LIFE IN THE SPIN CYCLE
What if everything could be exactly the way you want it? I often wish for one perfect day, just to see what it feels like. My perfect day would begin by waking on time without an alarm clock. I'd feel energized, rested, and eager to jump out of bed. I'm not a morning person. I always wished I could be, but whatever those morning people have pulsing through their veins isn't pulsing through mine. Maybe I need to start drinking coffee. When I wake up, I just want to go back to sleep.
At this time of year, it's even harder for me to crawl out of bed because our house is cold. My husband likes the thermostat set to 62 degrees. No, that's not a typing error. I said sixty-t-t-t-twooooo. I recently read another woman's blog in which she was complaining that her husband sets the thermostat to 68. She should spend a week at my house. This morning I threw off the covers, ran to the bathroom, turned up the heat to 80 and jumped back into my warm bed. When I complain about the cold house I usually get a speech about our tough and frugal ancestors who lived without electric heat and trudged outside in the dead of winter to use the outhouse. Every time I hear that speech I want to steal his toilet paper and replace it with shucked corn cobs.
My husband has his own bathroom, which is my idea of perfect. I think every family member should have a separate bathroom. I share a bathroom with my daughter and it's one of my biggest gripes. Every day I'm frustrated by her habits...water on the floor, water around the sink, hair bands, hair pins, and soggy wash cloths in the bathtub, overturned shampoo bottles leaking down the drain, toothpaste tubes without the cap, gobs of toothpaste here and there, dirty clothes left on the floor. And right now she has a collection of twelve bath towels hanging behind her bedroom door, each one used only once. My perfect day involves none of these things. My bathroom is sparkling clean every time I walk in. The toilet is self-cleaning, no mold grows in the shower, loose hairs disappear instead of collecting on the floor or on the walls after blow drying, and I never have to change my socks after stepping on a wet bathroom floor.
My perfect day would have no inconveniences of any kind. No wasted time answering phone calls from people I can't understand trying to sell me things I don't want. And the things I do want arrive in the correct size and they always work when I first purchase them. I don't have to ship anything back and get charged for return postage. I also don't have to stand in line waiting for service. Waiting is something I don't do well. Yesterday my daughter and I both had doctor appointments. We waited in the waiting room. We waited in the examining room. We waited to check out. Then we drove to the pharmacy but couldn't get our prescriptions because the computers were down. So we drove to Wal Mart only to find a line of people waiting. So we drove to Rite Aid where we waited some more but thankfully the line was much shorter. After dropping off the prescriptions, we were told it would be a thirty-minute WAIT. Four hours later we arrived home. I headed straight for a tub of hot water, hoping to lower my blood pressure.
I know there are worse things in life than waiting. But for just one day I want to know what it feels like to have nothing deflate my day. No lost sunglasses, no getting home from the grocery store and discovering I forgot the most important item on the list, no automated messages when I want just one question answered, no running kids to doctors, no ugly itchy skin ailments that won't go away like ringworm and rosacea, no discovering my favorite shoes chewed to pieces, no dog puke on the carpet or worse yet from the other end, no stink bugs in my tea cup or lady bugs in my hair, no checking ourselves and the dog for ticks after each outing, no setting off the smoke alarm with a pan of burned peas and having to scrub the black stain left behind, no forgotten cookies that come out looking like lumps of charcoal, no pink socks that should be white, no shrunken wool sweaters or twisted, stretched-out clothes from being spun too hard.
Being spun too hard. That's a good comparison. Life spins us too hard at times. Sometimes we need to escape the spin cycle and make time to do nothing. Stress is constant doing without a break We feel like we're being pulled in a thousand directions and we have nothing left to give. We want to cry out, "When do I get time for me?" After the day I had yesterday, I changed my plans for today and lightened my load. Today I'm goofing off, spending the day in sweats and slippers, sipping hot drinks and watching the dust settle. I learned a long time ago how to take control of my life and claim time for myself. Even if it means saying "no" to an already scheduled outing, I'll do it without guilt. Even if I must disappoint someone, I'll claim time for myself. Because if I'm not mentally and physically well, then I'm no good to anyone else.
I'll never get the perfect day that I fantasize about, at least not in this life. But I'm grateful that I have the ability to step away from the frustrations now and then. Living in the spin cycle is a daily reality for many women. All the frustrations I described above are chores that women tackle outside the workplace. Add work stress to the mix and it's no wonder women are exhausted. Maybe a perfect day means more than a day without mishaps. At the end of the day, it's even nicer to be appreciated. If you know a woman who is constantly doing for others, constantly on the run and living in the spin cycle, give her just one perfect day and let her know she's loved and appreciated.