One of the downsides of divorce and separation is the whole divorce and separation thing. Not that I regret anything. Far from it. That’s like regretting that the doctor put a cast on your broken arm. It’s painful while you heal and you are unable to do all the things you used to when you had two usable arms but there’s no alternative, is there? Just a completely different and unacceptable amount of pain and discomfort. I can’t help thinking of Cash Bundren in As I Lay Dying whose broken leg is “set” with concrete. I don’t recommend you try this at home.
Anyway, one of the upsides (for this introvert) is the weekends I have alone, by myself, without the children I love more than anything. Even more than beer and pumpkin pie (together, separate, I ain’t choicey).
This will be the first weekend I’ve had that doesn’t involve painting a room. What will I do with all this time on my hands, you ask? Well, I am a list maker. I make lists and then I subdivide the tasks and make lists within lists. Lists of things I need to purchase/procure when I have money (should that time ever arrive). Things like a dishwasher, a tv and sofa for the kids’ future hang-out room, a new mattress, a frame for that mattress (yes, I’ve been living like a hippie for WAY too long), a new roof, a new kitchen floor, a beach vacation.
Then there are the tasks that need doing but not right this minute. Those include repapering the inside of the kids’ bathroom medicine cabinet with shelf paper. One of my biggest regrets when that bathroom had to be gutted (black mold) and made brand new ($$) was that in my best penny-wise-pound-foolish mode, I decided to keep the rusted medicine cabinet to save money. Really, I shouldn’t have done this. That was stupid. Not as stupid as pouring concrete on a broken leg or staying in a broken relationship, but still. I should have replaced it with an inexpensive new cabinet. Der. One day I’ll be smart enough, right?
Other tasks on that list: recaulking various bathroom fixtures – showers, tubs, etc. I actually own that caulk-ripping-out tool and got very good at caulking at previous houses. I haven’t had to do it much in this one. But when you’ve lived in the same place for awhile (10 years), it becomes necessary. Also, I’m working up to attempting to dismantle the kitchen faucet to fix the leak. I’m a little afraid that I’ll break something and I’ll end up needing the plumber I probably should have called in the first place. Sigh. What to do, what to do?
The list for this weekend is thus (and I don’t really expect to get it all done; a lot depends on what I feel like tackling as some tasks require the proper mood):
* Consignment store – gather all the unneeded spring clothes for the consignment store. Next week is intake week. I have stuff, Dusty has stuff.
* But, before I do that, I have to go through the clothes and put them in categories: stuff to save back for Red, stuff for consignment (mostly mine), stuff for Goodwill.
* Clean bedroom closet. Organize everything, figure out what stays and what can be kept elsewhere, toss the unneeded. My closet is a bit of a disaster. Here are two photos that illustrate this:
It’s a mess. Above are my sweaters and lots of various crap that is just there for lack of anywhere else to be. It’s also what comes of sharing a closet with someone and then…not. Things get shuffled. My wardrobe holds my pants, skirts and dresses. My black shoe collection, such as it is, is there on the floor.
And here’s more crap on the other side! Lots of photographs and bins and boxes of kid art. God, I hate those metal shelves. I just don’t have the wherewithal or the money to replace them with actual shelves that things won’t fall through. The stuff on the far right are items that don’t fit or are rarely worn (couple coats, etc) anymore. The blouses at the back are my current things though those need winnowing as well. I mean, if I only ever really wear 30% of THAT, I really shouldn’t own the other 70%, should I? Probably not.
* Taxes. Yeah, that’s probably the #1 thing to do this weekend. Last time ever having to file as “married, filing jointly” praise jesus. I have always done the taxes. Always. Forever. And it will be nice to only have to do them for ME going forward. This onerous annual task has never been appreciated by the other beneficiary. That’s gonna change, I think. Maybe.
* Make the printer work. Jesus, this printer. With its fancy wifi thing that never ever reads the computer properly and is just easier to use tethered. Whatevs, printer. For a long time I had no ink. I bought ink and now it’s not acting like a grown up. I may have to punch it. I don’t want to have to order yet another printer head. Pain in the ass but I need to make it work again.
* Organize writing desk and hang Lynda Barry poster. Finally framed my Poodle with a Mohawk poster from college and in order to hang it over my writing desk, I need to organize the desk and the crap around it. I’ve spent two months shifting piles of things, trying to figure out how to make my life inside my house work to my advantage and it looks like it’ll be a long-term project. Is there really an end point to this? Or, am I fooling myself? I don’t know.
* Look at exercise videos. The pre-separation months (read: year) caused a bit of weight gain. I’m not real happy about it but I haven’t had the time or energy to do anything about it. Now that I’m starting to have the energy (but still not really the time), I’m beginning to change a few habits. At Costco the other week, I picked up an exercise video two-pack by Weight Watchers. 10 and 20 minute routines that focus on my particular trouble areas (ie, everything between my neck and ankles) but I haven’t had a chance to even remove the plastic yet. First baby step is to put them in the DVD player and see what I’m in for and if I can find time in front of the tv to actually do them. More regularly than once a month.
* Potting soil and repot houseplants. When I moved from an office with a window to one without, I took home all of my previously happy, though neglected, plants. They desperately need to be fertilized, repotted and moved to a party sunny window in the house. But where? When? I don’t know. The first step is to purchase a bag of potting soil (hard to come by in February) and fix them up right. At the moment, they’re lucky I remember to water them. They are just more clutter.
* Put games in back room closet. This seems like a pretty straight forward task. Now that Dusty’s room is finished, I can move all the board games from two different shelves in the linen closet space outside the kids’ bathroom and into the future hang out room (where she’d temporarily put all her stuff while I painted). But! Dusty’s crap is still piled up in that closet and she is perhaps the laziest human on the planet these days and only does things when threatened and cajoled. I get tired of being the cajoler. If I have the stamina, I will toss all the rest of her crap in her room (which may force her to deal with it or it may just be a pile of crap she walks around for 6 months until I begin to threaten her again), and move all the games. These multi-step tasks are the hardest to accomplish.
* See Monuments Men. This, I can guarantee you, will happen. A movie with THREE of my secret boyfriends starring in it? I should probably put this at the top of the list so that when I cross it off, I’ll get that feeling of accomplishment that comes of doing nothing more than spending $7.50 and sitting in the dark for 2 hours.