27 April 2012


Clearly I need to do more with my life than not get dressed, not clean my kitchen, and not fold my laundry. But I need to take this slowly--I don't want to get all excited about a hobby idea, do a bunch of research online and convince myself a) my life will never be complete without this hobby and b) this will make my family's existence so much better they'll start praying to me and maybe even build me a shrine whereat they leave me daily offerings of ice cream as though I were some sort of Indian cobra goddess. (People leave out bowls of milk for snake gods, right? I'm not making that up?)

So, this has to be a hobby that requires

  1. little-to-no monetary expenditure, unless I can justify it as being for the household, like furniture reupholstery, or HGTV-watching, or extreme couponing (I do enjoy cutting paper with scissors...);
  2. little-to-no regular sleep--no operating heavy machinery...except cars carrying small children, large appliances operating near small children, and doors blocked by small children mid-tantrum;
  3. little-to-no space--I have no craft room, no desk, no attic, no basement, no crawl space, no closet space, no shelf space, and very little mental space. (The hobby is kinda supposed to fix that last one.)
I've already considered and discarded many excellent ideas--writing, reading, needlework, photography, coloring, singing in the shower, getting dressed, cleaning my kitchen, folding my laundry (into origami), and Zen Buddhist meditation. Plenty of options that cover bettering my environment, clearing out my brain, avoiding my brain at all costs, being more active, being less active, or being completely inactive. I could just pick one of these and go with it...but then what do I do when I get bored with it next week?

New hobby idea: Watch Cars every day. It fits all my numbered criteria, requires no special preparation--and I can do it regardless of state of dress, health, or mental awareness. I'll learn more via observation about the intricacies of digital animation, feature-length film plotting, and literary character development. I'll memorize all the words to Sheryl Crow's "Get Gone" and James Taylor's "Our Town." I'll be able to list each of Luigi's tire offers to McQueen--so far, the one thing I know is that they actually get progressively worse each time (I can feel you getting more impressed with me already). 

This may take some convincing of Stephen--currently he only wants to watch it about 5 times a week. I'll just have to employ my sparkling powers of preschooler persuasion (they're vampire powers). It's important not to let your personal interests be neglected, even--especially--if that means your children don't get what they want all the time, so they aren't spoiled and you aren't burned out. Priorities.

12 April 2012

Real Housewives of Anne Arundel County

Eat it, "Bethenny" Frankel. I have my priorities straight. No plastic surgery, no ghostwritten book. I also know how to spell. And all those Marthas on Pinterest who make ice cream and pinwheels and silk screen scarves with their clean, smiling children--is it fun taking all morning to prep, spending most of the activity making the kids hold still so you can get good pictures, and then cleaning up after they've melted into a puddle of tantrum in a puddle of ice cream and silk dye?

Like I said, priorities:

  • Priority 1: Keep Children Alive. 
  • Priority 2: Make Dinner. 
  • Priority 3: ...It depends. Some days, Get Dressed. Others, Do Laundry. Sometimes even Don't Yell At Stephen For Being A 3-Year-Old. I like to mix it up. You gotta keep things fresh. 

Regardless of the status of Priority 3, to be a successful working mom-on-the-sit I always focus on my goal and I never make myself feel guilty for neglecting those specialty tasks other mothers use to try to impress each other.

Like kitchen hygiene.
Or decorating.
Or bed-making.
Or showering.
(I do, however, make love to the camera.)

My goal? Don't leave the house. It makes everyone tired and hungry, I spend too much money at Target, and I start getting wild ideas about being informed while listening to NPR on the car radio. Dangerous. So far I've got a 98% success rate. (The internet really helps here, if I find myself at loose ends.)

Why waste time and energy trying to keep up with the Frankel, or Martha? I'll only end up rich, famous, and thinking that 41-year-old me should be played by Mila Kunis in the movie of my life, or making brownies with Snoop Dogg. Actually that last one might be kinda cool.

Most importantly, in the pursuit of my goal I will spend time with my kids, which is the greatest gift a mother can give her children. That, or check Hyperbole and a Half for a new post. It's been a while.