I just finished reading Shauna Niequist’s new book, Bittersweet. And first off, no, this is not a blog tour. I actually paid full price for this book. And it might be the first book that I have paid full price for in years. But it was worth every penny. Really. I could write lots of things about this book, but mostly I just suggest you read it ( or Cold Tangerines if you haven’t already read that). It will make you happier and hungrier ( she talks about good food a lot). One chapter she mapped out the things she does and equally important, the things she doesn’t do. In other words we all have only a fixed amount of energy. When we choose to do something, we are ultimately choosing not to do other things. So it is kind of important to figure out those other things ahead of time. My “things I do” list would be eerily similar to hers and so instead of plagiarizing I’ll only post my “things I don’t do”. And let me clarify – everything on this list is something I used to do, I should do or I love. They are not things that I look down on or do not value. I simply focus what little time and energy I have on those other things. The ones I am better at or fill me up.
Things I don’t do.
1. Hang laundry. Really almost never. I see it as kind of like making the bed (something I also don’t do). You are just going to take it down and wear it again…what is the point of hanging it up in the first place. Thankfully, my husband often does this. (and yes I realize that actually hanging your clothes prevents you from looking like one big wrinkle when you leave the house.) Oddly enough I actually like doing laundry. Just not the putting away part.
2. Unfortunately I don’t iron either. That with the above makes for a bad combination. Again, thankfully my husband does this when I ask nicely. Even if it means getting out of bed well before his alarm goes off. He is pretty great like that. Otherwise I leave the house looking like one big wrinkle.
3. Match my socks. I’ve been known to sport a St. Patricks Day sock and a sock with chickens on it at the same time. My thought is who sees your socks and who has time to sort through the laundry to find pairs. Occasionally I get caught and am a little embarrassed. I do, however, match my kids socks. Only because I have this fear that un-matching socks is on some child abuse checklist and that their daycare will report me.
4. Twitter. I have an account. But I don’t use it. I figure I waste enough time online as it is. Also I feel too much pressure to be funny and don’t work well with word limits. I also don’t read anyone else’s tweets.
5. I don’t play Mafia or Farmville or any of that other junk. I don’t even play words with friends. And I love word games. I am a kick ass scrabble player but am afraid if I started playing words with friends I wouldn’t be able to stop. I might have to join a 12 step program or something.
6. I hardly ever watch movies. And I like movies, I used to be a movie buff. I loved to go on opening night. I love going to slightly obscure movies that are only shown in very select theatres. I love a tub of popcorn or some junior mints. But this is one thing that has had to go with kids. If I have a free evening – I want to spend it somewhere I can actually have a conversation. I rarely even watch DVDs because I get interrupted so many times that it is just too frustrating. I did however, see Inception this week and it. was. awesome. For the record, I think it totally stops spinning.
7. I don’t write thank you cards. I know, this is incredibly rude. I always mean to. I should. But it doesn’t happen. Ever. So if you have ever bought me or my kids anything. Thank you. We really do appreciate it, even if I don’t have any manners.
8. I don’t dust or scrub anything. I hate to clean. I am a slob. It makes for a bad combination. I don’t mind loading the dishwasher or wiping off counters, but that is about as far as I go. Unlike the hanging of clothes, this is one area where my husband doesn’t really pick up much of the slack. We are both slobs. We are gross. We pay someone every so often (not nearly enough) to scrub and dust for us. I’d rather mow the lawn than vacuum. Which my neighbor can tell you I don’t do enough of either.
9. I don’t wear eyeliner. Pretty much my morning routine after showering and hair drying takes all of about 5 minutes.
10. I don’t craft. I like to craft. I have loads of scrapbooking stuff and I can do some amazing things with modge podge. I even had a stained glass phase. But that time and energy goes other places. Exceptions are made for making occasional gifts or if I am hanging out with friends who are crafting. I guess this only makes me a social crafter.
11. Lately I haven’t watched much TV. I love TV. TiVo changed my life. Psych. Parenthood. Burn Notice. The Food Network. 30 Rock. Old episodes of Gilmore Girls…just for starters. But we canceled our cable back in April. I assumed I’d just watch my favorite shows on the internet. So far I’ve only watched one episode of one show. Occasionally I miss it. But mostly I don’t.
12. I don’t redecorate. Before we bought our home I watched a lot of HGTV. We painted and refinished and laid tile and flooring and I created rooms with themes. I like looking at Hobby Lobby for cute little knick knacks and frames. But these days, I mostly decorate with Legos and clean laundry.
13. I don’t bake. Unless croissants from a Pillsbury tube count. I like to cook. I am good at it. I like trying new recipes. And pretty much anything with feta in it. But baking requires actually following a recipe. Exactly. It requires lots of stirring and sifting and sticking toothpicks in. I am bad at it. I will occasionally break out the bread machine but that is about as far as it goes. I do greatly appreciate it when other people bake. Especially anything with chocolate.
14. I also don’t shred my own cheese. I know it is cheaper and better for you, but you can never have that time back. Or those little pieces of your knuckles.
15. I don’t wash my hair everyday. Every other day is suffice. Unless I worked out. Maybe.
16. I don’t fight my kids over food. If they don’t want to eat it they don’t have to. I offer them something boring to eat (like a peanut butter sand which) or save the leftovers for when they tell me they are hungry again in an hour. I ask them to try things once, but there is really no point in the same fight every time. If he didn’t like it last week, he probably doesn’t like it tonight.
17. I don’t read chain emails. I also don’t send them. Unless they really funny. I’m sure this means I will have 7 years bad luck or missed out on some middle eastern prince who wants me to invest his money, but I just don’t do it.
18. I don’t clip coupons. I’ve tried. I could certainly use the savings. But the newspaper distracts me. I am a cover to cover kind of girl. I also end up buying crap I don’t need just because I have a coupon.
19. I avoid the mall at all costs. Lots of reasons here. I like clothes. I like new things. But the truth is I don’t need them. So I mostly try to avoid the temptation. Target, on the other hand is a different story.
20. I don’t re-read. This goes for most books and especially my own writing. There are very few books I re-read or movies I re-watch. I also don’t re-read my own writing enough. Hence all the typos, misspellings and pasts that occasionally don’t makes sense. Sorry about that.
21. I don’t ever speak without thinking. I don’t ever over commit or double book my time. I don’t ever lose important things like my wallet or cell phone. I don’t waste large chunks of time on facebook and reading blogs. I don’t ever obsess about what I should have or shouldn’t have said. I don’t ever occasionally drink too much wine. I don’t ever stay up too late reading and am super sleepy and grumpy in the morning. Oh wait. Maybe I do all of those things. But I wish I didn't.