I put socks and shoes on. It’s a psychological thing and I love this about me. I don’t put socks and shoes on most days.
Now. Here is the other approach to house confinement. Its name is John Leach. My husband is up at dawn: fully dressed, teethed, coffee-ed, and wide-eye-excited. Another cheery day full of tasks! He watches me stumble from the bedroom and cannot wait to share his ideas for the next 24 hours.
My ears don’t want to gather his words. They’re words like “clean”, “bake”, “dig”, and “we”. I don’t want “we” associated with any of those verbs.
His enthusiasm is commendable. And I’m sure having a partner so energetic is a blessing. But we have TONS of time to do things here. Do we NEED to clean the oven NOW? And even if HE does it, I will have to endure both the shame of not helping and the clatter and chaos it will cause.
John has lists. Lists. He is planning projects that need items we don’t have and can’t get now unless he goes somewhere. No frivolous forays into the outer world, I tell him.
He has vacuumed the living room several times this week. I hate having to hold my feet up. Right now, he’s cleaning out the frig.
I know…he’s bored. I’m sorry. And I appreciate his help and his optimism. But I do not subscribe to John’s method of enduring this confinement, and his energy is sapping my serene, slovenly days.
Eventually, we’ll be able to get out. And when that time nears, I’ll wash my hair, put on those dreaded socks and shoes, and make an effort to bring the house to some kind of order.
But not now. I’m dealing with things my way and it’s working for me.
Contact Robin at email@example.com. But not during “The Waltons”.