Hello darkness, my old friend...

posted on: Thursday, 25 September 2014

And so here we are; Thursday evening, getting dark. Husband is at rugby training (yea, I know, surely there comes a point where you really should stop that shenanigans) and I have cooked Swedish meatballs. Autumnal curry sauce as per my Scandinavian Cookbook. Today, despite my internal protestations that I needed no new clothes all year, I in fact went back on my word and bought something (three things). Actually, in addition what I really think is that there is the perfect pair of winter boots out there for me. I make this assertion every year, without fail. The perfect pair - honestly, just out there waiting to be discovered. I am a google ads dream.

Meanwhile, this week has been spent in my normal contemplation. My husband, who is bizarrely full of wisdom when he feels like it, remarked to me that I was looking for the answer to a question that did not need to be asked. An existential point if ever I heard one? I am still reeling around and around trying to come to terms with being a housewife. I take my hat off to the scores of stay-at-home-mums (SAHM's as they are referred to) who have done this for years. When I was dropping my toddler(s) at nursery, circa 2007, and skipping off to work in heels, enjoying a latte at 11am, these SAHMs were doing the REAL work. I now have the curious middle-ground of being at home, but my kids are at school. Some days the hours stretch out and I wonder: what should I do all day??!! I have come to the conclusion that the possibilities are: i) train my body until I am honed to a level of fitness that would enable me to enter an Iron man contest (Iron-woman?), ii) watch TV, iii) get a job, iv) do lunches or v) all of the above?

I am at a loss.

Enlighten me. What is it that one should do when one has time on ones hands?

I have considered planting a herb garden (whimsical), going to the cinema in the day time (luxurious but guilt-ridden), cleaning my house within an inch of its life (dull). Museums and matinees?

I know I have posed this question before. It is a perennial.

Ironically, there is this ENORMOUS house building project happening in my midst and I just know that suddenly there is going to be a requirement for sourcing the perfect tap/door knob/light fitting and I will find myself behind the game. I have come to the conclusion that I work best under time pressure. Until it's urgent, I don't do it.

In amongst these musings, I recall that summer is slipping away now and I get that yearning again to go somewhere exciting and new. I was there a mere two months ago, walking down Floridian beaches looking at millionaires row. Oh how times change! As winter draws in I conclude that this is me all over. Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you got till it's gone?!


  1. I love that you refer to his his rugby training as shenanigans. Ha!

  2. Ironman - do it. Plus cinema during the day. Cleaning - no never.

  3. I love your posts Lou, good for the soul! I too am searching for the "perfect" pair of boots. I just can't seem to find them this year and my old favourites really have seen better days. Have a great weekend x

  4. When I worked and was trying to juggle everything I wrote in my work diary how difficult life was and when I'm missing corporate life I open my diary to remind myself. I do go to the gym, play tennis, walk the dog. I have days when I am bored out of my mind but I make myself go out and do something library, art gallery etc. you seem to need a new interest that could offer you a challenge but yet you like the idea of being at home. Offering your skills to a charity who is probably struggling in the current economic climate could be the answer. A win win on both sides.

  5. I think the answer is all of the above. For me, it helped if I had planned things throughout the week - tasks or events actually written on the calendar. Ideally, something that got me out of the house every day. Yoga classes, lunch with friends, volunteering at school... And the cleaning and organizing stuff that unfortunately has to get done - I tried to time-box that every day, too. It has to get done, and doing a little bit every day (with the record player turned all the way up) made it manageable and even enjoyable at times. And those house projects - picking out door knobs and shades and paint colors - they take a ton of time and effort.

    How about taking classes? For me, I'd love to take Spanish, more guitar lessons, photography/photoshop. Is there something you want to learn? Taking a class and learning something new could be fun!

  6. Love this post!!

    I am currently finding that I have a lot to do...but I so distracted mentally & emotionally by family stuff that nothing of the practical everyday stuff is getting done....and I am spending (too) much of my day doing nothing. Paralysed by worry....possibly?! Life as a SAHM....interesting & challenging, always.

    PS Love the post title....right now, my son sits downstairs with me around 6.30-7pmish & reads....I put on Simon & Garfunkel's Greatest Hits, we used to listen to it about a year ago & just started doing it again, it's a lovely soundtrack for that time of the evening for us. The Sound of Silence is the first song that plays :)

  7. PPS I hear you about working best under time pressure/when it's urgent.....right now I feel I do very little all day (apart from think & worry obvs ;)) until about 30 minutes before I leave for school in the afternoon when suddenly I run round & do it all extremely quickiy. It still gets done :)

  8. You could always get a part-time job (say 10am-3pm 2-3 days-a-week) in a clothes or homewares shop. Be surrounded by things that you love. Talk about them enthusiastically with potential customers and being part-time means you're not locked in 5 days-a-week - 9am-5pm. You'll meet people and go home tired and satisifed. If not, quit. It's not a career.