Sep 022008
 

if you want to lose ten pounds.

Yesterday my husband and I had one of these mornings where we talk, and talk, and talk, about us, and our relationship, and especially the problematic aspects of our relationship.

This, in particular, went on about me not doing housework. Well, not much anyway, and much less than my share. My husband kept asking me what he should do to deal with this. A reasonable approach would be to tell me that he wants me to do certain things, and then I’d go and do them, and everything would be alright. Another approach would be to assign certain work to each of us, then both would do their share, and everything would be alright. Alas, though I know that he’s unhappy with both the state of the house, and the huge amount of work that he has, I keep procrastinating about everything. (Right now, for example, I should have done the kitchen already, made myself a pot of tea, should have written my morning pages, and be on my way to cook lunch. Ahem.)

We both tried everything reasonable, and in the end the housework status between us is little better than about 14 years ago when we moved in with each other. He, of course, like a lot of women do, could just resign to the fact that I’m a lazy chauvinist pig, and do it all himself but then he would have no energy left for his music, something much more important than clean sinks. Unfortunately, we both need to have clutter-free and reasonably clean surroundings in order to be creative.

When he kept asking me what to do, and I couldn’t really say anything besides “I promise to do better.” which isn’t really helpful because I promised the same thing decades ago and about a millions times since then (and I am doing better than that, only this better isn’t very good), I resorted to pulling cards. I figured that might be helpful.

I pulled two cards for myself, one for help with the housework problem, and one to look at my life at general. Well. The solution to the housework-problem obviously is (besides just doing it): Priorities. For everything new something old has to go.

“Current routines, habits and even types of free times must be sacrificed so that you can open up to new energies.” (Sonia Choquette“Ask Your Guides Oracle Cards”)

Duh. That’s where I got my headline from. The book that accompanies the cards, I mean.

Because I still need to lose weight. Another week of beer, beer, Bavarian food, and extra helpings of ice cream, and sweets, thrown together with a definite lack of exercise has somehow failed to produce weight loss. I wonder why that is. Of course I know that I have to let go of, let’s say, eating handfuls of gummy bears at night, only I can’t really grasp the concept that this particular, tiny, innocent looking gummy bear, there in my hand, is the one that makes the difference between weight loss and gain. Surely this particular bite of pork roast can’t be changing anything? If I eat a bit less for breakfast? Please?

Seems like there is still something for me to learn. By the way I pulled a card for my husband too, to find a solution to the “Susanne isn’t doing her fair share of housework”-problem, and his said: Celebration. Seems like there’s still hope.

The card I pulled for my life in general said: Live from Your Spirit, always a nice one. And there it was, saying,

“If you feel that everything you’re doing right now isn’t working, or that every situation you face is working against you, be glad!” (Sonia Choquette: “Soul Lessons & Soul Purpose Oracle Cards”)

What? Be glad. As if. And then it goes on,

“Above all take a close look at how much of your behavior is simply an unsavory, unconscious “goulash” of conditioning acquired from childhood, peer pressure, the media, society, or even past lives, and not a reflection of your true spirit.”

It said I should eliminate overthinking and bad habits. Oops. (In German I’d say, “Treffer, versenkt.” that hit right between the eyes.)

I’m at a point where I don’t have much hope left that I’ll be able to do it. On the other hand I refuse to remain stuck in my old habits. If only they weren’t so comfortable and familiar.

It’s funny because if you back into my archives and look at what I wrote in the beginning of this blog you’d see that at that point I was quite hopeful that I could conquer my old bad, unconscious habits and build new, healthy, shiny ones. Now I’m telling myself that I can do it again, and again, and again, regardless of how long I’ll have to practice, and how often I will have to start over. All the while my poor husband will be suffering. And all this about things like cleaning, and eating.

What would you do in our place?

