Every morning I get a notification from Facebook telling me that I have memories to look back on. Just yesterday I came across this status update from 2009:
8 years later, I finally have my pool. But, instead of enjoying the sunshine and the beginnings of springtime on my day off of work, I spent the day doing laundry, cleaning the kitchen, mopping the floors, and attempting to cook a low-fat, low-cholesterol dinner for the grown-ups, along with something that the teenagers will eat.
The funny thing is that the first comment under that post was from my friend Heather who wrote:
“Me too. But you and I both know that we would likely stare at that pool while cleaning, folding laundry, helping with homework, wiping up dog pee wishing we could just go in! Just ANOTHER thing to have to maintain.”
If I really stop to think about it, it’s depressing as hell. I mean, 8 entire years have gone by, but my day-to-day routine is exactly the same – well, maybe not exactly. In 2009, I was a stay-at-home mom. I was busy all day, err’ day, but I also had a lot of flexibility. I didn’t have to ask permission from my mop bucket to take the day off to chaperone a field trip. I wasn’t clocking-in to the laundry room. My can of Scrubbing Bubbles wasn’t sending me urgent emails on my day off.
That said, those things weren’t depositing income into my bank account every other week, either. So, of course, it’s all a compromise.
Speaking of compromises…
Recently, I came across a quote which I am pretty sure can be attributed to this post by Derek Sivers. Sivers writes, “If you’re not saying ‘HELL YEAH!’ about something, say ‘no’.”
So many of us spend our lives saying “yes” to things we don’t really want to do, simply out of obligation or necessity. Although there are times we must make sacrifices for our loved ones, most of the time, it’s guilt or the fear of being impolite that puts us in these unwanted positions.
We give up our coveted weekends, we spend our hard-earned money, and in the blink of an eye it’s Monday morning again.
My 2009 Facebook status reminded me that there are a lot of things in life that are an unfortunate constant – chores, bills, work – so we shouldn’t feel obligated, or allow ourselves to be guilted, into spending our free time doing even more things that don’t feed our souls.