Sunday, February 01, 2009

Diary of a Bad Housewife

It's been a week since my job of 11+ years and I parted ways, and it's been one of the strangest, busiest weeks I've endured in a very long time. I wish I could tell you that things were falling into place, and that I'm adjusting to my new status as an economic statistic, but I just haven't made it that far yet. There's still so much to do, and organize, and think through -- and I haven't even had a spare moment to compile a to-do list or four.

The first few days have been somewhere beyond weird. My head's been spinning with all of the strange and unfamiliar tasks I've had to do, plus I've experienced a different emotion every five minutes. I'm told this is a normal part of the process, but it doesn't please me or comfort me much that I'm having to go through it in the first place.

One of the weirder tasks involved having to pack up all of the company-owned equipment here in my home office and drive it down to the office building, then surrender it (along with my badge, my access card, and my Amex corporate card) to one of the security guards. The guards were very sweet to me; it's just that I realized that I was now a guest in the building, and not allowed beyond the front lobby any more. I'm somewhat glad that I didn't run into anyone I know. That would have made for more awkwardness that I think I could have handled.

The Universe does provide, though. When word got out that I was out of work, I was deluged with offers of Web site work -- so many that I need another to-do list just to keep them all organized. In a way, you might say that I got my wish. At one point, I was working on one Web site or another and thinking, "I LOVE this stuff. I wish I could do this for a living." At least for now, that's what I'm doing. The going rate for such work is approximately half what I was making, though -- so I'm afraid that Web work will always have to be part-time for me. I'll have to find another full-time gig doing what I was doing. In the meantime, I have as much "fun work" ahead of me as I can possibly handle. (Thanks to Sue and Dale for getting things started. I am grateful.)

Another thing I caught myself saying was, "If I only had a little time off, I could REALLY straighten up this house." That hasn't happened yet, either. I've been so taken up with all of the crazy details of work (new and old) that I've only been able to keep up with the bare minimum of routine tasks, let alone tackle any of the real messes.

At least cooking is fun again. While I've been working, much of the day-to-day meal prep has fallen to Greg. He can cook better than he thinks he can, but his big meal is breakfast. There are two camps of cooks: those who eat to live, and those who live to eat. Greg is an Eat-to-Live. I'm a Live-to-Eat. In my version of Hell, you get served microwaved spaghetti topped with Ragu every single night. At least this whole new spare-time phenomenon means that I can get to the fish market before it closes, so we've been eating more salmon and less pasta.

My youngest sister sent me a call for help this past week that will result in some more cooking -- only not for us. She lives with my dad, and as his health issues get more complicated, she has had to assume more of his day-to-day care: food preparation, getting him to appointments, listening to the doctors, coping with the increasing number of emergencies, and so on. She asked me to drive down there and take Dad out to lunch a couple of times a month so she can have a respite and some time to herself, and also to make some food that agrees with his diet, freeze it, and bring that. It isn't really so much to ask, aside from the 300-mile round trip drive. My siblings have been helping some, and it's just my turn.

At Least the Knitting Statistics Are Showing an Upward Trend

Thus far, I haven't indulged my very small-but-sweet fantasy of spending an entire day just knitting. I did manage to finish another scarf for Susannah out of some pretty reddish-bronze ribbon yarn in my stash, and I've shipped it off to her. I've pulled some skinny chenille yarn from the same stash and have cast it on for the next scarf (I loathe chenille yarn, but the colors were irresistible). I've also turned the heel on the second of my dad's Scheepjes socks and am making my way slowly down the foot. At the rate I'm going, he might actually be able to wear them before the vernal equinox.

Greg mentioned how much he loves watch caps. At least now I know what I can knit for him that he actually would wear. Now, if only I could find where my Denise needles got off to...


Pamela said...

Karen, I'm behind in reading your blog and am now having an emotional response to the change your life is taking. To quote a friend's favorite saying, "Been there. Done that. Have the t-shirt."

We're all different, and naturally our own life is the most important, but I do want you to know I had a similar experience and feel for you. I think what still gets to me is that had I known how things were going to settle, I could have made better use of my unemployed time and cleaned out the basement, etc. But instead I rode the emotional roller coaster. I now know that's perfectly normal.

On a lighter note, I am now an official Jan Fennell Dog Listener, and we are now setting up a new business. Diversification is good, they say.

Do use your blog to document the journey you are on. Know you have just even acquaintances who care.

Sharon said...

I'm sure you don't need sappy platitudes right now, but I will just say that the cliche about doors closing and windows opening is very often true. I will be watching to see what wanders into your newly opened window. I am betting it will be good. Maybe even better.