Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Nesting

I am nesting.

I think this is normal for the last weeks of pregnancy, but I have never heard it associated with menopause...then again, I haven't read much of anything about menopause, because I'm "not that into it," as the saying goes. But I'm in the midst of it, so I wonder.

Anyway, it started with the stock market going south. I thought, I may want to earn some money, one of these days. But I don't want to get a job outside of my home, so I started thinking about ways to contribute to our income...and the idea of "saving" came to mind. I'm not a great big saver, but once I have money, I like to save it, because I feel that it's easier to save it than it is to set it aside in the first place. From there, it was but a small step to the idea: spend less. Hmm, where would I begin?

Around this same time, SissyBen over at Veritably Bare mentioned FlyLady on her blog. I had no idea what she was talking about, but being the curious sort, I found the website: http://www.flylady.net/, and BANG! The bells and whistles were going off in my head. I can save money by cleaning my own house. Then the fear factor began: this place is too big; I won't be able to keep it up; I am not that organized; I don't know what to clean first; I don't like cleaning. Well, none of those things is true, and the free, online coaching at FlyLady.net is helping me to stay on track. So I am cleaning our house myself, going through years of paper clutter and shredding it, re-organizing our filing, and saving money in the process. And it's kind of fun...I feel a real sense of happiness in the quality of my work, and pleasure in providing a pleasant, warm, inviting home environment to my family.

I have also started cooking more, perusing recipes, making a grocery list based upon those recipes, shopping for less-expensive food and using our crock pot. I have started baking again, even though I have a voracious sweet tooth, and don't like to have many fresh-baked sweets around the house, because of it. However, my guys like good cookies and such, and that makes it worth enduring the temptation. I just wish that Katie was here to enjoy the benefits of my renewed focus on the home.

I'm also helping in the yard. I pruned our hydrangeas and rugosa roses, and enjoyed the exercise; I've done some weeding. I'd rather get fit doing work that needs to be done around here, than pay to exercise indoors in a gym, breathing the sweat of a bunch of strangers.

You may wonder why this is such a big deal to me; I will write about that another time. For now, suffice it to say that I do not come from a very "domestic" family. The women in my family had "help:" some had daily help, some bi-weekly, some had LIVE-IN help. Some never drove a car, cooked, cleaned, shopped for groceries, diapered their own babies, washed their own hair, or manicured their own fingernails. Those of us who did work outside of the home felt that having cleaning help was "necessary," and worth the investment (including me). I just never stopped having that help, once I quit working outside of the home; I got used to it. Yet I have always admired the domestic arts of sewing, baking, making a beautiful home and nurturing a family. I am so happy to have the freedom to learn and to grow in these arts now. Even cleaning is surprisingly rewarding.

I miss taking care of Katie. Her need for help in the last year of her life took precedence over my activities of being a (somewhat pampered) housewife and community volunteer. I quit everything else in order to be with Katie and take care of her, and while it wasn't easy, it was the most rewarding and deeply satisfying work I have ever done in my life. Now that her need for my help is finished, I want to keep using those skills and qualities. The next natural step is to use them here, while I write my way through these days, so I am nesting.

9 comments:

Kay said...

I'm glad you're finding some satisfaction in taking care of things at home. I myself don't know of any other way. Seems odd to me to have 'a stranger' come in and clean my messes... or do my toenails! LOL :-D I'm glad you've found flylady. I hear she's great for getting a gameplan.

Anonymous said...

I also love Flylady - one of my customers told me about her about 5 years ago. I like the thought that it all starts with a clean sink!

I'm sure your men are enjoying the biproducts of your labor - I have cookies in the oven, too!

Enjoy - L in AK

Sis B said...

I think you are an incredibly strong and beautiful woman, and I am so glad that this is helping you. It's a wonderful idea and your family is being blessed by your efforts. :) I'm proud of you!

Busy Bee Suz said...

You have gone through so many changes in your life and you are evolving yet again. It is a good feeling to take care of things on your own. You do get a sense of pride and accomplishment. Like Kay, I have never had any help even when we were able to afford it I just felt it was my job. (although, there were times I did not want that job:))
A bit of work in the yard, some in the house...you are right that is BETTER than inhaling someone elses sweat in a gym. (I will be doing that too though)
The menopause thing...not looking forward to that. I am 41 and my Doc tells me I am starting to show some signs....aaaarrrggghhh.
I have been using my crockpot and baking more too. Perhaps I am nesting also.
You are so wise to see what you are going through, as you do it. It seems you have a very interesting upbringing too. Can't wait to hear more.
Thanks for sharing-SUZ

Jennifer said...

Look out, Martha Stewart -- there's a new sheriff in town!

I remember you blogging a little while ago about contemplating your vocation -- wanting to carry on, in a different way, in fulfilling the sense purpose you knew when you were full-time caring for Katie. I thought of that post right away as I read your words in this one, and it seems clear that this is the way, and you are walking in it. And how cool to have a free coach to help guide the way! May you be blessed as you move it and shake it in your home and garden!

Jennifer

Dawn~^i^Brandon^i^, Jordan, and Seth's mom said...

Wishing you HAPPY BLISSFUL homemaking and nesting. This is afterall your most important place, this side of Heaven.

Have a great day!
Dawn

runafteryou said...

For one reason or another this post brought tears to my eyes (maybe because I am pregnant). I have become obsessive about keeping my house clean and orderly...and what you wrote is just it, when you can no longer take care of your child, you find something...

Sheri said...

All of that sounds SO familiar, doesn't it?! It is amazing when our paths take a similar route. I have been nesting for a while now. You helped me put my finger on it as to why.

Love you sweet friend. Your courage in the face of change continues to draw my admiration.

HappyWifeHappyLife said...

I am so glad you're doing this - there is a certain very wonderful feeling that comes from nesting and self sufficiency, isn't there?

And, ALSO, thank you for turning me on to the Fly Lady! I've already started making some small steps to decluttering and cleaning out my house (not that it was a "serious" disaster, but because we've lived here 8 years things have "built up", as they tend to do...) I'm almost done de-cluttering the main floor, then the upstairs (which will take some time - all the bedrooms are upstairs)... and then the BASEMENT (cue DOOM AND GLOOM MUSIC) will be last. In fact, I will post when I enter the basement, because someone may want to send a search party after a certain amount of time passes. (Yes, it's THAT bad...)

Anyway, congrats on the nesting. It definitely brings a certain "je ne sais quoi".... peace, perhaps? definitely contentment... self-sufficiency, and a sense of well-being. ALL good stuff. :-)