28 June 2016

Screw the Laundry

My friend shared this image on Facebook recently. I love her but I couldn’t disagree more. Yes, I’m a mom and one of the ways I take care of my family is by doing laundry. But I get absolutely no sense of satisfaction or accomplishment over having an empty laundry basket.

A full laundry basket means we have been running, swimming, biking, gardening, baking, painting, fixing motorcycles, eating chocolate ice cream, and puking with excitement. An empty basket means I probably went without a much-needed nap in order to fold laundry instead.

I know it’s a joke and I’m not saying it isn’t right to feel a sense of accomplishment over getting chores done. I can’t help but think, though, that jokes like these continue to drive home the implication that women need to do all the chores. Regardless of if they work full-time, regardless of their other activities, a mother’s job is to not only get that fucking laundry done but to be elated about it.

If the best five seconds of the week is the moment all the laundry is done, then is the worst five seconds the moment new dirty laundry appears? Because most weeks I wish dirty laundry was the worst of my problems.

Sometimes the best five seconds of my week is a moment I have with Muffin. Sometimes it’s a moment I have with Mike. Sometimes it’s a moment I have alone. It will never be the moment the laundry is done.

06 June 2016

Quiet Support


After a chat with Muffin about the very few times it's
appropriate to write in a book, I found this heart penciled
in the margin of my Murakami paperback.
It’s Monday morning. I’ve run. I’ve had my smoothie (greenish). I'm sitting down at my laptop to write.

I’m not here to be your cheerleader and tell you how amazing I feel. I don’t care if you drink smoothies or not. I happen to like them and adding a few leaves of spinach isn’t too bad. The truth is, my motivation is personal and yours is, too.

I started reading Haruki Murakami’s memoir, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, this week. I pretty much want to underline every sentence, there’s so much of it that I relate to. If you really need motivation for this morning, go read this book. (I’ll be writing a more formal review of it once I’m finished.) “Writing novels and running full marathons are very much alike. Basically a writer has a quiet, inner motivation, and doesn’t seek validation in the outwardly visible.”

This is why I keep my daily mileage on Strava, where everyone who’s there is because they are interested in that, rather than Facebook. This is why I don’t post my daily word counts to Twitter and rarely use the #amwriting tag. (If I really am writing, I’m not on Twitter.) I support my followers and those whom I follow in their running and writing endeavors. I know several people training for races and working on writing projects this year and I’ve got your backs. I do pay attention to what you're up to.

I’ve been drinking my smoothie every day for a week but I’ve forgotten to do my plank most days. I've done all the running I've needed to do. I've written some days and some days I haven't. The world has continued to turn despite my not following a plan and not documenting every moment of it for public consumption.

I'm only accountable to myself.

(I stared at this post for hours once I finished writing it without a title idea.)

Chapter Six: The Shoemaker: A Tale of Two Cities with Women

For background on the project and to see all the chapters at once, go to the tag A Tale of Two Cities Project . Chapter Six: The Shoemak...