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Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Housewife of Beverly Hills, or not

Housewife of Beverly Hills, or not... how I became a housewife of the modern age.  Oh, the lessons you learn.

I have gone back and forth with myself whether I would write this post and I decided what the heck?  I recall a time when I was younger that a friend said oh... she is just a housewife about someone we went to school with.

Now, what exactly does that mean?  Oh, she is just a housewife... do you know all of the things a housewife does?  Well, I can tell you since I recently became one myself.  My circumstances were a bit different than others who may stay home, since it was not by choice.  Sometimes there are just those things that are out of our control, and medical reasons can be the most difficult to accept.

Without getting too much into that, I found I was home after nearly 30 years of working outside the home.  The first six weeks, I was really sick, and then a wonderful healthcare professional came into my life and figured a thing or two out and set me on a path, it may be a longer path than I had anticipated, but I am on it never the less.  I am so thankful for her.  

When I began to feel a bit better, I thought what do I do with myself?  How will I fill my days?  I said many times I wanted a week of doing absolutely nothing since it had been so long since I had time to just BE, but if you know me at all, you know that lasted less than a day.

I have had more time to think over things and I had to learn that I was no longer the Working Girl I saw myself as... by the way Melanie Griffith killed it in that movie.  If you are familiar with this movie reference, know we have more in common than you think!  I wanted to be just like her as a little girl in the 80's, high heels, briefcase, career, and all.  

How do you redefine yourself when so much of your life was spent doing something else?  I thought about how a friend once said oh, she is just a housewife, and I wondered when did that become such a bad thing?  A taboo?  A hush, hush topic spoken about quietly?  When I was growing up, it was customary that the wife stay home raise children, and keep the house in order.  There was no hiding it.  

Now, women have careers, raise children, keep a home in order, and a lot of times they are single gals doing it all on their own.  My hat is off to them.  Juggling all of that and more takes it's toll.  I was a single gal myself until my later 30's, and I do not think I gave it much thought at the time.  I do not think it is until you have someone to share the load with that you even wonder how you kept things afloat.    

We do not have children so I always wanted to work to stay busy, and I actually enjoyed what I did.  I felt like I was making a difference keeping the ship on the path from day to day.  Oh, the twists and turns of one day, to the next.  Sometimes I would think I just need some time to relax (be careful what you wish for), and then others I actually enjoyed the chaos, the problem solving, making split second decisions, keeping everyone happy, and on their toes.

Then poof!  One day, I was no longer doing that.  What a shock to my system!  I began to understand how retirees felt.  One day you are working, and the next you are not.  Some think oh, I will do just fine transitioning into my role of no longer working, but when you do it for so many years, it is not as easy as one would think.

Closet Organization 

I am still getting my sea legs under me in the staying at home department.  Some of the things I have been wanting to work on since we moved into our home are getting completed.  The dreaded organization tasks... I am getting there, and by the way do you know how cathartic it is to look at a closet and see a mess, and an hour later, it is straightened up?  It feels soooo good!  Who knew that could be therapy for me?  Scary, huh?

I have also come to realize being "just a housewife" means so much more.  I am now the maid, the chef, the baker, the plumber, the mechanic, the nurse & doctor, the accountant, the banker, the decorator, the designer, the laundress, the dishwasher, pot scrubber extraordinaire, the dog walker, the pooper picker upper, the overseer of this cozy cottage who keeps this house firing on all cylinders.  Whew... is your head spinning yet?  

No longer does hubby need to take time off for the mundane things in life, you know when contractors come in and make repairs we cannot, or make the calls to schedule car maintenance.  Who knew I would so appreciate those things he took care of until I was the one coordinating all of these tasks myself.

Do you know how I describe things?  The car is making a clicking sound, only it happens sometimes, not all of the time, maybe when I drive slower, or maybe it happens more, but it is surely not all of the time.  I drove with the windows down, but I did not hear it 100% of the time, do you know what I mean?  

Do you know how much mechanics enjoy dealing with my descriptions?  I think their thought is "hey lady, how about you bring it in and we will tell you what is wrong with it", but they are only too gracious not to say good grief woman... it's after they hang up, they say, "hey Fred, I am so looking forward to seeing this broad when she comes in!  NOT"!  **insert eye roll here**

A friend once laughed and kept a note I was going to leave our mechanic.  He said, "you absolutely cannot leave that note for him".  I did not see what was wrong with the descriptions I provided.  Last I knew, he carried the note in his wallet and when he was having a bad day and needed a good laugh, he would drag it out and laugh, and laugh, and laugh at my expense of course, by the way, thanks Andy...  at least I am good for a chuckle every now and then.    

When it comes to mechanical things, I am lost.  I can tell you in my own words, but if you expect me to tell you what the exact thing that is wrong with my car is, then forget it.  You would be better off driving it yourself and figuring it out.  Every little nuance since it was last in the shop will be on that note I leave.  Oh yeah, I am one of THOSE people... I feel the need to describe every little detail.      

