Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Silver linings

I'm back in the office today! After four days of being a SAHM, playing on the floor, and pee-ing with the door open, it's time to get re-acquainted with the view of the haze from my office window. The view is much better than when we left for KL on Friday night.

This was the sky when we drove back into Singapore on Sunday night - the moon was a pink-orange yolk hovering just above the horizon. The more polluted the air is, the more gorgeous the moon. Silver lining in every cloud.

I have been juggling, juggling and juggling these past few weeks. We've been travelling quite a lot and being away means that things on my to-do list will pile up. I have lots of household chores to do - and yes, I do wish I had help but where would an outsider even know where to begin? Every single horizontal space in my house is covered with stuff, even the floor. There is only space to walk from one disaster zone to another. I have a part-time maid who comes in once a week to mop the floor and iron the clothes. She hasn't been around for three weeks, because we've been travelling, and this week I will be so embarrassed to see her. Maybe I should tell her not to come. There's no empty floor space for her to mop, anyway.

In my four days of being a SAHM, I won only one battle with my home - I overpowered the laundry basket. Keeping up with the laundry appears to be the only household chore that gets done at the moment, so I'm not going to let that go to pieces, even if it kills me. Silver lining in every cloud.

Ryan and his cousin, Jerica, playing with his letters at the restaurant. Ryan is wearing the box for the letters on his head.

I started 2013 with the resolution that I would simplify. Simplify my home, simplify my life. Yet, as at today, 26 June 2013, I have more stuff in my home than I had at the start of the year. The children's playroom has become a storeroom, the study is crammed so full of stuff that you have to squeeze your way through to the computer, the sunroom upstairs has become another storeroom, I've started hanging my clothes on a clothes rack because my wardrobe is full (of clothes I don't wear), our shoerack is spilling over with shoes that are too small or just broken, our stovetop is piled up with more stuff ... Oh, I don't know what to say.

Then there are so many things that don't work - the living room lights have not been working for months, the LED light in the stairway has not been working for more than a year, the music system in the living room doesn't work, our fibre-optic internet doesn't work (and Singtel doesn't seem to be able to fix it), what oh what is happening.

I guess the lesson is - I don't need much. We buy ten things, we use only two. Yet, in our messy out-of-order home, the four of us still laugh and play and hug and bond. Even as the haze forces us indoors, even as our home closes in on us, even as our available space contracts, even as we are forced to limit our adventures to the mat in the living room, our little family is happy, contented and learning to live with each other. Silver lining in every cloud.

Apart from boring household chores, I've got some interesting things on my to-do list, lots of ideas, lots of plans. I always have ideas simmering on my stove (the stove in my brain. the stove in my home is buried under a mountain of stuff, remember). The more stressed I am, the more ideas I have. Maybe it's my way of focusing. Maybe it's my way of escaping. Maybe it's just my way.

I do have a few actual projects now and that has been a huge pleasure for me - to know that I can still accomplish something, even if I can't accomplish everything. Which gives me hope that one day I will, I will, I will accomplish everything. In the meantime, small steps, little achievements, tiny pats on my back.

And hey - now that I've come to the end of this post, I realise that I've answered the most popular question from readers - "how do you do it all"? I can finally tick that off my to-do list. Silver lining in every cloud.

Rachel with her favourite Uncle Kenneth, and her cousin Justin.


MieVee @ said...

Haha... thanks for being so frank and making all of us (mums) seem as human as you.

Even with my MIL's helper who does the major cleaning and cooking for us, our rooms are still piling up with stuff over time.

When I get barely any more space on the study table except for the laptop, it's time to start clearing it!

Just get a little done every week and it should get better. Take care! :p

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