The Responsibility Ticker *Updated*

*24 hours have passed, and with it a noticeable slowing of the ubiquitous Responsibility Ticker.  Much was accomplished today, proving once again that if you allow yourself some breathing room, it’s easier to get into gear and get things done.

I did indeed clean out my closet today, and my husband’s closet as well.  I’ve have four big bags of clothing to donate to a local charitable organization, and decided I obviously have plenty of clothes to get me through the summer. (Sad, since I love buying new clothes, but better for the pocketbook.)

The most exciting thing is this…about 11:00 this morning, a crew of six very cute young men arrived with heavy equipment and cut down all the bushes in front of my house.  (Yes, Brian, every one!)  You see, I have an old house with old landscaping, and I’ve been wanting to replace it for years, but always felt it would be too expensive. 

So, why finally take the plunge in a year when I really have no money to spare?

Let’s just say these guys were not only incredibly cute, they were incredibly cheap.  In less than an hour, 50 years worth of overgrown bushes were history.  In a couple of days, I’ll be meeting with a landscape designer to pick out a new look for my old house. 

And everyone needs a makeover once in a while, right?

Yeah, I felt a moment of sadness as my husky helpers chopped those bushes off at the roots and fed them mercilessly into their deluxe John Deere chopper.  I admit it, I’m sentimental about stuff.  After all, this is the girl that used to tuck blankets around any of her picture books that had pictures of puppies on them, in case the puppies might get cold. 

But these old bushes were long past time to die – they had overgrown the sidewalk and were blocking our view out the windows. 

And so it’s on to something new – for the house, and for me. I’m starting to think about what new and different things may develop in my life over the next months…

And I’m excited.

As long as I can keep that old Responsibility Ticker at bay. *smiles*

~~~~~~

When we came home from Florida on Monday, I was eagerly anticipating more temperate weather.  It’s been a relatively cool spring in Michigan, and after the heat and humidity that was ramping up near the equator, I was not wholly averse to returning to my Great Lake breezes.

Well, no such luck.

It’s been hotter than a firecracker, as my grandmother would say.  It’s 93 degrees and humid today.  Plus, the wind is blowing like crazy, so when you step outside, scalding hot air slaps you hard across the face.

Yech.

We’ve all been inside most of the day, because none of us likes the heat.  Our little Molly completely wilts when it’s hot, and even though the house is air-conditioned to a comfortable 78 degrees, she mopes around as if she’s lost her best friend (no matter that he’s trailing along behind her).

I have to admit I’ve done nothing today.  Nothing I consider productive.  I despise days like that, and sometimes I’m afraid there’s something seriously wrong with me, because I have this huge list of things that need to be done running through my head like the New York Stock Exchange ticker…clean out the closet; do the laundry; pay the bills; visit your mother in law; visit your aunt; clean the bathroom; mop the kitchen; finish the short story; clean up the car; make some dinner; an endless loop of responsibilities, none of which I can make myself do!

Yech.

So closely following the ticker tape of tasks, is the ticker tape of guilt.  Your wardrobe’s a mess; the hamper is full; your credit rating is sinking; your mother in law is languishing; your aunt is needy; the bathroom is grungy; the kitchen floor is sticky; the short story stinks; the car is a mess; I’m hungry.

Now my husband, bless his heart, seems to turn his resposibility ticker to OFF on the weekends.  He can lay on that leather couch in front of that big screen tv with the ceiling fan whirring overhead and a beer on the table beside him just as happy as a clam. He can lay there for hours, days even.

So why do I get so bothered by the fact that I haven’t checked anything off my list this weekend?  And where is that damn OFF switch?

I’ve always allowed resposibility to weigh too heavily on my shoulders.  It’s battered me into the ground on more than one occasion, held me back from opportunities I wished I’d taken, and prevented me from moving away from unhealthy situations.  I allow my motivation in life to come from shoulda’s instead of coulda’s.  Then I feel guilty when I don’t perform to my own expectations.

And sometimes I get angry about that.

It’s 5:00 on a Sunday afternoon.  I’m going to stop feeling guilty, I’m going to pour myself a cold glass of wine, slice a bit of smoked Gouda cheese off that wedge, grab some plump red grapes, and settle into my chair for at least 30 minutes.

Then I’ll clean out my closet.

 

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9 thoughts on “The Responsibility Ticker *Updated*

  1. Oh, I hope you did as you promised in that last paragraph and poured yourself that cold glass of wine and enjoyed that smoked Gouda & plump red grapes. And if you did it all while reading a favorite book, so much the better. And if you became so engrossed in your book that you’re still enjoying it now, congratulations — there’s the perfect weekend accomplishment!

  2. It is difficult to try and disconnect oneself from one’s surroundings. We work at home, the work is all around! Just take those 30 minutes, and enjoy!

  3. I’ve been there so many times (and why is it that men can gear down so easily?). I think maybe part of the drive we share is that we realize SOMEONE in the household must function in order for things to get done; somehow, that usually translates to us.

    Gouda. Love it and haven’t had it in so long. Hope you enjoyed your time of relaxation!

  4. I struggle with that too, but I’ve decided that getting something accomplished early in the day takes care of the guilt well enough so I can relax. And I like to choose a project that has a lot of visual impact. That takes care of any lingering antsy-ness.

  5. I hope you took time to relax! I too suffer from just what you described. At least you can appreciate your husband’s ability to shut off. I just get annoyed at mine for not being crazy like me. 🙂

    BTW, I tagged you for a meme at my blog. No pressure, of course!

  6. My God, woman, I’m so relieved that your closet is clean.

    Whew! Got that out of the way.

    “I’ve always allowed responsibility to weigh too heavily on my shoulders. It’s battered me into the ground on more than one occasion, held me back from opportunities I wished I’d taken, and prevented me from moving away from unhealthy situations.”

    That’s it, Becca. That’s why I love your writing. You offer the truth of it and that’s why you connect to your readers. I somehow feel less alone after reading truths like this, because it’s my truth too.

    The only thing I would change about this post is the cold glass of wine and smoked Gouda cheese. When five o’clock rolls around at my house, it’s red wine at room temperature and Brie.

  7. I’m imagining you sitting on your front porch, sipping that chilled white wine, and enjoying a brand new view. It sounds wonderful! Do you know what you’re going to put in?

  8. Hey, we came home from the mostly chilly U.P. temperatures (although it was 80+ when we left) to almost 100 degrees. Talk about temperature shock!

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