Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008: a retrospective

thinking back, it's hard to remember what i did this year. nothing, mostly. a lot of sitting around. i'm usually too tired to feel capable of anything, so i sit in this chair and read blogs and webcomics and message boards. it's not a good use of my time, but what else can i do? i end up frustrated and angry when i try to challenge myself when i've had very little sleep. so a lot of this year was pissed away. that sucks, but it's not something that i have a lot of control over.

a year or maybe a bit more ago i realized that this whole stay-at-home gig wasn't about to end anytime soon and bitching about it was only making me depressed. in 2008 i tried to make the best of it and be the best goddamn housewife the world has ever seen. i knit, cooked, canned, butchered, gardened, wiped asses, read stories, came up with activities, cleaned... you name it, i tried my hand at it in 2008. i learned a few things about myself in the process.

i hate doing childcare. hate it. my kids are great in small doses, i can read to them and tickle them and wipe their tears... but all day, every day, and every night? fuck, no. keeping them fed and clean(ish) and entertained and mediating their conflicts wears away at me and pisses me off. i spend a lot of time just wanting them to go away. unfortunately, childcare is my primary activity. fuck. all i can really do about this is wait as patiently as i can for them to get old enough to start school and, hopefully, one day start sleeping through the night. i hate that i have this attitude because one day they won't be so small and cute and they won't want to snuggle with me. i don't want to waste these years with my impatience and irritability. i don't want them to remember me as the mama who just wanted them to go away. so i really do try hard to be a good, attentive mother. but as i read them the same stupid book for the ten millionth time, i keep an eye on the clock.

cooking, cleaning and laundry i can handle. they're mindless activities that need doing. cleaning is a pretty quick way to get satisfying results. cooking can be fun, if no one is pulling at my legs. laundry... whatever. it's fast and i like clean undies. i can't stand cleaning the kitchen, so it stays dirty. problem solved!

gardening, canning and knitting make me happy. i love making things, especially useful things. these aren't often considered to be serious art forms, but they're the closest i get these days. i don't miss painting and doing metalwork when i'm gardening. canning is a little more tedious, but the resulting rows of jars fill me with as much pride as any ring or painting ever did. knitting is sort of a mix - i liken it to making jewelry. the conception and planning of a project is where the creativity is - choosing materials and a pattern or design. then comes the drudgery, where i use the skills i have and acquire whatever new ones i need to create the object. the finishing touches and cleanup always make me feel glow-y. unless the project didn't work out the way i wanted, and then i walk around muttering curses for a while, then start over.

metalwork is more prone to creating income, but it takes lengthy, formal training and a lot of expensive equipment. knitting is less impressive to an outsider, but it's a more affordable art, and one that i can practice while my kids play. and it doesn't cause serious health problems in fetuses. one day i hope to get back into jewellerymaking, but until then knitting is an acceptable substitute.

No comments:

Post a Comment