Things That I Have Accomplished

I did it you guys. I got out of bed. I took a shower. I put on jeans even, in a dare to the day to try to stop me. I put on some makeup to cover That One Zit right on the tip of my nose, that makes me thankful for a flu bug that keeps me from being seen by anyone. I made my own coffee. I even cleaned up the kitchen which was apparently Aspen's chore last night. I fed the dogs the left over macaroni and hot dogs that nobody deemed worthy of putting in the refrigerator, and I started a load of laundry with the dog-potty bath mat that nobody thought of washing yesterday. I am making things happen!!! I feel good! Ok - that's a stretch. I am shaky and spinny and still cramping like I am heading into labor with twins - but my head doesn't feel like it's trapped in a hot, sticky bundle of gross tasting cotton candy today. And my arms don't feel like they weigh two thousand pounds apiece. And my back is still out, but that's old news, so who cares. I have peaches to freeze and plum jam to make and mail to go pick up when I feel like the least number of people will be hanging out at the post office to notice my nose.

I slept a cumulative total of 37 hours yesterday. I think some of the hours leaked in from today and the day before yesterday, but it was a lot of sleeping for one day, none-the-less. I passed out around 6:30 pm last night after a lovely dose of something that took my pain AND my fever away momentarily, and only woke up long enough to yell at Josh for drinking the frozen Cherry Soda that I stole from a 6 pack that one of the girls left here (sorry Sabrina) and had been waiting for all afternoon. He said he was cleaning up and trying to be efficient but if that was true I can't help but wonder about the macaroni and cheese... I also came to for a moment to accuse him of lying about something, but I can't even remember what now, and I think I went right back to sleep. Probably the cherry soda again. Being sick is weird. Josh thinks that my immune system is whack right now. I think it's more sinister than that. I think that my immune system is ganging up with my uterus and ovaries in a cosmic plot to make me give up entirely and quit doing Things for ever. Some days I am on the brink of giving in, but then the fruit flies from the peaches I haven't frozen drive me nuts, and Penny throws up macaroni and cheese on the kitchen floor, and Dagny poops on the auxillary bath mat. Necessity dictates action. My body loses.

Lately, being sick in addition to being broken, I have been mulling over this desire, or maybe need I have to do more, or different, than what is required or expected of me. Sure I can do laundry and make dinner, but I know I am capable of more, and even with three kids (Halle has left a gaping hole of responsibility in my life), four dogs, a house in the throes of remodel and it being canning season, I know I should be doing more. Making money. Contributing. Becoming famous somehow, doing something exotic. We had a discussion about this last weekend, My Darling Husband and my sister and her Darling Husband and I. She has the same Notion of Greatness that I do, and somehow we got our wires crossed in the department that says homemaking and mothering children is ENOUGH of an accomplishment. I blame the homeschooling icons of overachievement like Jane Addams and Molly Pitcher and Florence Nightengale. They were all of the traditional roles of a woman PLUS some. Even Ma Ingalls did a heck of a lot more than change diapers and make dinner. It's only in recent decades (baby boomers, anyone?) that the picture of a woman in a tweed dress with an apron and a feather duster and two perfectly packaged children became the epitome of female success. Show me your 197 quarts of peaches, lady. Your newly sewn curtains and the school wardrobes you made your kids out of the old ones. What do you mean you haven't published three successful novels and changed your own oil? I think there is something wrong with me. So does Josh. I think that is why he is SO excited at the prospect of me having a "full time job". If my mind is occupied with anything else, I will quit bemoaning the fact that I am "doing nothing" with my life. Even if the "full time job" is only 6.5 hours a day, and will do very little to occupy my mind - it is something. And I get paid for it. It's not the Exotic Thing that I am always looking for - riding ATVs around the forest or doing archaeological surveys in the middle of nowhere. It's not a big money to see cool places and play the sub-hero (is that the correct mini version of a superhero?) like wildland fires. It's not training wild tigers and zebras or lending medical aid to clinics in Ugandan slums. But it's people. And it's special people. People who can teach me much more than they could ever hope to learn from me. People who need the time and patience and attention of One Human Being to get them through a simple day of school. It sounds frustrating, and restrictive, and almost boring, but good. And necessary. It sounds perfect. I hated riding ATVs around the woods and doing surveys because I was alone. There was no one there to learn from or share with. I survived retail because I like the people and I like the Things, but after awhile the Things get really old and the whole idea of retail becomes tasteless to me. This job would be good. If I get it. And Josh would quit wringing his hands and pacing the house every time he catches me on the Living Social website. BTW, did you see the adorable Sock Monkey headphones? SO CUTE.

I have a lot to do today. I am hoping the coffee settles some of the shakes down (because that makes sense, right?) so that I don't cut my fingers off dicing peaches for the freezer. And I wish someone would explain to Dagny in words that she can understand that ONLY HUMANS POOP IN THE BATHROOM. I guess the little awe-shucks paddlings I am giving her aren't working. It's even worse now that she has figured out where Aspen keeps her Calico Critters and I am finding fuzzy little chewed off paws and tails in her piles of poo. This is an expensive hobby, Dagny. I now owe Aspen a baby squirrel and a horse - I didn't even know Calico Critters made horses. I wish she would do normal dog things like Truck does - for example: chewing up a purple jalapeƱo all over the living room rug and then deciding it's too hot to eat and leaving the seeds strewn everywhere. Dagny decided to help him finish it, and now she is rubbing her nose all over the carpet in an attempt to stop the burning. I would be mad, but the peppers are full of healthy antioxidants to counteract the macaroni and cheese I fed them.

Unfortunately for Productivity, that elusive waif, it's much too cold yet this morning to leave my germ blanket at do anything. Until it warms up enough that the fruit flies are no longer dormant, and/or the sourdough bread on my counter thaws enough to make toast, I am stuck here with my coffee and my list of things yet to accomplish. Sorry Jane Addams - I will have to catch up later.

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