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Monday, April 26, 2010

Equality and Independence

Suddenly, I'm all about equality and independence. It's bizarre and strange and new.

And I think I like it.

Saturday morning, Joe was taking part in a stream clean-up with the church group that I uncermoniously broke up with earlier this year. My original plan for the morning involved writing and working on some of my projects but my immediate inclination after he left was to unload the dishwasher and clean up what was accumulating in the sink instead.

I had barely turned on the water when I turned it back off. Wait, why am *I* wasting this opporunity for some me-time by doing chores? He's spending his Saturday morning as he chooses, why does that mean I have to do the housework?

And so I didn't. I spent almost three hours reading, writing, browsing, enjoying. When he returned home and started to mow the lawn, I put in a load of laundry, washed the dishes, and vacuumed up the twelve layers of Tonya's fur.

Yeah, equality. He plays, I play. He works, I work. He takes care of the house, I take care of the house.

Sure, it isn't always going to be equal. Sometimes, we help each other out or pick-up the extra when someone is out of commission. Caring for the home, including cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping, fell almost completely on me while he was working on his MBA. The one thing I did refuse to do was mow the yard, which meant it sometimes went a couple of weeks between mowings. But somehow we survived. And he's been left to handle things when I've been recuperating from various health issues.

But during a time like this, when all other demands are nearly equal, I'm learning to make myself a priority. My weekend alone while he was away at a wedding was so fantastic that I'm going to insist on carving out me-time on a regular basis. I'm even planning a me-retreat thanks to a deal I found on a hotel room in the next town over.

Heck, I'm even signing up for a semi-local conference regardless of his decision to attend or skip it. And if we do go, we'll barely see each other because we'll be on different tracks. I actually want to meet some people!

All this from a girl who has spent nights home alone while Joe traveled but who has never left Joe for a night home alone while she was off somewhere. All this from a girl who has busted her butt to please others and support her husband while losing sight of herself. I don't intend to stop supporting him, but I also need to support me.

Equality, independence. Suddenly, they make sense. And I want them. It's like someone flipped a switch and I'm ready.


C. Beth said...

WOO HOO! And I love the "me retreat" idea--that's awesome.

The Brown Recluse said...

You go, Girl! I love my "me" time. If I didn't get some every day, I'd be nuts. No lie.

Melinda said...

Nothing beats a nice healthy dose of me time.

Lora said...

this is EXACTLY how I feel! I hate how Dave gets to relax when he's home alone and I come home to dirty dishes and crap all over the place but when I'm home alone I feel like it's a "good opportunity to get some stuff done"

Good on you to take back some hours!

InspiredDreamer said...

GOOD FOR YOU!!! Housework will always be there, but having quality time to just BE yourself is sooo very important. Kudos!

Have an Extraordinary Day!

Princess Andy said...

i love this post sweetheart!

you crossed the line from *wanting* to take time just for you, and now you're DOING IT.

i am so admiring you right now.

but i still admire you more for your lack of fingerprints.

this could benefit us at some point. will let you know.

<3 you!!!!!


A. said...

Happy for you Cate! I'm working on crossing the line myself. Brilliant & inspiring!

foolish heart said...

you go girl! "ME" time is very very important...enjoy your new found equality!!

TMC said...


mo.stoneskin said...

Go for it hon. And leave Joe alone for a TV night in from time to time, I'm sure he won't mind.

Kristan said...

Rock on, lady! That's awesome. I'm glad you're embracing this, and I hope it's great for you and your marriage.

Semi-Hippie Solo Mama said...

I have the opposite problem. I love my me time too much and therefore am sticking with being single. lol I'm overly independant (is that possible?) to the point where I don't even know if I could let anyone else in. I'm glad that you are taking time to realize that you too are important.

Toriz said...

Excellent! Good luck with getting some time for yourself! :)