Sunday, February 01, 2009

The Week Dragon

I don’t know about everybody else but the conveyor belt of life has become something of a relentless monster of late. A dragon that rears its ugly head every Monday morning and roars its unending demands at me in tones that demand my immediate obeisance.

House chores, work chores, personal chores... all spewed forth in a stinging fountain of flame and brimstone and interlaced with little charcoal briquettes of “washing up”, “hoovering the house”, “fixing that shelf” and “cleaning the bathroom”... all those little jobs that get continuously put off because the big ones are taking up so much time and energy... so much so that the little ones eventually require an entire day in themselves to be faced up to because they have stacked up into a pyre that would vaporize Joan of Arc’s asbestos knickers in a single second.

Surely life isn’t meant to be like this? We human beings shouldn’t be waking up every morning heart and body heavy with a hundred foot long list of things that must be done before one can rest one’s weary head again the coming night?

Where is the sun lounger beside the unnaturally blue swimming pool? Where is the perfect sun – neither too hot nor too cold – that cooks me pleasantly without turning my body into a dripping Beef Wellington of sweat? Where is the pina colada, newly frosted in my hand and dripping with fresh pineapple slices?

This isn’t the life I envisioned for myself back when I was a kid. Not that life now is in anyway bad... there’s just too much of it trying to be lived in too short a space of time. Or too little of it trying to encompass too many things. I’m really not sure which.

I know Karen feels the same. By the end of each day we’re both shattered. Exhausted. It’s hard to find the time or energy to do enjoyable things let alone the leftover chores that seem to append themselves to the end of each day.

Back when I was a kid I imagined adult life to be a brilliant smorgasboard of constant spontaneity and adventure. Why shouldn’t you just do anything? I mean who is there to stop you and tell you that you can’t do it? Another adult? Pah! They’ve no right to be in charge of you when you’re an adult yourself!

And in a way that was all perfectly correct and fundamentally astute. But my childish self didn’t take into account the one adult who will always tell you not only that you can’t do that but also tell you why you can’t do that.

Yourself.

The poor you that through habit and conditioning loses its innate ability to cut itself free of the twin chains of “must” and “have to” and soar up unfettered into the boundless blue sky of possibility and freedom... and instead becomes a rather stern and ineffably anal task master who won’t let you off the hook even when your brain is rattling around inside your skull like a walnut with terminal fatigue.

Poo. Sometimes growing up really sucks.

So is it the livelong week that I’m fighting? Or lance in hand, horse rearing up on its hindlegs like Champion The Wonder Horse, am I going to remove the dragon’s battle-mask only to find, like Luke Skywalker in The Empire Strikes Back, that it is only myself that I have been duelling?

Already I can hear the roar of the Monday beast approaching... I need the answers fast, folks. I’m getting battle weary.

23 comments:

Deirdre said...

oh I hear you...I hear you...and I'm 30 years into a job I hate and a mortgage I feel I will never repay and a house that is never clean/tidy and a feeling that life isnt meant to be just dusting, working, cooking, fixing, making do etc.,longing to just jump on a train and runaway...my daughter is off to Uni in Sept and I am jealous..how sad is that??..ps have just read what I have written and i.need.a. kick.up.the.arse....

Steve said...

After you've kicked your own arse - not that I at all think it needs it - can you come and do mine too? I promise not to sue even if you break some bones.

Brother Tobias said...

You've just described parenthood to perfection. How did ours all manage to conceal the feet that were paddling madly underwater? Perhaps being a good parent is nothing to do with keeping up with all those chores or doing them well, but communicating an air of unflappable calm and infallibility.
(My daughter said that as a child she always felt that everything would be alright when I arrived. Then she grew up and discovered the truth!)

Steve said...

Somehow I doubt that I poject an "air of unflappable calm and infallibility" even at the best of times (!) but I guess aiming for the pretence might be easier than trying to achieve the actuality...!

Suburbia said...

I loved reading this. It has taken me such a long time to realise there is more to life than the endless chores and drugery of the last few years. Life is too short for housework........live a little :-)

(found you at Dotterels)

Steve said...

Thank you Suburbia - for your kindness and your wisdom! And thank you for dropping by - I do hope you'll return.

The Sagittarian said...

