I go into Friday with a long, laundry-list of items on my checklist. Most of them center around chores. I often crave the ability to wake up on a Sunday morning, sit outside and drink my coffee with the whole day sprawled out before me, ready to be enjoyed. I daydream about smelling the roses but I’m too busy smelling the dank, leftover Chinese food spoiling in my fridge from the week before.
I went into this long, three day weekend, hopeful. Friday night, we went out with two of our friends to grab some dinner and dessert, laughing over people we know and things we did. And then, the weekend rolls around, like it always does and somewhere along the lines it turns from motivated, Sunday Funday, to “I never, ever have any fun.”
The argument that I never have any fun seems wholly ironic considering half of my blogs focus on traveling to places like Portland, Oregon or the Elk Forge Bed and Breakfast in Maryland. I’m constantly seeing shows on Broadway, like Cats or Frozen. I paint, often finding solace and a content balance between brushstrokes and inked words. Somehow, I’m always eating.
But, there’s something that always happens during the weekend that defines it. I never, ever do what I want to do.
My fiance could justifiably argue that HE is the one who never gets to do what he wants to do considering he’s my go-to-guy for hanging up pictures or rearranging them on the wall. He’s the one that hangs up new curtain rods and reaches all the things in the house my stubby little legs and miniature arms are too short for. These aren’t things I like to do, though. Cleaning my house is something that I have to do. And my house seems to always be messy.
I used to be a relatively clean and organized person, but the last year of my life developed some unhealthy and emotionally taxing habits I’m trying to break. When my mom died, I had a whole ton of laundry that never got done, and in the process, ended up feeling too broken and too isolated to even gather up the energy to do them. They sat and sat and sat, adding on new tops and pants we bought, new dresses I wore only once but “just had to have.” I’ll wash them, dry them, bring them into my bedroom only to have nowhere to put them. The closets are jammed with clothing and bags of clothes we were trying to donate, guitar cases and luggage, bins of movies and books and other items we just shoved in the closet with the intent on putting away a year ago when we moved into this apartment. The chest of drawers is overflowing, and whenever it comes to putting away what we just washed, it ends up requiring a complete reorganization of these spaces.
By the time I’ve done all of that, I’m exhausted and angry that it took as long as it did, and now I have no energy to actually put the laundry away. So it sits. Until it gets mixed in with the dirty laundry and we can’t remember what was clean, and what wasn’t and so it all goes back into the washer with the intention of getting things straightened out, but never happens.
I forgave myself for becoming lazy over the course of several months because my grief became too stifling and overwhelming. Food didn’t even have a taste to it, so why bother cooking it? My fiance handled the things around the house but maintenance is too much for one person taking care of two, especially when one of his main focuses was on being there to keep me company, to let me grieve, to take me out of the house to try and smile.
So, the weekend comes, and all I’m eager to do is complete the laundry, and make the bed, and do enough straightening up that it takes me until noon on Saturday. Every weekend before that was met with school work, or taking time off so I could be with my widowed father. Sunday comes and I try to cram in an entire week’s worth of hobbies: write, edit my book, paint a picture, clean the house, organize the closets, wash all the clothes, go out for ice cream, pay the bills, list a bunch of items on eBay or Facebook Marketplace to earn some extra cash. Sprinkle in the responsibilities of the wedding, and I end up putting so much on my plate that they crash and I end up avoiding them completely.
And perhaps one of my worst habits has been avoiding things with my wedding at all costs. When people text me with questions, such as hairstyles and props for flower girls and ring bearers, it’s not a huge deal to answer, but I’ve become so worked-up over every minute detail about my wedding, that I mentally can’t even handle the question. I become burdened down with all this emotion and want to avoid the subject. I’ll tell them that I’ll let them know, but I never did. My answer, much like my laundry, sits and sits and sits and sits. The more anxiety I put on the mundane tasks of my wedding that often come with short, simple answers, turns into this big, complex situation because I’m afraid of follow-up questions. If a friend comes to me and says, “What kind of prop do you want the flower girl to have?” I’m scared that if I answer, it will lead to another question of showing me dresses and personal opinions, suggestions, thoughts and the dreaded, “Are you excited? It’s getting close!”
I don’t answer because I’m avoiding that question. That question is too upsetting. It’s too emotional. It’s too destructive. It cuts me and then it eventually leads into me falling into this pit of despair. The irony, is that if I just answered the question or didn’t put off a bridal fitting like I’m doing again tonight for the second time, then the anxiety of all these wedding preparations could begin to melt away and I could actually live a life where there weren’t a constant reminder and dagger to my heart.
If only I were that smart and capable.
So, that slowly becomes my weekend. It becomes laundry and cleaning, and household projects that never get completed. My hobbies become an oversight and I’m left reeling with the guilt and frustration that I wasted and withered away another free 48-hours before I start my workweek because for some reason I only think I have the time and energy and availability to do them when I’m not at work.
I’m trapped in this continuous cycle of constantly feeling overwhelmed and unsuccessful, melting my weekends away with mundane tasks and things that don’t have to be done – but need to be done – instead of focusing on fun and happiness and relaxation.
I’m really unsure of what I do about it.