Getting my ducks in a row

There is an expression used in the Army: ‘Getting all your sh!t in one sock’. I am not 100% sure where it came from, but it is self-explanatory. Hubs and I use it so often, I have to now check I don’t say it at work. This past month or so has been so busy, in an effort to try and contain the craziness, I’ve been taking things upstairs and just dumping them into the study, because at least then I can close the door and not fret over it. If I can’t see it, (in theory) I can’t worry over it. While I knew the mess was there in the back of my mind, I didn’t physically have the time to even contemplate trying to sort it out. Life was too busy to find me the two hours I would need to tidy it away.

Notice the ‘me’ and the ‘I’ in that paragraph. Hubs, being a boy, doesn’t worry about what the house looks like. He’d be happy to wade through clothes to the bed like a teenager if needs be, I would be sat rocking in a corner, but he’d be ‘Meh’.

Our bedroom is always tidy, we always make the bed, we always put clothes away when they’ve been washed and ironed. While I have a stack of books beside my bed, it is a neat and tidy stack of books beside the bed. I’ve learnt from past experience, I have a hard enough time sleeping as it is, I really can’t sleep with chaos around me. Back to me again. Back to my OCD, or is it, is it a boy/girl, Mars/Venus thing?

There are days, particularly this week, where the longest time we’ve spent in the house was in the mornings, having breakfast, packing bags and collecting lunch from the fridge. We get home in the evening with time to undress and hop into bed, to start the cycle all over again. I keep trying to not to beat myself up about the state of the house, even if it means I fidget, get restless and twitchy, because if you don’t have the time, you don’t have the time. So I kept adding to, then shutting the door on the study, which got nick-named ‘the brothel’, because it was a room of ill repute, but it did mean the areas of the house I spent the most time were tidy, although desperately in need of a dust. Today dawned, after a lay-in until 9:30, breakfast with my boy and a bit of pottering around the house, I collected yet more stuff that needed to be put away upstairs and girded my loins, took a deep breath and started the tidying.

Two hours almost to the minute, I was left with floor! and desk! and neat piles of things I need to work through, instead of a heaving mass of stuff. I have long since given up asking for Hubs to tidy his sh!t up in the study, so I stuffed it all into a filing cabinet drawer. When he complains he can’t find anything, he will be directed to it, with a pointed finger. Maybe the middle one? That’s a bit harsh really because while I was sorting through paperwork, he was vacuuming and washing the floors. But until he gets given another job to do, he’ll work on his Homer Simpson arse groove in the couch watching the V8s.

This is probably the only thing we have disagreements on in our relationship, I don’t want to give a fully grown man jobs to do around the house. I want him to think, ‘the floors need doing’, or ‘the bathroom needs cleaning’, and then do them. I have enough to think about, I look after people for a living so directing what needs to be done in the house is something I don’t want to think about. However, no matter what I try, when I don’t think about it, nothing gets done. I don’t think we will ever resolve it. As 80% of issues in a marriage are unsolvable, this seems to be our unresolvable issue. I’ve tried nightly tasks, I’ve tried leaving things until he notices then does them – hint, it doesn’t work and leaves me rocking in a corner, sobbing ‘unclean, unclean’. But it will still come back to me to say, ‘the bathroom needs cleaning’ before he will do it.

When we first started seeing each other and I was driving down to spend weekends with him in his flat, I was always greeted with a pile of dishes on the draining board, soap suds in the sink giving a clue that they had been done that night, but for the rest of the week, he was racking, stacking and packing dirty dishes all round his little kitchen.

I wish I knew why boys don’t care or mind that they can live in cess-pits, but girls like to be able to find things so put things away where they belong. It probably goes back the berry gathering and looking after the children in the tribe while the men go off and hunter gather. Maybe we’re not meant to have so much clutter around, if we didn’t have so much ‘stuff’ it would be easier to maintain. I’ve reached a point though where I am struggling to get rid of anything else. The study is the last bastion, the last strong hold of over spilling papers and chaos. I need a weekend to spend on filing, culling the paperwork that was brought over from the UK, that we no longer need. Anyone have a spare two days up their sleeve I could borrow? I have to work in here this weekend, I need to catch up on my DipMan projects, I’d like to catch up on some work too, but for me to work effectively, I need space, peace and quiet – and clear surfaces. Which is why I spent two hours this morning getting all my sh!t into one sock. I now have the rest of the weekend to concentrate and catch-up.

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