Steve, as i sit here already chained to the back of the Monday Beast for the rest of the blasted week...I feel your pain! I have had a shite start to the week, as not only do the home-chores sit there untouched for another weekend but had 2 gals to get sorted for the school year again. In fact, I took the older one to High School only to dsicover that she doesn't actually start today but tomorrow. How unfair that she got to scoot home again, put on her Pjs and lounge about. (Actually, I was so jealous that I gave her a list from the "To do at the weekend" stuff and flounced off ignoring her teenage angst at having to DO something!)
Sigh. LOTTO win, wherefore art thou??

Annie said...

Brother T is right in your description of parenthood. It IS hard but you know in life, nothing ever remains the same. It's not Groundhog Day... your YOU time will come, promise! Best wishes :)

Steve said...

Amanda, that Lotto win is a real prick-tease... it shakes its tush at me every week but always dances just out of reach like a professional lap dancer. Hmm. That analogy has made me feel strangely better - despite being home ill today with lurgy.

Annie, thanks for that - so glad it isn't Groundhog day (though I would love to be able to learn how to play the piano)! ;-)

justme said...

No words of wisdom to offer I fear. Just the thought that these things always seem worse in winter. When spring arrives. I find everything gets to feeling a little lighter. Here is hoping, anyway.
I wonder if a lottery win WOULD help? I am inclined to think yes... Not that money makes you happy exactly, but it doesn't hurt, and lack of it is certainly crap!

missbehaving said...

I hear you, it's only Monday night and I am already too tired to offer my 10 yen.
To me your importnat point is , it shouldn't be like this, it makes no sense.
You know you've lost all reason when you take the kids for a walk to enjoy the mountain air and you keep telling them to 'hurry up'. :(

Steve said...

Justme, I can always recall my Nan drilling into me at a young age that money can never make you happy and, as you say, while that remains true on an emotional level, materially it is one less thing to worry about and a burden less is always welcome!

Oh Missbehaving, I know exactly what you mean - you know you're in a bad way when even the simple pleasures in life feel like a tax on your energy! Hope you get a good night's sleep!

EmmaK said...

When your kids are older they will actually quite enjoy (amazing) helping or copying you and doing ghastly stuff like
“washing up”, “hoovering the house”, and “cleaning the bathroom”... Meanwhile you could try tying Swiffer pads to the bottom of your toddler's shoes!

Steve said...

Emma, when you say "older" are we talking sometime between now and 18... or 45 plus? The 7 year old shows no signs of ever wanting to help with chores though I will admit the 16 month old often likes wiping the coffee table... though not always with a clean cloth... usually with a used tissue...

French Fancy said...

Perhaps you can dream about the future when your kids are grown and gone and you can sell your house for lots of money and come and live in the paradise that is Brittany - where we have

'“washing up”, “hoovering the house”, “fixing that shelf” and “cleaning the bathroom”..

but also have time to just be, mainly because there is almost bugger all to do here :)

Steve said...

French Fancy, sounds wonderful. I shall sell the house and the children now and catch the ferry in the morning... ;-)

http://rebeccahannay.blogspot.com/ said...

tell me, I beg of you, how do I follow this blog...I have looked and I can not see the button that says "yes I want to read everything this man writes"

do not keep in suspense any longer.

-eve- said...

Phew! i thought I was feeling tired, but your post described it even better than me - I can just picture you running around doing the numerous little things that need doing, and checking your list each time, wondering if you missed stuff. Yeah, seems like growing up isn't such a breeze after all ;-)

Steve said...

That's immensely kind, Rebecca, though feel that the overall quality of my output is questionable at best! As for following - normally it's a case of adding my blog's url (http://www.pocketropolis.co.uk/blog/blogger.html) to the Reading List widget on your blogger dashboard and clicking "add", however, I'm aware that because I publish my blog to my own domain name this doesn't always work and you may have to a link manually via your Blog template. Sorry if that sounds highly complicated! Do hope you'll return with or without technological assistance!

Hello Eve, so nice to hear from you again - it seems such a long time! It isn't a breeze, Eve, but life always, always has its good moments too... I guess the trick is to hold those in mind at all times.

Rol said...

Take a couple of sick days and watch some rubbish TV, Steve - that'll make you feel...

Well, maybe not exactly better... but...

Sigh. Such is life.

Steve said...

I have done exactly that, Rol.

And you're right.

It is.

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Every day is a battle my friend. At least you've got the love of your life by your side. I'm having to wait rather longer for mine!

Steve said...

When he arrives Laura, the wait will have been worth it. Trust me. I waited a long time for Karen.