Initially I actually woke up in a good mood. I had a plan for the morning: I’ve an appointment for hair at 9am in town and so I need to get words written and run in before then and it all seemed doable.

But then I couldn’t find my fitbit charger and the children are up and I don’t want them to be! The combination of the two things has thrown me completely off kilter. I spent 20 minutes that I don’t have to spare hunting for that blasted charger and I didn’t even find it. And the children being awake bugs my on a couple of levels: I know that it means they’ll be cranky earlier in the later part of the day, but also, this is our time. We struggled to pull our aging bodies out of the warm bed and into the day and we are owed this time. Goddammit universe.

Yesterday went well enough with the kids calling over and an extended day-long play-date. My sister and her youngest boy called in and had lunch here too, and it was a pretty people-filled day. In the aftermath, I feel a little like I’ve thrown a party. The house is a mess, I’m tired and there’s a gap of about a day in my time-history. But! I have a strange feeling of satisfaction, if not accomplishment. I’ve paid into the bank of socialisation. This surely buys me plenty of recluse-time in my future, right?

And it was overdue a little too – we had called ’round to the houses of friends on numerous occasions. I feel so self-conscious about how messy and cluttered and filled with dog-hair our house is. It’s hard for me to want to invite anyone over. Maybe when we have TheNewHouse(tm).

This is dangerous thinking. This is “waiting for my life to begin” stuff. Why would I think that a new space would fix everything about our habits of acquiring clutter and not putting things back into their proper places? Why would I think it would make the dogs shed less, or that a larger space is suddenly going to inspire me to vacuum more often? It’s not, it won’t, but all the same the chance to start anew seems remarkably attractive.

Before we moved in with his mother, when myself and G. had our own place in the city – a tiny two-bed townhouse with a sitting room and kitchen and nothing really else downstairs – we kept it perfectly clean and tidy. I know that I wasn’t working or rearing children or any of that sort of thing, but it seemed easier all the same.

Then we moved here and the generations worth of possessions and the weight of their history and accumulated dust and mould and damp and even just the corners conspired to make it seem as though it could never be properly cleaned. And removing that potential removed also the motivation for even getting it “good enough”.

Excuses, excuses.

Things have gotten worse since the option of TheNewHouse(tm) appeared on the table and now I feel like we’re just marking time in a building that we know to be on death row. Why not let the children chalk-up the walls in the kitchen? Why stress about coffee splashes on the walls, or that mystery sticky area under the couch that seems to return every week no matter how often I clean it? What’s the point in cleaning the windows or cleansing my cupboards? Surely it’s more efficient to just wait until we’re moving out?

It won’t be long, it won’t be long, it won’t be long …

The mantra I chug to myself like The Little Train That Couldn’t Be Bothered Cleaning.

But, of course, the net effect is this waiting place. As Dr. Seuss says – The Most Useless Place of All. Get busy living or get busy dying – and all the other thousands of pithy phrases we’ve heard churned out online or in movies to remind us how important it is to not waste a single precious drop of this finite life.


Writing this morning has fulfilled its duty mostly. I feel a little less cranky at having to deal with changed expectations. But not totally so, and my irritation index is high. I’m hoping my run will have some effect on all of that too, because I don’t like myself when I’m like this. I feel a little “short circuited” where I’m likely to snap at someone for the way they’re breathing or walking which is, frankly, ridiculous.

But sometimes other people are extraordinarily irritating.

No, self, sometimes you’re just extraordinarily irritable.