Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Three Story Life: A Day Off

Mom used to ask "are you leaving that for the maid to pick up?" to all 8 of us when we didn't tidy after ourselves. You may remember the story of Mom taking the doorknobs off the doors because Dad used to hang his pants there. (Dad never skipped a beat: he dropped his pants on the floor where the doorknobs used to be.) I asked the maid question in my head this morning; the usual stuff left out for me to put away. Mom tried for 50 years to get the family to do things more her way, and we know how that worked out. So, I am learning s-l-o-w-l-y that repeating the same experiment over expecting different results is insanity. I decided this morning that, as it is difficult to have a whole day off from chores as a primary carer, I can at least set a boundary day for those chores. Today I am unavailable. I have artwork to create for clients. Today's day off is granted to: the maid, chauffeur, accountant, cook, laundress, cleaning lady, tech support, personal assistant, translator, mail sorter, medicine wrangler, hunter of lost stuff, shopper, errand runner, medical liaison. No hollering down the stairs for me unless there is an ambulance required. The thing about boundaries is I have to set them. Then communicate what the boundaries are. Then reset when the goalposts are moved. And then remind everyone involved that there are boundaries for the time being. And describe exactly the time. So, I guess the boundary maker and the timekeeper don't get a day off, but that's okay for now. The rest of us can keep our sanity for another day.

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