June 6, 2010

All it's cracked up to be (or the longest post in Eternia, but there's a cute clip at the end)

I’ve never been down with chiropractics. I don’t mean to disparage the profession, the practitioners nor belittle the help so many swear by – it’s just not for me. I assume my bones, joints, soft tissues, etc. have worked out some sort of homeostasis, and if we start mucking with one part, the whole system is going to break down. It’s kind of like Mr. Burns:

Burns: Well, doc, I think I did pretty well on my tests. You may shake my hand if you like.
Doctor: Well, under the circumstances, I'd rather not.
Burns: Eh?
Doctor: Mr. Burns, I'm afraid you are the sickest man in the United States. You have everything.
Burns: You mean I have pneumonia?
Doctor: Yes.
Burns: Juvenile diabetes?
Doctor: Yes.
Burns: Hysterical pregnancy?
Doctor: Uh, a little bit, yes. You also have several diseases that have just been discovered -- in you.
Burns: I see. You sure you haven't just made thousands of mistakes?
Doctor: Uh, no, no, I'm afraid not.
Burns: This sounds like bad news.
Doctor: Well, you'd think so, but all of your diseases are in perfect balance. Uh, if you have a moment, I can explain.
Burns: Well ... [looks at his watch]
[the Doctor puts a tiny model house door on his desk]
Doctor: Here's the door to your body, see? [bring up some small fuzz balls with goofy faces and limbs from under the desk] And these are oversized novelty germs. [points to a different one up as he names each disease] That's influenza, that's bronchitis, [holds up one] and this cute little cuddle-bug is pancreatic cancer. Here's what happens when they all try to get through the door at once. [tries to cram a bunch through the model door. The "germs" get stuck]
[Stooge-like] Woo-woo-woo-woo-woo-woo-woo! Move it, chowderhead!
[normal voice] We call it, "Three Stooges Syndrome."
Burns: So what you're saying is, I'm indestructible!
Doctor: Oh, no, no, in fact, even slight breeze could --
Burns: Indestructible.

Or if you’re not a Simpson’s fan, it’s like John Daly’s golf swing. He goes way beyond parallel on his back swing, but there are all these other compensations and techniques that work in tandem with the back swing to make it turn out quite awesome. If a golf chiropractor tried to adjust his back swing, the whole thing would be ruined.

So perhaps my spine, et al are not optimally arranged, but the take home point is this: yes, it’s possible that it would be better, but it’s also possible that it would be worse …much, much worse. It’s what I wrestled with before finally getting my eyebrows waxed. Oh and that reminds me – a take home point addendum: even though my brows looked way better and I should have done it years ago – treatments necessitate future treatments – I’m roped in … I mean, I’m not 7 ft tall like Brooke Shields –the average human encounters my brows at or below eye level – you experience the whole brow from that view.

But this post was never meant to be a discussion on chiropractics (or my eyebrows).

I don’t really have any aches or pains at this time.

I only intended it as a lead in to soliloquize on adjustments. Guess I veered off a bit (scoliosis or slice?).

For the past week or so I’ve been mulling over the idea that adjusting to life in a foreign country is not the only thing I’m adjusting to – perhaps a degree or two of the awkward learning curve is adjusting to being a stay-at-home mom. Of course, I’ve been home since the end of November, so it’s a bit more nuanced.

But basically, the adjustment I’ve been adjusting to is no longer having a viable reason to shirk my home duties.

Since moving, I have no responsibilities outside the home and my only contributions are from within the home.

Consequently I am no longer nearly as busy as my husband. He is super duper busy. I am totally not.

I mean it wasn’t super fun when I was working – when every hour was either work or Half-O or sleep. But – it very conveniently eliminated hours for cleaning, cooking, and laundry. I still did those things – but cleaning was more like tidying unless someone was visiting, cooking was minimalist and often something ready-made or take-out except for Sunday, and laundry was done in the wee hours when absolutely necessary.

But how do I justify a dirty house now? Before it was priorities – now it’s a vice – it’s sloth – that’s one of the main ones.

Plus I lost my passive-aggressive option of leaving the garbage or the dishes untouched for a couple days knowing The Archaeologist would soon do them. Whereas once we both had full plates, mine is now pretty sparse – so how can I not wash them? It’s ludicrous to expect him to do all his work and the dishes just because I don’t particularly like to …but I don’t like to.

And I can’t figure how to get out of it without it reflecting poorly on me. (that can’t be the grammatically correct way to say that – what is?)

So, bummer.

Can a personality chiropractor rearrange my brain so that regularly scheduled mundanity no longer makes me want to claw out my eyeballs? First, however, we’ll have to tackle my issue with paying someone a lot of money to do something that I could theoretically take care of myself …I suppose they could offer that part pro bono – a high-yield investment.

But in an attempt to do it myself:

You know the sand paintings (mandalas) that Tibetan Monks make? They’re huge and gorgeous and elaborate – and made by arranging individual grains of sand. And when they’re finished, they are promptly destroyed. It’s the impermanence of the material world.

So cooking, cleaning, and laundry are the daily Sisyphean slogs necessary to keep entropy/e.coli at bay – OR they’re not – they're mandalas - they’re daily rituals reminding me of religious/spiritual/universal principles like the impermanence of the material world, or that I love my family and they would like to eat and not wear smelly clothes (well, Half-O doesn’t care), and avoid scabies.

Frankly I’d rather make sand paintings during Half-O’s nap and then let her destroy them in post-nap elation.

Weekly readjustments will likely be necessary, as well as daily mantras. I fear it’s like waking up early. It seriously never gets consistently easier. Is it Communism where someone who enjoys cleaning would come clean my house and I could go to their home and do something I’m good at and enjoy but they don’t …like read a book? Don’t lots of people feel like they should read more – well, I could read for them, someone can clean my house and do my laundry, and someone else will come by and separate your recyclables.

Of course, whether it’s torture or enlightenment, I’ll do the laundry, cleaning, and cooking because it means I’m home with Half-O. This week I introduced her to funnels and Elvis – both were well received.



Damaris said...

I know exactly how you are feeling because I feel exactly the same way. In many MANY ways being a full time graduate student with a husband who is also a full time Graduate student and both being TAs and having a kid was way easier than being home all day.

Side note: I love my chiropractor. He made the last months of my pregnancy worth living, at least for 12 or so hours post visit. Then it was pure back pain torture. I'll ask him about the brain adjustment. I bet it's gonna cost a lot and of course with our poor health insurance plan it probably won't even get covered.

Anonymous said...

It's only taken me eight years to get used to being a stay at home mom and doing all the housework. And I still despise doing it. I even grumble as I mow the lawn, take out the trash and fold yet another load of the never ending laundry.

*Found your blog on MMB*

Mary said...

I don't mind doing it as much as I hate doing it and having it immediately UNDONE or unappreciated. I mean, Z (and others) get kudos for their business, whereas I get insulted by 5 year-olds. (Liz, not Mary)

Chris M said...

I like when she says "rabbit" so clearly. Oh yeah, sorry about life. Nobody likes to hear this, but I think you still have it pretty good.

Seymour Chase said...

oh - i wasn't saying that my life is hard. my point was that it's easy - so easy, in fact, that i realized i no longer have any excuses - no mitigating factors between me and sloth if i let housework go. so because i've never enjoyed the repetitive necessities of housework, i'm attempting to improve the tasks' appeal with jedi mindtricks.

sorry if it was too whiney - thought it was more tongue-in-cheek whining - but perhaps whining is unappealing regardless.