Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Getting Back to “It”

The time away at the beach house was wonderful and restorative, but when I got back to town, I knew I had to get back to it. Whatever "it" is, now that it is not sixty-hour weeks, endless headaches, heartaches and a constant barrage of shit hitting the fan. "It" could be shopping, hitting the gym, joining a quilting club, reading the classics, commencing a secret social life that involves hanging around in bars and flirting with…well, I don't know what actually would be available to someone of my age and physical appearance. Couldn't go there if I wanted to, I suppose. But, the thing is, I am not doing any of these things. I'm…nesting.

Monday, I started tearing apart my bedroom; so I could put it back together in some semblance of order. A little re-arranging, a little going up and down the stairs with gigantic heavy pieces of furniture. Dispatching dust bunnies containing hair of pets that have been dead since 2007. Trying to suck up those dust bunnies with a vacuum that has been dead since 2007.

I attacked my side of the closet, weeded through on a "Goodwill" tear, and reduced the inventory by one third. By day's end, I had just barely got the room re-assembled enough to sleep in it. But the bathroom and his side of the closet were still…nearly uninhabitable.

These two areas—our conjugal bathroom and his side of the closet—have been passive/aggressive battlefields for about two years now. Ever since I realized that the husband was not willing to be my helpmeet, no more so on the home front than at "our" business. At the restaurant, I knew I had to figure out how to mollify him, sidestep him, manipulate him (somehow…which I suck at, by the way) in order to get the help I needed from him. But at home…it was all I could do to pick up after myself. If he couldn't clean up his own messes—wash and put away his own damn clothes, scrub his own damn sink—I was not going to do it for him. If I could somehow have not made or changed the sheets on his side of the bed, I would have done it. I was that fed up.

So, this morning, I tried to look at my newly fussed-over bedroom with satisfaction and pride, but the filth in the bathroom and the insane disorder on one side of the closet would not let me. I knew I was going to have to swallow my pissiness and Just Do It. And so I did. To the tune of another six hours spent hanging, folding, dusting, scrubbing and sweating. The condition of his sink and his side of the vanity was not to be believed. Seriously…it almost made me sob, to think he was willing to wallow in that kind of muck just because I refused to clean up after him. That is so not who we are…not who we ever have been. I couldn't help thinking, "How the hell did we get to this place?"

Be that as it may, it has been a kick just to…fuss with my stuff. MY stuff. To be able to put something somewhere without worrying about whether someone is going to whine, "I don't want that there. It works better for me HERE." Or whether it will get put back in that place after it is used. Or whether I will be able to find it again when I go looking for it. The control freak in me—the one that I constantly had to beat into submission at the restaurant—is having an absolute field day.

I figure it will take the better part of the rest of the summer—or longer—for me to pull my household back from the brink of disaster and reassemble it into a place that is restful, happy, and routinely maintained to my standards—which are not overly high, mind you. They just disappeared entirely when I "lived" at the restaurant, and I have to re-establish them. Honestly, it's like I've been away for five years, and I'm just coming back to my life and my home and…everything. There will indeed be plenty to keep me busy for quite awhile.




  1. There really is something emotionally healing about putting your space in order. I'm jealous of your energy, and I'm beginning to think that my place is hopeless.

  2. Cyn, the trick is not to let it overwhelm you. If I sat back and looked at the entire picture, I would think it was hopeless, too. But you just have to start somewhere and savor the small victories.

  3. Oh gosh...unbelievable what stress will do to us. Enjoy the cleaning and the end result, too!