About a year ago I happened upon a movie called Grey Gardens, it changed my life forever. If you ever want to seriously reevaluate your living conditions, watch this movie. Its like Hoarders with disturbingly likable characters and lots of money.
I have always been a notoriously sloppy person. I wait until my dishes are piled sky high and my laundry is literally covering the floor before I do dishes or start laundry. One day sitting at my mom’s house, where Louie and I lived for two years, I decided to watch this movie. I was glued to the TV in shock and horror. I spent the next three days cleaning our room vigorously. Since then I have been a little bit more conscious of my home and the way I live, out of fear that one day I’ll be surrounded by cats eating canned beans and telling people about how amazing my life was until I stopped showering and my husband left me because I lost all sense of self-respect and good hygiene.
So today is my Grey Gardens day. When I start realizing that I will soon be living in my own filthy mess like those two crazy bitches from Grey Gardens, a light switches on in my head and I turn into someone I can hardly recognize. Im washing floors and ironing clothes and listening to show tunes in my underwear while vacuuming the house.
It’s hard to imagine myself as a house wife. The kind of person that tends to children, cooks, cleans and still manages to have time to be kind to their husband. I have a hard time doing any of those things on any given day, and when I do I am usually grumpy about having to do it. My personality has never been conducive to finding a balance. Everything in my life is an extreme. I rationalize this way of life by saying that I’m still young and have plenty of time to clean up my act and start behaving like a real wife would.
Then I come home and Louie’s doing the dishes and laundry and looking at me like he wants to murder me, and then Grey Gardens comes on HBO at the same time and I have a nervous breakdown. I start wondering if I’m going to turn back into the ‘me’ that gained 50lbs and only wore black sweatpants for an entire semester. So I run at full speed in the opposite direction, obsessively cleaning and decorating and screaming at Louie and Shelby for dragging one piece of dirt into the house.
I’m learning to practice everything in my life with an attitude of moderation. Slowing down, taking a deep breath and figuring out what needs to be done and finding the motivation to do that one thing. I feel less burnt out, less grumpy (code for “massively bitchy”) and ultimately less stressed.
Unfortunately, I spent the whole weekend taking care of my very sick husband and neglected everything around the house. Even though we had a blast watching movies and sleeping a lot, nothing got done. Our bodies are rested and healed but our house looks like a bomb went off.
So, what did I do when Louie left for work? I packed up the car and drove to my mom’s house. Took a bath and passed out in her bed. Woke up an hour later and felt utterly useless. So, now I’m home and the cleaning has commenced. Reluctantly I am forcing myself to do something other than get sucked into the bottomless pit of a couch we have had for the past 8 years.
We’re headed to Vegas this weekend for Louie’s cousin’s wedding, and I have a ton of shit I need to get done. I’m surprisingly calm and exited for the trip, which is entirely out of character for me. Usually I spend the days leading up to a trip in a state of pure terror, running around the house and pulling out my hair strand by strand. I’m trying to stay positive and continue to revel in the fact that I haven’t had to force myself into a Benadryl induced coma to relax.
Mostly I’ve been indulging in Twilight movies and if thats as bad as it gets this week then I’m grateful. No papers to write, no classes to go to… just nails to be done and dresses to be worn and celebrations to be had. I’m riding this positivity train all the way to Vegas.