A friend asked me what I’d been up to this year. I wrote out this list.
Remodel: tasks include researching companies (we’ve had to work with four on this project), researching parts, buying them, picking them up, acquiring tile from many sources, spending more than a hundred hours laying out giant tile mosaics, painting a jungle in the kitchen, moving stuff back and forth in a house torn about by construction debris, inability to put anything away as almost fully half the house is just not accessible. (This means that I spend about 15 times as much time cleaning for less than half the result. I find this depressing.)
Arbitration process: well the remodeling company who started the work put a roof on that wouldn’t hold out water. Whoops. This has been almost twelve months of interacting with my lawyer, bless her soul. So much fussing with records and documentation. My brain is leaking out of my ears.
Hey I still have to watch our investments and bank accounts and budgeting and…
Home schooling is a lot less unschooly this year. Both children picked some ways they wanted to start working on academic progress this year in a more serious and structured manner. So we’re moving to more eclectic learning. But this has dramatically increased my direct hours of instruction this year. I can’t spend as much time just letting them do whatever they want. Deep sigh. The good old days.
(My friend isn’t a parent so I included this paragraph. If you have kids you can skip it. You know.) Parenting: management of stuff for people consumes my life. They have clothes, toys, and educational materials to deal with. We spend dedicated time every day snuggling and chatting and having conversation specifically so that they get their attention needs met. I carve out specific time where my job is to play with them. Soothing takes time. Going to events out in the community. Man this takes so much time.
General house maintenance: dishwasher and furnace broke. So I’m getting to enjoy the luxury of hand washing lots of dishes through this holiday season of destroyed house. The furnace is fixed (*phew*) but the dishwasher just lingers on. Laundry takes up so much time. I’m lucky that I don’t have to do that much cooking but I do most of the shopping and provisioning for the house. I garden whenever I can pull myself outside. I have spent the last few years traveling and buying books so I got to spend this year sorting and categorizing my library. Oh I will have a joyous next few years.
Mental and Physical health: therapy (single and joint), psychiatrist, massage therapists (multiple) chiropractors (also multiple), acupuncturist, nose specialist (two surgeries), ob/gyn, helping Noah through his own surgery and recovery, pediatrician visits, dentist, educational/behavioral evaluation, medication management time (sorting out pills takes time), and the nutritionist. Cause why not. That’s basically a part time job so that my body can stay functional enough to allow me to work at full speed.
Research: I’m still constantly reading books about suicide, incest, trauma, therapeutic methods, race studies, gender studies, how to be a good support network for my non-binary kid going forward.
Friends: I treat socializing like a part time job. Phone calls, IMs, emails, letters, buying gifts (the getting around to mailing them part is haaaaard), video chats, in person visits, time at bdsm parties, twitter… I loves me some peoples, yo.
Travel: this year only a two week trip. One week in Florida (I’m breaking up with Florida) and one week down in the Caribbean. Ahhh. The cruise was great. Our anniversary was great.
Being in community with traumatized and/or disabled folks. I help a lot of folks in a myriad of ways as a specific thing I do in life. It takes up a fair bit of time.
Community support: I’m intensely involved with many of my neighbors. I’m not going to spill the details of their lives here but… I put time into helping folks.
Exercise continues to be sought out as much as I can….
This year I had to go find out more about the future of monogamy in my life. I learned a lot.
Being Noah’s wife is a lot of forking work. I like it and I’m not cranky about it. But I do a lot of specific work.
My own emotional management is a job. Figuring out what I should be doing and how do I get control of myself… I’d like this to go on auto pilot some day.
Oh, and I still write a fair bit.
That’s what I wrote for him.