I had decided at some point to start unraveling a few mysteries that plague my life as a housewife. Where do my socks go? Why is it so hard to shove the pillow back in the case? What is that smell? And so on.
As I set about making theories and jotting down ideas, I realized...I have too much free time.
I don't much care about creating amazing meals or getting the stains out or even keeping to some sort of schedule, though I do love a list and I like things tidy. I am more of a fits and bursts person and for a long time, I would get on a roll of accomplishing loads of tasks and think, "This is IT, I am a real adult, a true grownup who takes care of EVERYTHING!" I would fall into bed at night and wake up and tackle the next round. Starting school with the kids, scrubbing the grout, dusting the stuff, pulling the weeds, healthy lunch, 4 loads of laundry, dinner at 6, long walk afterward, maybe a movie, bath before bed. Bam Bam Bam. Then I would have a day that wobbled on my carefully orchestrated balance of accomplishments and it would fall apart. I could spend a week bemoaning in my head about how I can never stick to anything. Stick-to-itness is a very touted thing, proof you are a decent human. There are books, blogs, workshops that will help you stick to it. I just got an e-mail today about one.
Now I realize I just have busy and productive times and times when I am cocooned in my own head or pulled into an activity that has zero net value to another human-reading in the hammock, walking to the creek, sitting on the bed tracing out roads on maps of places I may never actually see. Writing things that I save to some obscure folder or tuck in a book I rarely open or simply delete, swapping out photos in the house or changing the background on my website or this blog. Piddlin' is what it would be called around these parts and it would be frowned upon as a waste of time.
I have discovered, after about 4 seconds of self-reflection, that I don't much care what people around here would call it. I guess that's a type of growth. That level of disregard is generally reserved for women over 60 who have seen enough bullshit to call bullshit when they see it. I figure I have a 20 year jump on things. I prefer to see this as being ahead of my time and not premature aging.
Just because a thing only has value to a single person does not make it any less worthwhile. And if something no longer has value to you as a person, don't drag it around. Energy and time are fed into everything in life and there's not always a fair exchange rate. Sometimes experience is all you get to take away with you. And if you are lucky, resolve.
So, maybe there's nothing to unravel. Things happen, maybe for a reason, maybe because if they didn't, a vacuum would open in time and space and suck everyone into a void. Save the world, read a book.