I sit, and I make lists, and I can’t stop thinking of everything that I should be doing instead of sitting here writing this, but I don’t care. I sit here. I stay stagnant. I look at the mess around me and realize just how representative it is of my life this past few weeks: the photo of my friend’s daughter sitting on my coffee table when it should really be hanging on the fridge, which needs cleaning on the inside and out, the bags of almonds and pretzels and a box of cookies left out from late night snacking from the couch where I never seem to be able to leave, the love note to my husband turned cootie-catcher nestled in what is supposed to be a dip dish or a candy dish that is never used for entertaining because we rarely have visitors, a folder full of houses we hoped would be our next move but continue to disappoint us in the awkwardness of the front living room or the limited space in the kitchen I so desperately want to have space in, a bag with gold ribbon and empty graduation cards waiting to be filled out and handed out at the numerous grad parties ascending on my schedule in the next two weeks, a straw cowgirl hat hanging from the corner of a letter stand that I bought to wear on our trip out west, winter coats hanging off the back of the front door because I just haven’t put them away yet, the dryer ball perched on the shelf, which Feeny found last week when he felt like acting like a cat for a few hours by batting the ball across the living room floor that is coated in his fur yet again, birthday cards from our birthdays at the end of April and the beginning of May lined along the mantle of the fireplace that we haven’t used once in the two years we’ve lived in this teeny, tiny house, clothes hanging on the drying rack in the kitchen because apparently I like to show off my underwear to the neighbors for weeks at a time, grabbing clothes off the rack when I need them instead of stowing them in the closet and drawers I spent so much time organizing a few weeks ago, shoes from the last day of school, shoes from when I exercised with Feeny and Whitney, shoes from work, shoes from hiking, and flip flops from this weekend strewn around the record cabinet that I swore I’d refinish last year because it’s been so long since it has been used, and if only it looked nicer, maybe I’d find a place to display it better and maybe I’d play all those records I bought because I just had to get them before they were gone.
This is my life. Love, words, plans, stuff, food, things being left everywhere because I’ve been too busy seeing, doing, loving, eating, pretending that when I got off work for the summer I’d be motivated to get things (myself) organized, cleaned, in their place. We leave in two weeks for a 15 day trip out west. I have a feeling I’m going to come home to a house that looks similar to this one, with the exception of different stuff strewn about it. I tell myself that when we move, when we have more space, I’ll keep it clean. I’ll be a better housewife. The dishes will stay done when we have a dishwasher. The clothes will be put away when I have a laundry line outside. The snacks will stay in the kitchen when we have a big enough kitchen to eat in. The papers will stay organized when we have an office. I’ll be healthier when I have more space to live, move, breathe.
We all know I’m lying. I know it’ll take time for me to rest enough to feel motivated again, to regain my composure, my sanity, my sense of self, my self-assurance that despite not being constantly tied to my job and my students that I still have value and worth and a purpose outside of my classroom..that I can still be superwoman without my grown-up job being front and center.
Eventually, I’ll find a rhythm. Eventually, I’ll find myself again. Until then, I’ll continue to live in the chaos of my house and my mind, snuggled in close to my husband who loves me despite the mess around him and next to him because he too knows that it takes me a little while to unwind from the storm that the end of the school year brings.