I figured out a bit of the roots of some of what was bothering me when I wrote Tuesday's post.
I've been sick for the last day and a half - mild fever, etc. Late this afternoon a few hours after the fever ended, I spent about an hour (very slowly, because I was still dizzy) gardening. The rest of the day I spent sleeping and reading. However, just that little bit of gardening made me feel like I've accomplished something today.
The wife of the main character in Stay at Home Dead likes lists. Okay, she particularly likes to leave lists for her husband, but, either way, that's the opposite of the way I am. I don't like to do lists. I don't like to have to give them to others. They're often necessary, as in all the things that need to be done before older son heads to Prague in a few weeks. I don't like it when there are so many things to remember to do that I can't keep them in my head. It also means that those things aren't apparent in day to day life. It's obvious when the dishes need to be done or when the lawn needs to be mowed. It's the less obvious things, phone calls, errands, etc. that need lists.
I'm not the sort that gets any sense of satisfaction from finishing a to do list. I envy those who do.
A lot of what I've been doing the last few weeks, besides gardening, has been list driven. For instance, yesterday, I was busy getting things done and running errands all morning (I started feeling sick around lunchtime*), but I didn't feel like I've accomplished anything. I've decided that, when I spend a morning like that, I need to look at as if I'd homeschooled all morning, and try to give myself the sense of accomplishment I get from homeschooling.
It's not just that it's errands and housework. It's that it's a bunch of small things that, put together, take up half the day, but don't seem to add up to anything. It's the sort of stuff that, when we're homeschooling, just gets stuck in between other things. When we're homeschooling, I don't focus on that stuff like I've been doing lately.
Large projects around the house give me a feeling of accomplishment, but little bits and pieces, no matter how many there are, don't. Really, my favorite housework days/times are when I just wander around the house and do whatever bugs me the most (for those of you familiar with Myers-Briggs, I'm a really weak J). Those times don't happen very often, and I'm not letting myself do that until I get the list done that I've been putting together since January.
Now that I actually type it out, I'm not sure why. I guess it's like eating vegetables before dessert.
The thing that always makes me feel best, accomplishment-wise as well as in many other ways, is doing something creative. An hour of gardening can turn around an otherwise unremarkable day.
* I was exhausted all of a sudden, but I didn't have a fever so I went to Modern Dance class anyway in the late afternoon. The fever hit about the time we were doing a swoopy move to the front and side. That was... interesting - kind of like a fun ride at the fair.