July 25, 2013
While I hope to be teaching soon and do consider myself a teacher by profession, and while I'm working as a writer these days, there's also the way that from all outward appearances, my current job is homemaker.
A weird part of the adjustment has been having to give myself permission to enjoy and take pride in the work. To be clear, I do not enjoy cleaning. But I do like having a clean home. I genuinely enjoy decorating and organizing. And I've found cooking to be a great creative outlet. Am I a bad feminist for not hating this? I decide no. I'm not being kept down by the patriarchy, nor am I doing these things because I don't believe, as a woman, I'm good for anything else. This is what I'm doing right now, so I choose to find the joy in it and take pride in creating a nice home for us.
It has helped that since we just moved, there was (and continues to be) a lot of decorating and organizing to be done. It'll be a lot less compelling when it's just trying to keep the place clean, but for now, quite a bit of The Great Big Deployment To Do List has to do with house stuff. And that doesn't include any cleaning. (The Great Big Deployment To Do List is another prong in my make it feel like the time is passing ever so quickly until Raj's return plan.)
What had looked like it was goint to be one of the more daunting tasks was unpacking and organizing our home office. When we did the great unpackening during the week between our stuff arriving and our housewarming party, we unpacked and organized every room except the office. In there, we stacked stuff on the desk and pushed the boxes against the walls to leave space for my yoga mat.
The challenge was going to be that we have a lot less storage in this desk than in our previous one. And we have kind of a lot of office supplies. Or at least I thought we had kind of a lot of office supplies. It turns out we have a ridiculous amount of office supplies. We basically never need to buy staples, Post-Its, or index cards again. Or rulers or business size envelopes. Or pens.
This became clear to me thanks to my shoe rack turned office supply organizer:
Look how easily we can find everything! It's pretty exciting. That's not sarcasm. I've been keeping my office-related stuff in two big decorative storage boxes from IKEA for a few years now, so whenever I needed something, I had to go root through those. Today I needed an envelope and look! There they are right in front of me! And the whole unpacking and organizing project only took me an afternoon.
Note: this does not include the many supplies still packed up in my School Stuff boxes in the closet. Meaning that yes, those crayons are for our personal use.
The sad part is that I was pretty sure the office project was going to justify a trip to Nitori (Japanese IKEA, basically) for organizey stuff. Alas, no. Between the door organizer, the desk, and one of my storage boxes, we're pretty well set. Good news for the budget, bad news for my desire to spend an afternoon poring over aisle upon aisle of stylish, compact, and efficient Japanese organizing solutions. I will say it was easier to come to terms with this after shelling out for grad school books and knowing that my tuition bill will soon arrive via email.
With that cost comes the reality that even if a teaching job doesn't materialize, my occupation still changes next month. Grad student. Which is even more motivation to tackle the to do list now. While there will still be the work of keeping it up once school starts, I'd like before then to finish getting our home made.