“My first book took five years to write and I made $1,000 on it. The second took three years and I made $3,000. All this time I was a housewife being supported by a husband. I was very lucky.” Judith Rossner
I wearily awoke at 5:25AM, bracing myself for the call. I’m beginning to think that nothing about my sub-life (play on words, intentional) will make me happy. I dread the call, but if it doesn’t come, I feel guilty for not working. Although I have the day off, I’m still tired from getting up early anyway. If I get the call the night before, I can sleep in a tad later, but I’m still dreading the job. The more I sub, the more I realize that no job turns out to be too bad, so my anxiety has lessened. Still….
This morning, I decided to hit the ground running. I happily realized that I had all of the ingredients to make jambalaya. Since subbing, my cooking has suffered because if I work and then run around after school, there’s not much time to prepare dinner. My cooking is in the same rut as my life, so I make: macaroni and cheese (homemade, at least), pasta with meatballs, nachos, and other quick-to-make dishes. Since we buy most of our food on Sunday, even if I don’t work, the weekly menu is already in place. I used to put one or two complicated dishes down for the week, but now that I’m subbing so often, I don’t trust that I’ll have time to cook anything that takes more time than preparing ground beef tacos and a salad. The jambalaya was supposed to be sausages and peppers, so I was glad to have the components to improvise.
When cooking was completed, I scrubbed the bathroom. We visited my father this Saturday and Sunday, so weekend chores went out the window. Next would be to clean the clutter on the dining room table (also a weekend chore). After that, I’d throw in a wash and put away all the folded laundry. I was beginning to feel like a 1950s housewife, but I couldn’t decide if that was good or bad, considering the state of my house. Had I become the domestic goddess I never desired to be? Hey, it’s not that clean and organized around here.
I was glad to at least have gotten out of ironing; when I work more, my husband takes it over. But now that I’ve had so much practice, I cringe when I note of how many seams he leaves on (or adds to) his shirts. My husband was ironing last night, talking to his mother, as my son practiced his piano, while my daughter was simultaneously singing and brushing her teeth (as usual), and I was in my bedroom, folding laundry. The sound of my husband’s voice, my son’s tune, and my daughter’s song was comfortingly familiar. It made me pause to appreciate the moment, even though I was folding laundry.
When I work, life is hectic. With the stress of subbing, cleaning, cooking, chauffeuring, and errands, I often forget to savor the satisfying moments. There’s much to appreciate in my life. Just as I want to take time from fretting about my challenges to enjoy what I have, I’m taking this space, sometimes used for whining, to remember what’s most important.