Posted on 11 Comments

The work of my hands

I enjoy my online time immensely.  I spend it writing my blog, reading other blogs I enjoy, browsing Facebook, processing the day’s photos & Flicking them (Flicking? The verb form of Flickr, of course), responding to email, processing orders, working on websites for design clients, working on my own websites… and many other things I could name if I thought hard enough.  Some of it work, some of it play.  Most of it enjoyable.  I could easily whittle away my waking hours, computer on my lap, in the same cozy chair, with nothing but minimal breaks for food, drink, and bathroom.  And I could be happy most of the time I am at it, too.

But here’s the thing: at the end of a day like that, when the computer is shut down, and I am safely settled into my pajamas, there is a dissatisfaction that creeps into my consciousness.  I look around and really see my surroundings.  I may have made great strides in the campaign to have a spiffy blog sidebar, but at what cost?  Piles of laundry strewn about the bedroom, dishes stacked in the sink, kids running amok, stress, crankiness, and pizza delivery for supper?

Sure, all of those things can happen even when I’ve been nowhere near the laptop (and they do!), but I find that my domestic life hangs by an increasingly precarious string, the more time I spend typing.  And the more chaotic I allow life to get, the more I retreat into my cranky self, feeling defeated by my children, and keeping my husband at arm’s length.

I’m very often guilty of trying to avoid housework.  Very often.  Being busy with the computer is an exceedingly effective avoidance mechanism.  Still, I eventually do notice that my presence in the virtual world is having a negative impact on my real world(tm), and when that happens, I am reminded of the value of physical work.

296/365

Straightening up the living room

Fixing a watch

Folding laundry

Making supper

Spraying down the pool

Throwing a load of laundry into the machine in the morning, straightening up the living room, doing a small repair job for a paying customer, washing a few dishes, folding the clean laundry, cooking a meal, spraying down the kiddie pool… this is the work of my hands.  This is something that has a profoundly positive effect on the well-being of my family.  This is something I can take pride in, something tangible, and something I need not run away from so often.

Today, my hands have been busy.  I feel good about how my time has been spent.  I am guilt-free.  I am content. I am inspired to playfulness and affection with my kids.  And with my husband, too, for that matter.  Using my hands to better my physical world makes me happy.

This idea is not news to most of you, I’m sure.  I wish it wasn’t so often news to ME!  It might be nice not to have to re-learn the lesson every couple of months…

Posted on 11 Comments

11 thoughts on “The work of my hands

  1. i have to relearn this lesson fairly often too. most days, i feel like i strike a good balance between what i need to do and what i want to do. but then there are those days where the internet just sucks me in. i always feel really cruddy those days, even stressed.

    1. It’s weird, isn’t it? Being sucked into the internet feels good at the time, but afterwards, it makes you kind of cranky.

  2. I always thought I was the odd one out…I’m certainly not a 50’s sty;e suburban mom and wife. I love my very geeky career. But I also love caring for our home, cooking a good meal, even taking care of laundry and such. When I don’t get enough time to do those things, because of work schedules and other things, I feel the lack. I need my shot of domesticity to really feel good. Thanks for the reminder!

    1. I’ll bet a lot of us techy moms/wives have this issue to deal with in varying degrees!

  3. So funny, this is EXACTLY what I have been thinking recently. Thanks for making me feel “normal”.

    1. I like how you have decided that we’re both “normal” as opposed to the other alternative 🙂

  4. Yep, I have to relearn that lesson often too. Though in my case it happens faster, most weeks. So in that sense it becomes like a schedule almost. I’ve never been very good about balance so I aim to plan for the days when I will be computer absorbed or show absorbed or what not.

    This is helped by the fact that the BF, computer genius and net addict that he may be, is also one hyper pile of energy and home project addict. While annoying it’s also good to not have both of us be avoiders-of-our-worlds.

    1. Ah, see, I married a fellow-avoider. Not good for the old To-Do List!

  5. No doubt and in the end when all is said and done- what does all the blogging, computer time, bring? Does it give memories you will have for a life time with your children? Does it bring that “deep” satisfaction that only can come from the feeling of accomplishment. No everything is still there.. and the memories the children will have are you on the computer..

    I hope not(in my case that is)

    Thanks for the reminder
    Angie

    1. I do find the blogging to be fulfilling, and social in its way. And I have to say, having the blog to look back on has really helped me remember some of the nicer moments I’ve shared with my kids. It’s very valuable from that standpoint. But, yeah, there is a definite balance that needs to be struck, lest all we are remembered for is the way our faces glowed blue by the light of the laptop, LOL!

      Thanks for dropping by!

  6. […] I spent all day in Photoshop yesterday.  Fun, but a little cranky-making, simply because of the imbalance of it all, you […]

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