I’ve been duped.

I’m looking at the calendar and thinking that since it’s June 18th, that ten days since I last wrote isn’t all that bad.  And since I can’t remember the last time I was this angry, I suppose it’s quite convenient that I have a place to get a few things off my chest, just like I used to.

Unfortunately, I vaguely remember having fun relieving myself of the small but annoying aspects of my simple life.  That would not be the case at this point, however, and while I’ve worked my way through my semi-private temper tantrum this evening, a few things have dawned on me.

The entire time I was working at my not so illustrious career, the fact that I had this load on my plate most likely contributed to my professional demise.  Not that I need an excuse to understand it, mind you.  I’m just floored thinking about it.  I’m floored thinking again about something I’ve realized for years and years:  that women just have to suck it up.  They have to deal.  They have to be the glue and the duct tape and the plaster or whatever it takes to hold the structure everyone depends upon in place.

I knew this.

But somehow, I managed to eek out whatever I found solace in to manage.  And in that effort, I managed to find that solace in things that needed to be taken care of:  my home and family.  I enjoyed my gardening.  I loved to cook.  I even found comfort in cleaning my house.  The big joke was that Martha Stewart actually lived in our house.

And then I gave it up for my job until I gave my job up for myself — or what was left of me.

So now that I’ve joined the portion of society that gets credit for being functional by getting dressed and going to work again, I’ve decided that it’s no longer comforting or pleasant to engage in the domestic tasks mentioned above.  I don’t want to pick up.  I don’t feel like doing the laundry or dusting.  I don’t crave time thinking about which print would look best against that wall in my bathroom that is in desperate need of something hanging on it.

And do you know why?

Because nobody else cares.  No.  Body.  It’s all been just a giant placebo to allow me a diversion so I could keep an even keel.  Stay the course.  Avoid flipping out.

I’m disgusted.

But I think I like my new job.

I just need a couple of posters so I can make some signs to protest the on-going crap women have to put up with when they work.  I’d love to squeeze between their accusing content and walk the streets until a desperate reporter from a failing paper decided to write my story even though there’s nothing spectacular about it.  Just because.

I’m completely convinced I’m getting in line to be a man in my next life — but only if I can guarantee that I can have a wife like me.

Resilience, buoyance…Right.

With every day that passes, I find myself adjusting to my new schedule.  I haven’t quite gotten back into the habit of mentally planning what I’ll wear to work the next day (because let’s face it, priorities are priorities…) but it’s only a matter of time.  Some mornings, I lag so badly after checking emails and messing around with a few other odds and ends on my Mac, I have to hurry to dress and slap on my make up in less than 20 minutes.  Not bad.

I don’t mind the work, the setting is beautiful, and the people I work with are very pleasant, so the day passes quickly.  It’s arriving home that requires more of an adjustment because whatever I haven’t taken care of is sitting and waiting when I arrive.  Clearly I don’t have a fairy godmother.  Sure the MoH helps out — he always has.  It’s more an annoyance to have to be more organized again so that when I do want to enjoy my evening with the menfolk, I’m not having to stare at undone chores and tasks.  Not exactly relaxing, but I suppose that’s what I get.

And then there’s the cooking.

You do understand that a dent has been put in that as well, right?  We don’t do take-out very often, so as much as some may seize the opportunity to fall into that routine after returning to a full-time job, we don’t.  In fact, I starve most of the day and then come home wanting to eat the broad side of a barn.  Unfortunately, that leads to an immediate lack of interest in dinner.  Whatever attempt I make in the feeding the family department is usually decent, but I see it as a string of dominoes.  If I cook, then I have to clean up.  If I cook and it’s tasty, then I have to take photos.  If I take photos, then there’s an outside chance I’ll need to blog about it.

You caught the “need,” right?  Need to blog about it.

There used to be a want, but let’s face it — I treated blogging like a job — a job I wanted. At least I used to. Sure it’s a job that pays crap for the amount of time and effort that goes into it, but it felt like a job nonetheless.  So “need” isn’t quite cutting it any longer.

I’m not sure where I was going with this other than to put down how my thinking is changing as I adjust, and how quickly old routines fall back into place.  At the same time, it shows how quickly new interests fall to the wayside if we don’t continue to nurture them.  It’s forcing me to think about the work to live vs. live to work dilemma.   I’ve decided to take one week day off while it’s slow during the summer and that’s probably helping me put things in perspective. It’s fascinating that on that day off, I can push even the smallest thought of work completely out of my mind — almost as if it didn’t exist.  On the weekend, it’s even better.  And I guess that’s all great, except I miss my quiet time.

Somehow, I have to find that again — even if it means hiding in my closet once in a while.

In the dark.

I could call it meditation.