I think there’s a name for the mental block that occurs when you can’t start a project specifically due to having not cleaned and organized sufficiently before hand. It’s a form of procrastination, I think, but I haven’t been able to find a specific term or treatment of it online; it’s just some vague thing I remember from college that may or may not have been real.
That’s basically the situation I’m living in now, and I LOVE it. It’s been over a month without any income for me, since I quit my job to pursue greener pastures, and while I’ve managed to budget reasonably well what I set aside for the adventure, we’ve cut back dramatically on excess spending. Instead of head down focusing on building the empire, though, I’ve been focusing mainly on taking care of all the little things that usually get sidetracked in life. Cleaning the house, exercising, spending time on hobbies and spending time with people.
Ang has said several times that she’s pleasantly surprised at how well she likes the arrangement. “I wear something on Monday, and by Friday it’s clean again!” was her latest example. Doing housework used to be tedious because it cut into limited precious free time, but now it’s more relaxing, and really satisfies a need to organize that I used to expend on work. There’s so much more flexibility in my time that I rarely feel rushed or pressured to do any specific thing.
As an example, I started this post a solid week ago, but am just now getting back to it. I try to do a little bit of everything every day, but don’t feel too bad if I skip something. Exercise, writing, programming, cleaning, cooking… Lifehacker described something similar a while back, but they have a more obsessive way of tracking it.
I’ve managed to reorganize most of our basement, and clean a lot of things out of storage. I’ve lowered the backlog of laundry down to a couple of days and improved how we organize clean laundry while doing so. I’ve learned a ton about home and auto maintenance, saving a bundle of money from those endeavors. I’ve lost something in the range of 30 pounds (well, nearly 20 of which were since I quit working), and I’ve biked, walked, or jogged a couple hundred miles. I’ve finished making a garbage can for Angela that she’s long wanted and really fixed up the wood shop for the next projects.
I mention this all for a lot of reasons. One is that I may be going back to full time work soon, and I want to remember how much I enjoy this, as a benchmark for how much I enjoy working. Another is that I’ve been finding success in my hobbies — I’ve had three people commission woodworking pieces from me without my ever having offered to anyone to do so — and if I can get something like that to pay the bills while still having this level of flexibility then that may be something I want to hold on to. Lastly, it reinforces how much I like the dynamic staying at home brings to my relationship.
As a related aside, Ang has been watching Gilmore Girls, since it’s on Netflix now… we watched an episode about Donna Reed last night, where good ole Donna was being mocked for being such a housewife… I’m not trying to be accused of comparing myself to 1950s housewives, nor to start a gender bias flame war… but I do see the appeal of the breadwinner/housekeeper duo. We’ll see how soon I get bored with it (or how soon I miss the money). 🙂 I have a few clients on the wire, so I may be back to my usual job cadence sooner rather than later.