So I was reading Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's blog yesterday after five hours of killing plants in my yard and it got me thinking. OK, mostly I was thinking, gosh my back hurts, and when did the bypass lopper get to be so heavy, but she was talking about how she juggles her crazy life and how family and knitting is more important than housework. And I thought, "Wow, I would much rather be spending time with my family and a good sock pattern than pruning the damn bushes." And then I thought, "How do I really spend my time?" I'd never really thought about it from that direction before. How are my days and hours divided up? Do I really spend that much time doing laundry? So I sat down and really thought about it. It was like Poo Bear in Winnie the Poo going "think, think, think."
Here's how my life stacks up. I work from home, or rather am unemployed and spend most of my time at home as my car died and I have no money to get a new one but that is beside the point, it takes work to make my house function. I live with three other adults, who all work outside the home, a dog, three cats, and one or two children who come for weekends, school breaks and holidays. I live in the downstairs of a 3300 square foot house on one and a half acres.my half of the house, the bit I have to clean and maintain, is about 1600 square feet. The property is mostly lawn and flower beds that have been deeply neglected. We, as a group, rent the house but it's my job to try and bring the yarn back from the dead. I'm also the person in the house most likely to shriek in outrage if the house gets to messy, or dirty, or cluttered, and I don't work so guess who does the bulk of the housework. Go on, guess. I also do all the laundry for me, the two boys and the kids and all the linens. The kids aren't here all the time so at least I don't have to wash six sets of sheets every week.
Oh, and sometimes I cook, and when I'm really stressed I bake. A bad stress day could see five dozen cupcakes, four batches of cookies, banana bread and two dozen ham and cheese rolls. I don't make small food.
My life divides itself into days pretty nicely. One day a week is spent on the yard, usually a Thursday. Thursday is the only day we've had good whether the last few weeks. Yesterday I pruned the trees and bushes back so they would stop hitting me in the face when I mow. I got about half the pruning done. I took down two trees that had died over the winter. The big Weeping Willow that came down is going to have to wait until I can get a chain saw. My landlord finally got the greenhouse fixed but I had to clean up the tools the workman had pulled out of it to work. And I mowed the lawn, that takes about an hour and a half on a riding mower, two hours if I'm being thorough and mow around the barn. I love John Deer.
One day a week is just housework. This may get spread over a couple days if it's a holiday or something but my house is never so messy it can't all be done in one day. I'm really screamingly organized so mostly all you have to do is clean the floors and dust and put things away. Laundry always takes the longest. Sometimes I get twitchy and reorganize my roommates things/rooms because it's to messy for me to tolerate, er, I mean... clean up around. This process usually involves moving furniture and several garbage bags.
One day a week is family. My housemates are family too, so even if the kids are elsewhere we still do stuff together. This usually involves food. Some one has to eat my stress baking.
One day is errand day. Leonard is nearly blind and is getting ready to have cataracts removed, so I drive. John and Shelley sometimes need a nudge out the door for doctors appointments, so I drive.
One day a week is knitting. If I'm not just knitting I'm writing patterns or drawing up designs or doing research. I don't count playing on Ravelry as part of my knitting time. And I knit every single day, so my knitting time is spread out a bit, but I try to set aside a "Knitting Day" once a week. This doesn't always work, but I try.
What do I do with my other two days? I read a bit. I run more errands with my roommates. I do special projects around the house. Now I'm going to clean out the garage so I can get back to all my painting stuff. And one day a week I hope to spend volunteering at my local animal shelter. Wish me luck.
Maybe I'll add another knitting day...