Thursday, November 5, 2015

slow housewifery

This week I am embracing the role of housewife.  As long as I am unemployed, might as well savor the joys of what I’m calling “slow housewifery”. My mother did this every day, as long as I knew her. It involves simple daily tasks and projects done at a thoughtful (dare I say, mindful) pace and with appreciation for the task and for its outcome. (I also just finished reading hand wash cold and loved the author’s care instructions for an ordinary life.)

After exercise and breakfast, the day begins with the tidying phase. Tidying is making the bed, sweeping the floor and cleaning up the breakfast mess. These little jobs don’t take long, but they are so satisfying when completed. I recently read Colin Wright’s post about the time he takes each week to reset his life to zero and decided I wanted to do that with the daily tidying. Every morning. Reset the rooms to zero. 

The next phase is to leave, get out, shuffle into the light. The outdoors is a huge part of my happy mind. Even if I have already gone for a run before breakfast, I feel the need to get out once the tidying is done. In this new town, there is a nice grocery store a 20-minute walk from the apartment. I gather my canvas bag and list (I use the Paprika recipe manager and love it!), sally forth, and turn on Map My Run, so I can get credits for my challenges. Even if I only need one item, the walk out helps me greet the day.

I explore along the way, of course, since I am still learning this town. The other day I happened upon a soccer field with two fire trucks parked, one from our town and one from the next town over. The radio was on and the gear was all piled neatly ready to be donned in case they got a call, but the teams were enjoying a beautiful fall day out of the station.

In between the high rise office buildings and parking garages that make up this section of town (and I use the term loosely, since this is not a town, but a “census-designated place”), the development authorities are attempting to preserve a bit of nature in the tween spaces and make it accessible to pedestrians. Translation: there are trails through the woods!  Yi-ha!  I found a place to walk! One of these trails is actually on the way between my apartment and the grocery store. 

Once I have returned with today’s recipe ingredients (black bean-sweet potato chili and cornbread) and put them away, it’s time for the second cup of tea and to get down to the day’s projects. My current project is to digitize a notebook and audio recordings created during the 2002 round-the-country journey my mother-in-law and her sister made. I have the photos scanned, the audio transcribed and am 3/4 of the way through the handwritten notebook. I plan to post the edited version into blog format so the whole family can relive it anytime.

Yesterday I also enjoyed some plain old connection time. I chatted on the phone with both my daughter and mother-in-law about just stuff: what friends and family are up to, who made what Halloween costume (and which dog has to wear the pig suit again this year!) and what fun recipes they’ve been making. 

Life. Slow. Mindful. Tidy. 

The path to the grocery store. The leaves smelled so good this morning.