Oh, boy do I have problems.
I add to my list of Things I Simply Must Do Right Now just about anything that sounds like something I should be doing.
Note that I don’t add things that sound like fun. Or that could save time, money, or energy. I add obligations. Avoid fun and profit; do what sounds like something you should do.
Today when a friend talked about going back to school for a second Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry, I thought fondly of my days in the lab and mentally added a Chem BS to my list of things to finish. This year.
When a friend at a group outing last week mentioned that his kids eat more sandwiches when he uses his homemade peanut butter, I vowed to start making my own. (Food processor, he said, not blender. Add cashews to make it more spreadable, someone else said. Done and done. Or, rather, on the list and on the list.)
Except I’m not going to get a degree in Chemistry or make peanut butter. I’m just adding them to my list so I can promise myself that I’ll never get bored or stop striving or learning. Just in case, says my list of 4,128 things. Just in case.
That all stops now.
I hereby declare to you, publicly, that I will not. I won’t. I refuse.
I will not make my own peanut butter.
I will not learn to cross stitch.
I will not start my first quilting project this summer.
I will not break our chipped plates to make mosaic picture frames for a delightful hallway mirror.
I will not say yes to every playdate that comes along.
I will not take a job just because someone asks me to.
Know what else?
I’m never cooking potatoes again. They’re too much damned work.
I refuse to fold the laundry. Cramming it into drawers is basically the same, and nobody yet has said to any of us “Wow, you are one disheveled family!” If they do, I have some green, gnarled, raw potatoes to throw at them.
I won’t clean up after the boys anymore. They usually do their own tidying (regretfully, it’s sometimes on threat of throwing away anything left on the floor) but I often finish each night. Nope. No more. I’d rather step on it in the dark or stub my toe than bend over one more doggone time.
I will not water the stupid patch of weeds near the trash cans. I don’t care that the landlord calls it grass.
I’m also not planting food any more. We have a farmer’s market full of food grown by local organic farmers. I don’t have the energy to water and tend and protect and nurture any more goddamned creatures right now.
Because I’m tired of adding “should” to my long list of righteous obligations. I’m still going to purchase food, prepare food, cook food, serve food, clean up food, mow the lawn, pull weeds, clean the house, sort laundry, write books, edit other books, make playdough, tell my kids to be kind, play with my kids, clean up the feces, monitor the handwashing, manage the bathing, direct the shoeing, load the bikes and scooters, drive the people, maintain the car, pay bills, answer the mail, schedule appointments, plan trips, arrange playdates, send invoices, market services, and run.
And starting today, I’m going to shower whenever I feel like it.
Take that, peanut butter guy and chemistry lady. My big plans are to be zestfully clean.