My wife and son left for vacation on Saturday. I, for reasons disclosed in last week’s blog post, stayed home to watch our cats. Within the first hour of their departure I was missing them, and I could feel the dread of seven days of solitude creeping up on me. Having time to yourself always sounds so grand, right up until the people you love go away and you’re left alone with your thoughts. The doubts. The insecurities. The low self-esteem threatening to overwhelm you and make you feel like you’re–
Nope. Not today, brain. Or the day after that. Or the day after that. To combat the threat of my inner monologue eating me alive, I’ve made it my mission to stay extra busy in these solitary days. So far, I’ve been very successful. I’ve gotten a few house maintenance projects done and have a solid battle plan for the remainder of the week. Here’s what I’ve managed to get done, day by day:
SATURDAY. After my wife and son left, I got right to work. I weeded the garden areas around the house, tilled the soil, and planted several flowers. The employees at the local nursery were very amused to see me multiple time that day, buying handfuls of plants every time. I will likely go back before the week is done.
SUNDAY. I dismantled the remainder of our compost pile. We tried composting for a while, but it got out of control. We dumped yard waste in there, thinking more organic material would be beneficial. When plants started to sprout from the walls of our compost pile, we knew we screwed up. It was time to clear the area. I must have shoveled hundreds of pounds of dirt and yard waste from that pile, beneath the heat of a blazing sun, for close to five hours. It was backbreaking work, but I got it done. Then I sprayed my front and back lawn with weed killer, since we’ve had an outbreak of several weeds and crab grass this year. I can still smell the stuff when I have the windows open.
MONDAY. Now that the weekend is done, it’s time to begin my indoor projects. Today, after doing some Star Power-related writing and other work, I started doing some major cleaning. I tackled our spare room today, which serves as a dining room, gaming room, reading room, or storage room. The “storage room” aspect was starting to take over. I purged a lot of garbage (not actual garbage, we’re not that messy), and doing so felt liberating. Now the spare room is clean and it looks like an actual dining, gaming, or reading room again. If I have anything to say about it, it will never be a storage room again.
TUESDAY. Today my battle plan is to tackle the kitchen. That will include cleaning the refrigerator, reorganizing the shelves, and throwing out/recycling a lot of things that are just taking up valuable counter space. Wish me luck.
These chores have kept me occupied, and the deadly inner monologue at bay. Who knows? Maybe this week of solitude won’t be so bad after all. Maybe my doubts and insecurities won’t come to me in these quiet hours and remind me of every mistake I’ve made, every mess I’ve been responsible for, every embarrassing–
Nope! Time to clean my desk!