I am frustrated because I am a perfectionist. And since going back to work full time PLUS still working with Bosslady part time my perfection level had dropped to complete non-perfection. In my 4 days off I desperately tried to catch up on stuff and only finished half my list. I did clean the house and finish building the chicken coop but I didn't fix my car window or catch up on blogging or even exercise.
So I've decided to relax my standards. For now, at least.
And as a Singlutionary, I feel that relaxing my standards and cutting myself some slack is an excellent thing to do. Sometimes I expect myself to run my life as if I were a couple. I expect myself to bring home the bacon, cook wholesome meals, look pretty at all times and maintain an immaculately vacuumed carpet. You know how feminists talk about how women work and then they come home to the "second shift" aka housekeeping, child rearing, etc. Well. I have my own second shift, third shift, 16th shift. I expect myself to build chicken coops, work two jobs, fix my own car (which, by the way, is older than I am), eat super healthy organic homegrown and homecooked meals and write every day all the while looking like a lady of leisure with blow dried hair and manicured nails pushed into cute little heels.
Sometimes I think that I forget to take myself seriously because I am single. I forget how much I work or the value of the work that I do. I forget that I am running a household of four and despite the fact that I am biologically unrelated to any of of my roommates, I am still in charge of making sure everyone communicates, is generally happy and has enough toilet paper. I fall into thinking that I live a frivolous life because hey, I don't have a husband and kids so everything must just be easy like giggling while eating marshmallow fluff. Its OK. Every Singlutionary has her moments of non-singlutionary-ness. I forgive myself.
But it is time to extend a few reminders to my Singlutionary self:
You're just one. This doesn't mean that I'm alone or lonely or that there is anything that I can't do. But it does mean that I can't expect to keep up with the JonesES. One person might be able to do more than half of what two people do but I still can't expect myself to work 50 hours a week AND have a normal life AND fix everything around the house in one weekend.
You're just one AND you're part of a community: The only reason I was able to complete one of my long incomplete projects (namely, building a chicken coop which is all done save a lack of empty beer cans to tile the roof with --we'll be emptying the beer cans en masse in a few weeks) was with the help of my Habitat-for-Humanity-friend/former-roommate. She liked the chicken coop idea and has worked tirelessly with me to bring it to eggtion (I was trying to play on the word fruition but it didn't quite work).
You're just one AND you're part of a greater community which you serve through your actions: Singles are often accused of being selfish or self centered by coupled folks. We're also accused of not being grown up. I think that sometimes I let this sneak in and eat away at my Singlution. Sometimes I think that my life is so fantastic that I MUST be selfish and self centered and that since I don't really have anything "serious" to do, I can just get all caught up in my own private and perfect life.
Well. My life is great. I am so grateful for everything, for this blog, for the communities and friends which do support me, for my new job, for Bosslady, for my dog and for chicken poo.
But that doesn't mean that my actions or my projects are irrelevant or unimportant. I am attempting to grow my own food not only for myself but to be shared with my roommates and friends. I am getting chickens to assist in pesticide free and organic pest control and to lay fresh eggs which I will not even eat (I'm allergic). I've created a sustainable business model by renting out furnished rooms in my home to people relocating to my fantastic city. I've installed rainwater collection barrels so that I can consume less water during times of drought (and its always a drought down here).
I'm no Mother Theresa but my ideals and actions are not as much about myself (although I do enjoy my projects immensely) but about creating and sharing a wonderful space with people in-between cities, contributing to the quality of air and quantity of water in my city and basically being a good friend and neighbor. These are my interests and I am blessed to be able to pursue the life that I want to live and to see the things that I do have a small but stealthy impact on the world around me. Just being a joyful, loving person can uplift and inspire someone.
Lately my volunteer duties have fallen by the wayside as I have had to spend more and more time on the house and then at work. And I've felt selfish. But the stuff that I do is a far cry from spending all day shopping for a new Segway.
I am at once grateful for the wonderful people in my life and grateful that I can be a wonderful person in other people's lives.
I still feel angst about the hallway being un-sanded and half prepped for painting six weeks and counting. I still want everything to be perfect.
But as I am learning with my car: as soon as one part is perfect, another part falls off.
That is life. Its true if your single and its true if you're coupled. And its time I quit resisting and started celebrating this fact.
Dear Reader: Please take a moment to pat yourself on the back. What do you do with your life that is doing good in the world even in a small, quiet way. How are you, even through doing things you love, unselfish? Where could you loosen up your own self imposed standards of perfection and cut yourself some slack?