Lately I've been on a mission to slack off more. Since I cut back my hours at work over a year ago, I've become more of a workaholic. It used to be, when I worked full-time, that when I'd get home I'd take it easy because, you know, I deserved it. I had been working hard all day earning a paycheck, so I felt entitled to some rest and relaxation in the evening. Now that I only work twenty-four hours a week outside the home, if I'm not at work-work, getting paid, I feel compelled to do something resembling work at home, whether that means writing or doing housework, to justify not being out in the world earning a bigger paycheck. If I sit in front of a screen to, say, watch a movie, I start to feel guilty.
I should be working. I'm not one of those pampered kinds of housewives who watches TV all day. If I'm not going to write something the least I could do is go scrub the soap scum off the bathtub or put away some laundry.
But that's a bunch of bunk.
Around Oscar time last month, when a friend asked me what my favorite movie was last year and the only two movies I could think of that I had even seen were kids' movies with Katie, I realized I haven't been allowing myself enough me-time. I need a break! Even when I read books for pleasure at home I feel like I'm working. I have to read them carefully so I can write a review on my blog, so I can know who to recommend them to at my job at the library, so I can gain insight from them for my own writing education. Reading, as much as I love it, as much as I can't live without it, is still work to me.
So I've rediscovered the pleasure of watching a movie I like, one that I've picked out, not for Katie, not for Will, just for me. Self-love.
After having trouble even getting a freaking DVD of my choosing home, I finally sat down the other day and watched the Maggie Gyllenhaal film, "Hysteria." It's a fun, frothy, fictionalized account of how the treatment of the once-common medical diagnosis hysteria led to the invention of the vibrator. The ending was a little too neatly tied-together, but the romantic leads were both adorable, and my husband and I laughed out loud throughout the film.
The only complaint I have is that I enjoyed myself so much while watching the movie that I completely forgot to get off the couch and put the laundry in the dryer. So when it was time for me to get ready for work-work the next morning, I had no clean socks.
I'm glad I'm a modern woman who has a rewarding career outside the home and who has equal rights and who is in control of my own body and mind, unlike most of the women in the movie. But I still struggle with juggling all my responsibilities that come with a blended work/home life. I should quit thinking of laundry as drudgery and accept it for what it's worth. I can't show up to work-work without clean socks.
But life is more than work and clean socks, and every now and then we all deserve a little self-love, so I'm glad I watched this movie and ditched my domestic duties for one night.