Forty years ago, I was a new bride, determined to run a home with matching dishes, orderly towels stacked in my linen closet, and a kitchen floor that anyone could eat from, even if anything was dropped; in MY home, a 3 minute rule would apply!
It was the 70’s but I’d had one too many mentors from the 50’s…so, all things were undertaken as the wife and my area of responsibility encompassed not only the home but also the counter clerk/bookkeeper/inventory taker/purchaser and hr dept in our ma and pa shop. Certainly, I was never bored, as I had several priorities during the course of any week. We had one car, so working early in the morning and late in the evening on the home front was part of my daily routine. As with any routine, it either works or it doesn’t. When it works, it’s great. But when it doesn’t…
The newness of being a young married and working all day with my spouse eventually took its toll. The business of making a living was obviously the priority in our real world; the buck stopped at our shop counter. My cooking was doing well, but it was quickly becoming obvious my home didn’t look anything like the photos in the collection of easy to decorate articles. I had an artistic talent for color and display, so the color schemes, while good, did not quite compare to anything even close to what was “popular” except for the wedding gifts! Thankfully, the rest of the collection was tasteful and in great shape, as it had belonged to my in-laws; they’d gladly passed it over since they no longer had a family room.
My belief that I could pull off the Super Woman scenario was beginning to wane. I was careful to monitor my performance against the decorator magazine cover titles of my new homemaker status. When I first hit my wall (one of many awakenings I’d have over the years), I was already rewriting my titles for future articles in a realistic, slightly off key, self-published Mad Magazine Does Homemaking periodical; perhaps the world will be ready for it someday.
Forty years later, I am now in the entremanurial stage of my life: sorting through the top-heavy piles on my home desk!
Calendars of medical appointments blend with business opportunities, sitting alongside the household file that holds most of the insurance payments due, half-finished shopping lists, and a few decorating and recipe sheets torn from the two periodicals that still arrive in the mailbox. Weekly, I am essentially moving one stack of paper, photos, drafts and binders from one side of the desk to the other, onto the floor, over the ottoman’s surface, then onto the one side of the bed that remains clear when My Rogue is not napping…I believe that is enough of a visual.
On any given day I am writing for my very own website, social networking, attending business meetings, sometimes donating a half hour here and there on my civic or non-profit duties, and employing my creative side, fine-tuning the next snippet or my “natural look” , whichever takes priority for that particular twenty-four hour segment.
I have crossed over into this frontier; the bonding of a still working wife and a long retired husband, sharing moments of joy and elation (panic attacks are mine) midst a range of exciting opportunities for retirement living in 21st Century America.
My home’s loft is now my working headquarters, but I am boldly going where other American women have gone before… keeping a disciplined work day’s hours in-between breaking eggs, walking on eggs, or beating eggs to bind last night’s leftovers into a piece de resistance for lunch.
When I do take a break and come up for air and an evening cocktail, I ask myself: just what chapter did this frog in a blender miss?