As you know I now spend my days as a sort of stay-at-home Mom minus the kids. I’d call myself a housewife, but that’s wildly un-PC, plus I’m not a wife. “Freelance writer” is technically the term, but that doesn’t get to the core of the 10,000 other things I feel obligated to do during the day on account of the fact that I’m home.
Maybe if I had an office in our apartment, I thought, I could go inside there and pretend it’s another building. That way I won’t feel like I need to dust the really dusty ceiling fan directly above the kitchen table slash my work space.
Or, I thought, I could spend two, three hour sessions every day writing at some local coffee shop. 9am til noon then 2pm til 5pm maybe? No time to do a load of laundry because they’re expecting me at the Coffee Bean on Robertson at Beverly by two o’clock. I tried that the first few days of my new situation only to find the tables already occupied by hundreds of other Macbook Air owners trying to avoid dusting their ceiling fans.
And so I decided to suck it up and dust the ceiling fan. I did it after completing a tricky paragraph of a TV treatment I’ve been writing. It looked really clean after I was done, and that made me happy. Two hours later I finished writing up all the character descriptions for that document and decided I’d go through my drawers to find some clothes to donate. That took about 30 minutes, and then I was back at the table proofreading what I’d written earlier. Around 4pm I took a break to go to the grocery store. I got these strange green mussels at the farmer’s market Sunday and decided to try out a curry sauce recipe I found online. I came home, wrote until 6:30, and then tackled the recipe. When R got home I had dinner almost on the table, and I was super proud.
I don’t know why I’m conditioned to fight the domesticity of my new situation. Maybe it’s the ideas of what an independent woman should be? Maybe I’m just being stubborn about having to do more now that I’m home to do more? But I’m not less independent than I was before, and R isn’t expecting me to do anything different than I was as a full-time employee of at office outside our apartment.
I think somewhere I’ve developed the unfair feeling that chores around the house are less important than working as hard as I possibly can all day long. That work is “old-fashioned.” But the more mini breaks I take to tend to my office slash home, the more organized I feel, and the more clear head space I have to approach the next writing task. This is probably on account of my mild to mid range OCD (or severe when it comes to smudges on the mirrors), but whatever.
I work from home. I like to clean. I really like to cook. My boyfriend works long hours, and it’s nice to cook us dinner. I cannot possibly write for nine straight hours a day. So what if I cleaned the bathroom floor by hand in my jammies this morning? Who cares if I re-arranged R’s dress shirts by style and color (surprise Boo!)?
I like to consider all these tasks like little thank you’s to the universe for allowing me the opportunity to pursue my dream…or at the very least really good experience for when I have to resort to cleaning houses for cash.