Monday, July 30, 2007

Rejuvenady Lady

I must be sick.

I don't have a fever, my appetite is perfectly (ravenously... sigh) healthy, and my throat isn't feeling particularly raspy (slash/sexy). But there's no doubt that I'm not myself.

If I were my normal ol' self I would have kvetched during the entire eight hour drive home from Ashland. I would have begged to know ahead of time just how sticky and grimy the kitchen floor was, because I needed "warning." I would have asked how many dishes were left on the kitchen counter and precisely how many entire editions of last week's newspapers were spread all over the livingroom. I would have asked if anyone did laundry and whether a broom or vacuum cleaner touched the floors even once.

If I were my normal self, I would have asked those things in order to prepare myself for what would await me when I walked in the front door, but also to instill a certain amount of guilt (which, of course, it never does).

I would have known the answers to all my questions because I always do. The answers are always the same: when Mom's away, the rest of the family turns into a bunch of frat boys. They eat and hang out and stay up all night. I'm sure that at regular intervals Tom announced that messes must be tidied. (And there's surely a "Mom" in there somewhere, as in "Mom would freak if she saw this...") But all in all, my absence seems to constitute a much-needed break for these poor souls and I am well aware that they revel in their freedom.

If I were feeling myself, I would have at least wondered, as we drove northward, how bad the mess was, even if I might have tried to squelch the actual expressed concern. But I didn't even wonder! I didn't even care! I noticed a few times during the long drive home that I wasn't even fretting. I wasn't tense about what would greet me. I didn't even care at all if I walked into a pig sty!

Surely, I figured, something must be wrong with me.

But then I realized that I didn't care because my life wasn't being lived from one time-crunch to the next. I didn't have to be at work seven hours after arriving home. I didn't have to do a load of laundry at 3 AM just to get it off the next day's to-do list. I didn't have to plan tomorrow's dinner tonight, having no idea what food had disappeared while I was gone, requiring me to go grocery shopping on my lunch hour. I didn't even have to set the alarm for 5:30 AM.

I had been rejuvenated during my week away. Whereas I left a ball of anxious and agitated nerves, I was returning almost in a peaceful "ohm" state! The week away in Ashland, from the lazy, relaxed days with just Dad and Lou to the crazy, family-filled, activity-filled days of the pre-union, had been good for me -- which means, of course, that by extension it had been good for my family.

In addition to having a chance to rejuvenate my spirit, I knew that once I arrived home, I had time to assess the dirt-and-dishes situation and deal with it over the next day. Or two. I never enjoy cleaning and laundry and shopping after being away. But I have almost enjoyed it this time. I spent all day yesterday unpacking and mopping and washing laundry, dishes and floors, but I didn't mind it because I didn't feel time-crunched.

I could get used to this! I could bask and revel in it.

But not now. I need to find a job.


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1 comment:

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