Thursday, May 16, 2013

Wanted: Relaxation ...

I have a hard time relaxing.

I'm always thinking of the next thing that needs to get done, before I've even tackled the first. Messes to be cleaned. Projects to finish.

I look at the world around me and I don't see how great it is. I focus in on how it could be better.

It is a horrible feeling. It sits in my throat like a hunger.

I wish I could be more like J sometimes.

I'm sure he sees all the same things I do, but it never bothers him. He doesn't care if the kids have toys everywhere. He doesn't think twice when there are dishes in the sink. I've always thought that he wasn't bothered by these things because he knew they'd be taken care of eventually (most likely by me). But, I'm starting to think that it's actually that those things just aren't important to him. If they aren't impeding his life in any significant way, he'll take care of them later. Even if later is so long from now that it eats away at my soul.

Every night, once the kids are in bed, I clean the house. I make sure everything is put away. All the dishes are done. Lunches for the next day are made. The laundry is folded. The floors are swept. I literally can not sit down until I've run through my checklist. At the same exact time, J can grab his iPad and "decompress" while I run around wrapping up our day.

I have never, in the nearly 11 years we have been together, been able to understand this.

I wish I could just forget that there are things to do.
I wish I could make an entire meal and leave the mess to be cleaned up after we eat. (This is often why I eat cold food.)
I wish I could walk by a pile of papers without wanting to sort through it.
I wish that decluttering wasn't my favorite pastime.

My habits are so ingrained in me that I don't know that I'll ever be able to let them go. But I so want to.


Bron said...

Could it be that by cleaning up and going through your list, you are decompressing in your own way?

Michelle said...

Prioritize your priorities.
The dishes, yes. I like to get them done. The floor? I can let it go. I HAVE to let it go. Laundry? It can wait a day or two. Lunches. Gotta get them done. Choose ONE thing and let it go. LET IT GO. Refuse to do it. It's not a reflection of you being lazy.
Even just letting a few things go will help. Plus, you'd get a little extra time with J....

Amy said...

It's the exact same way at my house. It took some time, and a few arguments to learn that cleaning and putting everything in it's place is my way of decompressing.

Katie said...

Same way here too . . . my hubbysays he does not even really see the mess!

Unknown said...

Oh....yes. Why is it almost always the women who are more bothered by/sensitive to this kind of thing? We've handled this with a series of compromises: Sometimes I practice letting something be (I like Michelle's ONE THING suggestion, above). At the same time, my husband has agreed to take responsibility for making sure certain things are done (not because he "sees" them or is bothered by them, but just because they bother me).

And this isn't in the cards for everyone (we don't), but some of my friends have found tremendous success in hiring someone in once every two week or once a month to do the "deeper" cleaning. Suddenly, the daily chores don't seem as overwhelming/onerous when you are released from weekly/monthly chores. They've been surprised at how such an investment reduces the stress and tension associated with keeping their family's living space clean AND tidy. [Although, I admit, this doesn't address the issue of NOT being able to sit still, or relax, or just accept things as they are.]

ajh said...

No kids left at home but when I come home from work I cannot relax until all ready for next day and all chores done. Then I sit down and decompress. A woman thing?

Unknown said...

I am so much lazier than you and don't have this problem.

And, I may need glasses, as a I read, "sits in my throat like a burger".

Or, maybe I'm just hungry.

MCM Mama said...

Ok, I'll admit I do not have this problem. I keep the kitchen clean and I wipe up sticky spots, but I have better things to do than constantly straighten. And by better things, I mean read a book or play on the computer.

Can you put J in charge of after dinner cleanup? My kitchen is a wreck when I finish cooking, but it's not my job to clean it up, so I sit and eat with the family.

As for laundry, I do about a load a day. Throw it in sometime in the morning, dry it later in the day, and then fold it in bits and pieces over the day and then put it away when I put the kids to bed. Sure, the laundry is never "done", but it's never overwhelming either.

But I'm probably not a good source of info because, if I have a good book to read, I'd climb over Mount Laundry to sit and read LOL.