  11 Responses to “You must release jelly donuts”

  1. In our household, my husband, like yours, does the herculean portion of the chores. We also have come up with a better alternative than paying for a marriage counselor; we pay someone to come and clean the apartment once a week. The same angel has been coming to our place for the last 13 years. I have been known to take on a side job just so I can afford her services. Some think this preposterous, but it makes sense to me because not only am I a poor housewife, I am a grumpy ill-humoured one. If I go and work in some menial labour job, I can keep my sense of humour and can lighten up the days of my colleagues. I don’t have any aversion to work, just to doing work I dislike.

  2. I almost wrote a post last week about how we manage the division of labour in our house. I thought it would be funny and informative but as I wrote it, I realized that it sounded petty and resentful–which I am not b/c my husband also does more than his fair share of the housework.

  3. I struggled with this for a long time. What was the “fair” division? How did I handle housework when I never wanted to do it? And then one day, I had a revelation – my husband works MORE than full-time so I don’t have to. Me getting to be home is a priviledge, and it is only fair that I do the housework.

    Oh.

    That wasn’t a fun thing to suddenly know. My husband still helps out – we fold the laundry together several nights a week, he makes all of the beds (because he disapproves of my lax bed-making methods), he loads the dishwasher after supper, but the rest of it is all me. And I also have this horrible motto: It doesn’t matter if you feel like doing it, it still has to be done. SO now I get up and unload the dishwasher and sullenly throw the breakfast dishes in and do the laundry and mop the kitchen floor, lather rinse repeat. And the funny thing is that our house is MUCH happier now that I’ve stopped waiting for that once a year housecleaning feeling to hit me.

  4. It’s not a bad idea to get a housekeeper, even once a month.

    Streamlining is what comes to my mind. Maybe you need to declutter again.

    Can’t say much about the dieting. I was going along fairly well and then hit a low hormonal patch and it’s been terrible. Can’t even guess what tomorrow’s weigh in will reveal.

  5. we talked, i thenshouted (i have red hair i cant help it) my husband doesnt do anything unless he is asked to do it which drives me mad, although most of the time he is out of the country so i suppose the clutter is mostly down to me howver we now have cleaners that come once a week. It doesnt stop the mess from forming, or the clutter from building but i know that once a week my house will be clean and i feel more able to sit and do things. it also puts me in a better position to see the “hot spots” and sort them out rather then thinking – i should be cleaning hte bathroom.

    I have put on half a stone over the summer and am not happy. I also like haribo sweets but sugar turns to fat unfortunately

  6. This is so stupid i hate to tell you, but i am also a crappy housewife. So when i really don’t want to do something, i set a timer for 5 minutes. I can do anything for 5 minutes, right?

    When the timer goes off, i can quit if i want, but i’m usually only about 3 minutes from making a big dent, so i usually keep going.

  7. Sigh. I’m the one doing most of the housework. And I have not been able to inspire F with either punishment or reward so my advice will probably not work too well 😉

    What helps me cope with F better is knowing that he is trying his best and him pointing out areas in which he does more than me.

  8. Have you ever tried FlyLady? Her system is really helpful: http://www.flylady.net

  9. hire. a. cleaner.

  10. I know what that feels like.. I am a highly creative person like you and it is so easy to lose track of time. This is what I do to try and keep housework at bay.

    I wake up when H is getting ready to go to work and throw laundry into the washer. I take Anna to school and when I return laundry is done and I hang it up. I run that stupid sweeper over the house while my coffee is brewing and then I plop down at my computer and stay there for the next three hours writing and researching…

    i know you have to teach and you have lots of hobbies.. i used to have lots of hobbies too.. but I found myself spending more time on my hobbies than on my writing or artwork, and that made me unhappy…

    Cleaning is not something that has a completion date.. that is my problem… I don’t see any reward to cleaning.. there is no masterpiece at the end.. I just had to make it a routine like brushing my teeth.. I guess that is what flylady tries to make us realize… do a little bit everyday without thinking about it… that way it is not a chore.. it isn’t a job.. it is just in the same category as brushing our teeth…

  11. I do the housework. But i also have a few hours per day that are mine all mine and he does not.

    I say split the work, and throw out all the stuff you want to eat when you least should.

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