It’s amazing how often we mention the phrase. Every time a friend calls, if I’m not at work I tell them I’m either doing chores at home or “running errands” outside.
Coming from a simple, salaried household- as a child I never saw my parents “just chilling”.
Hard work was valued above all else. If my parents ever caught me sitting and watching TV or idling reading (reading novels, even classics was not considered a worthy use of time) they would invariably ask “Don’t you have school work to do? Or something more useful…”.
Therefore, it is passive- aggressively ingrained within us at a tender age, that it is criminal to do nothing. Doing nothing means watching a movie, or reading a non- scientific book, surfing the internet, blogging, even running.
Pray tell me folks, why do we relentlessly pursue chores and errands?
I spent last night sewing up cut, torn, broken people. Without a break, like a machine.
I was assigned to one of the tiny, surgical rooms in the ER. Triage would send people (bruised, harassed, bleeding folks who have been waiting for at least 4 hours) over. I would take a brief history, get X-rays if needed, assess the injury, sew them back up, fill in a bunch of papers, prescribe medications and send them on their way.
I remember reporting to work at 2150 hours, I remember looking at my watch one last time before I removed it from my wrist and tucked it away at one of the knee pockets of my cool, navy cargo scrubs. The next time I looked at it, it was 0547 hours.
Saying it was an intense 8 hours will be a gross understatement. Eight hours, on my feet, sometimes on my knees or squatting (you wouldn’t want to know why). Eight hours of craning my neck. Eight hours of placating disgruntled patients. Eight hours of concentration. And the pressure of seeing the “next guy” as soon as “this one is done”.
I finish my shift, gather up my belongings, grab a tepid coffee from the cafeteria and head to my car. I can sense summer approaching, the air isn’t so chill anymore and the sun is already on it’s way up. Until recently, it used to be dark at this time.
I open the sunroof all the way back and roll the windows down, my lungs crave some un-conditioned air. I listen to Mike Posner singing about how he took a pill in Ibiza and I lazily drive back home with the sun right in my face.
As I turn the lock of my front door, I already have a minute by minute plan for the next hour. Mr H and Z will have to leave in an hour. My shower will have to be a short, clinical one. No soaking in the soothing, luxury of the warm water or enjoying the citrusy- fresh fragrance of the new Bath and Bodyworks shower gel.
An hour and fifteen minutes later, the home is devoid of other humans. The bed beckons, but I sense my body has moved on. It has realised, the sleep for the day does not exist and therefore it will make do without it.
I have washed laundry, lying in a pile in the guest room. It is as tall as my two- year old. The hurried cooking session for the nursery run, means a decent sized dish- pile in the sink. There is a long, pending salon visit, the dry- cleaning needs to be picked up, the car needs repair. Cupboards need organising, make- up brushes are desperate for a cleanse, some work- related emails need urgent replies. And oh! I need to feed myself.
The little, salaried-parent’s child, self in my head tells me there is not a second to spare. I will be toddler and work free for the next few hours, and I should make the most of it. Get as much as possible done. I can sleep tonight.
Go on, get to it. She tells me. That darned voice in my head.
There’s TONS TO DO WOMAN! She screams.
I fight back.
I kick back, put my feet up on the recliner and settle in to watch a movie. To hell with doing chores and running errands.
Call me an escapist, procrastinator, or whatever else you wish to. I have about 5 precious, free hours, before I make the mandatory trip to the place where they keep little humans occupied till their antecedents come back for them. As sleep declines my proposal, I shall hook- up with youtube and do nothing for a bit.
It’s now 1330 hours. I did manage to fold some laundry and put it away while watching random crap on the tube, and yes I also got some work done over the phone, and I fed myself.
Everything else will have to wait.
For today, I shall hide from chores and run away from errands.
But I do feel insanely guilty about it. And my spunky, lazy self doesn’t appear so cool anymore.
Till next time,
Wow Dr. J. You are amazing!! Thank you.