My previous employer, Susi, called me a part to part person when she said I should be a whole to part person.  I drove her crazy with all of my pieces of the pie that I explained to get to the big picture.  In her mind, I should begin with the big picture and the pieces would fall as they may, only guess what?  My brain does not work that way.  

Oh no... I need all of those slices in order for my brain to see the entire big ole' apple pie or enchilada, which ever you prefer.  She indicated my brain could relearn the way it processes information and I could become that whole to part person.  Do you know how hard this is?  Especially for someone like me?  I thrive in the details, it is where I live lady!  Don't take them away from me.... everrrrr.

I am the person who will fuss with a flower arrangement for an hour until I have it perfect, in my mind that is.  So, you ask how is homemaking going?  Well, it is going well for being thrust into it so abruptly and relearning so many parts of my life.

Flowers, and more flowers 

I guess Susi would be proud, my brain is learning new things.  Who said you cannot teach an old dog new tricks?  Only, I would say I am probably still that part to part person I have always been, so she may not be that proud, ha!  

I still get up around 6 AM every morning, and get ready like I always did.  I found keeping some things from my old routine really helped me get acclimated to my new life.  6 AM is sleeping in for me compared to when I used to wake up for work.  Have there been those days when I have slept until 9 AM?  Darn tootin' there have been, but they have been few and far between.    

The weather has a big affect on what I am able to do.  It affects me personally, and I am at it's mercy, but I have found I can do so many things despite it's affect on me.  I have recently taken up paint by number kits.  What?  Did you say how boring?

Oh my, let's talk about it.  I may have said something similar in the past, but I liken it to coloring.  Do you know there are studies out there who have revealed coloring helps in lowering your blood pressure and calming you?  I read the actual smell of crayons does the trick.  Let's all get our pack of crayons out and sniff them while at work to divert crisis from our daily work paths.  Personally, I think it takes us back to childhood when for most, it was smooth sailing.

Paint by numbers and art 

Paint by numbers is my grown up version of coloring.  I get to say, hey, I made that!  Plus, it is more acceptable as an adult for me to hang my art work on the wall if it is a painting instead of actual coloring pages.  **tee hee**  Folks, I'm here all week... let's keep the laughs coming.  Seriously though, I myself have really enjoyed it.  I have found there are days where I just cannot make myself do it, and I say ok, painting is not my thing today, moving on to the next item on my long list of what I need to do.

The plus of running my own schedule?  I can work at my pace, and I do not need to run around the house like a chicken with my head cut off trying to accomplish everything on my list by Monday morning.  I can take my time, and be methodical about how I want to do a certain project.  Oh, trust me, sometimes this is not in my favor.  Some days the more time I have, the more my brain gets in the way of getting the actual things done, darn brain.  It likes to think and think and analyze, how I ever get anything done is beyond me.  I just turn it off and run on auto pilot I guess.   

I clean, and make dinner every night, create new recipes, and share them with you.  I am learning how to use Tiktok, what fun that has been!  I am so enjoying writing.  I have found I really have missed it.  I used to write papers on so many topics, and who knew I would miss that?  Although, at least now, I have control over what I write, not a professor telling me.  Oh, the control I now have in my grasp, watch out world, here I come **chuckling to myself**.  

When I began this blog, it came from covid, and my need to do something else, something to fill my time.  Although I was working and worked all through covid like a lot of folks did, I felt like I needed more.  Being cooped up will do that to a person.  I have continued with our blogging venture because I really do enjoy it.  I love to decorate, and found creating recipes is something I enjoy as well... and I get to share it all with y'all while relaying stories about our pup, one mischievous kiddo who I thoroughly adore, and sharing tidbits about life in general.  

So, thank you for following along with us, and sharing in my new found adventure of homemaker status too.  I can tell you, I am not the housewife of Beverly Hills, nor the 1950's housewife wearing my dresses, heels, and pearls around my neck.  I am in my shorts and t-shirts, rocking my hair in a bun with grays showing to and fro, not giving a darn about it, all while not being afraid to get a little dirty throughout the day either.  

My best friend said I should call myself the housewife of Fairfield County.  We got a chortle out of that one, or maybe it was more like roaring fits of laughter.  I am so down to earth and just wonder to myself what my next stunt will be, one just never knows.  

Just wait, I am sure we will have new adventures to share with you throughout my journey of learning this new life I am carving out for myself.  Maybe I will learn how to use more power tools, fingers crossed... although if you ask my husband, he may say she could lose a finger, or two if I let her near my power tools!  I may have to work on him some so I can do all the things while he is at work.  Such a scary thought for him, never knowing what he will walk into when he steps through that door each evening.      

So now, if I ever hear she is just a housewife, I will speak up and say, the name is homemaker, and do you know what all is involved in the day to day work of a homemaker with zero pay, might I add.  Well, let me tell you, it is not just sitting on the couch eating bonbons all day watching Days of our Lives **is this even still airing**?  There is a lot of work that goes into it.  Hope you have a sun shiny, spectacular day from your Vintage Style Gal turned homemaker!

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