Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Hour-a-Day April 2016: Days 7-11

I'm trying to write this post from underneath two children who are fighting over my lap, digging their claws into my armpits in an attempt to occupy as much of my personal space as possible. "She's my Mama!" "No, she's MY Mama!" "She's MY MAMA!!!"


I suppose there is a lovely analogy buried in there somewhere, but I am too tired to find it.

This motherhood gig is hard.

I lost my grip on HADA a bit over the last few days. I realized that I have been finding it all-too-easy to ignore the daily stuff in favor of the "fun" HADA projects. My justification was that HADA wasn't "keeping me" from the daily stuff, because I was neglecting it anyhow, and anything was better than nothing, right? I'm very good at rationalization.

So, I turned the tables on myself. "Oh yeah?" says I to me, "If you're having a hard time doing the daily stuff, then you should make THAT your HADA project! Take that! HA!" I can be really mean to me sometimes.

So, the next three days were spent attempting to do the boring daily stuff that I hate, making some progress, but mostly failing miserably. When you're behind it takes so much energy to catch up. And when you have a mental health condition that likes to knock you back down before you make much progress, it's like trying to swim upstream towards a waterfall. The closer you get to the waterfall, the stronger the current is, and the harder it is to make any progress.

Here's a fun math problem for you: If routine housework takes approximately one hour per day, how long will it take to catch up when you are several weeks behind? (Don't forget to adjust for the "kids who can destroy the entire room you just finished cleaning while you are working on the next one" factor.)

On the bright side, the mess seems to plateau at some point. Once all the dishes are dirty, you can't dirty any more. Once all the toys are strewn across the living room floor, there is nothing more to dump. It's not exactly "nice" in that limbo zone, but there is the small comfort that at least it can't get any worse.

The downside to that bright side is that any progress you make out of the limbo zone feels futile.

On days 10 and 11, I got mad enough at the mess to work really hard. And I actually made serious progress. The living rooms completely clean, the front hallway almost completely clean, more than half of the dish backlog cleaned and put away, even a few loads of laundry. I was actually feeling on top of things enough to address a few minor HADA projects, too. Moving the photos on my hard drive into the correct month folders (I have a bad habit of uploading everything from the camera to the current month, even if the batch overlaps months). Swapping the kid's shoe bins out for the bigger ones I bought months ago. Moving the old printer from the kitchen to the side porch. Little things, but check marks nonetheless.

But nature abhors a vacuum. And, in the case of my children, it only takes a few seconds of my back being turned for them to fill the newly uncovered living room floor with whatever happens to be nearest to them. Craft supplies, the entire tub of Duplo, half a loaf of bread, all the cushions from the couch, the boxes of muffins we bought from the church fundraiser (don't forget to remove the wrappers and grind them into the carpet!), the clothes they were just wearing, all the marbles. At least, when the house has plateaued in mess-limbo, it can't get any worse.

The waterfall was so close, I could almost touch it, but then the current got me. Not quite back where I started, yet, but close enough to have an overwhelming sense of "Why bother?"

But HADA is all about starting where you're at. And this is where I am currently at. I'm not feeling overly optimistic about my prospects for Day 12, but I didn't include it in today's post, because I still have half the day to redeem it. I have to at least try.

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