It's been one of those weeks for me, the kind where everything's just piling up and I haven't had time or energy or the mental capacity to get done what I'd like to.
It didn't help today when a carton of soy milk split open in the refrigerator and spread it's creamy contents far and wide. Entertainment this afternoon was washing out the shelves and door...well, I tried to look at it that way.
It seems 'breakage' was the unintended sport of the day because an hour later I pulled a bag of potatoes out of the veggie tray and it broke wide open, the rounded balls I intended to peel and boil and mash for dinner fell rolling across the kitchen floor and into the next room, the one I'd only just mopped after a two week avoidance.
I know these are relatively minor hiccups in a homemakers day but when they come at the tail end of a lot of other hiccups they feel much weightier to the spirit than they would be on a day, or during a week, when life's been bright and breezy, you know?
Until today I hadn't vacuumed in two weeks and I didn't even realise this.
In fact when I stood and had a good look through each room it came to my attention there were a number of important 'big' jobs around the house which had been neglected.
(I seriously need to approach my bathroom tomorrow with bravery!)
So why did this happen, I ask myself?
It isn't that I'm a total clean freak, because I'm not.
I am someone who can't handle visual clutter (a genuine OCD thing I've had since childhood) but I don't run around scrubbing the life out of my house - I just clean rooms on a regular routine-y way. Like my bathroom, I clean it on Friday. The vacuuming, I do it on Monday. The washing, a load every day.
But not the past two weeks. Things just haven't seemed routine-y at all.
And then I remembered.
Mr E started back teaching two weeks ago after more than four years absence and I drive him to and from the school every day which is 200 extra minutes on the road for me each week, and the afternoon pick up is at odd times so I'm on stand by from 3:15 each day waiting for his call.
Now, I love that we have those extra 40 minutes together each day in the car. In the morning we talk about what's ahead, and in the afternoon drive home we share about what has happened in our individual days. The downside is that I've spent two weeks 'falling behind' because of the extra hours away from home and office, and the uncertainty of afternoon pick-up times which leave me unable to start anything after 2:45 because I have no idea when I'll need to grab my keys and head out the door.
Today Blossom dropped by with Cully May for morning tea and we were discussing this very thing. You see she drives her DB to and from work each day as well and we came to the same conclusion - what a delight and blessing to know your husband enjoys spending that extra time with you, but how do we balance it out with the responsibilities of home and baby, or in my case, work, so that we stay on top of the things that must be done yet still 'enjoy' the responsibility of our daily travels?
The answer came down to priorities.
Our men (and her daughter) are our priorities...and bless their hearts, neither of our men mind if the house isn't spotless or if we're so worn out we'd like to get take-out for dinner sometimes.
What they care about is if we smile when they climb in the passenger seat after a day at work, if we're as happy to see them as they are to see us.
On my part, I can get things back into a routine-y way now that I'm aware of what has thrown me out recently and I can also eliminate a few small things in my life which will 'give' me those 40 minutes a day (200 minutes a week) so I'm not losing the time from things that matter.
I can also switch around my daily schedule so that I do most of my reading/research/study or hand embroidery after 2pm because it's easier to close a book/web page or put down a sewing needle and walk out the door when Mr E needs me to come bring him home, than stop midway in the design process or baking or scrubbing the bathroom or other things that need uninterrupted blocks of time.
This is my new ordinary and I will find joy in it.
This week's Joy in Ordinary chat question...
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