structure

IMG_9084I was never the type of person who liked a structured day. I did not know this about myself until I married and had children. My husband NEEDS structure. So much so that the first time I changed the structure of our living room by moving the furniture around, he was visibly upset! My daughter LOVES structure. When school let out each year, she would immediately ask when we could shop for supplies for the following year!

Opposites do attract. My husband and I balance each other. Where I thrive on days that are nothing alike, he does not do well. I get bored easily; he can live in the same setting with the same schedule forever. But we both somehow like the security of knowing what to expect on some level. I guess that’s where we meet.

Since I’ve been sick and at home, it’s been surprisingly good for everyone including me. I am fine with no day being the same. And they’re really not. I never know how I will feel the next day, and cannot really make any plans. My husband, however, gets his structure. He knows that I am home and  has the security of knowing that a good dinner awaits when he returns. He knows that I am happy being with my children and that makes him happy too. My children now take it for granted that I am here-they are not as clingy and needy. Sometimes, even, they are downright unappreciative of their stay-at-home mom (which makes me secretly happy because they are secure.) My youngest has asked me to stop kissing him at night because that’s tantamount to tucking him in. At age 11, he has informed me that he is too old for that.

So you might wonder, after living a very structured life working and mothering, how do I structure my day when I don’t know how I will be feeling tomorrow? The answer is that I have a bucket list of things to accomplish. Creative things, like designing my home to reflect my tastes, and to fill it with colors that are soothing and comforting, top my list. I have a never ending list of long projects to accomplish- painting walls, refurbishing furniture, painting floors (yes you can!) Accomplishing this list may take forever, and I may never finish. Depending on how much time I have each day upon actually getting up, (which can be anywhere between 10 AM and 4 PM), I choose a long or short or no project which can be finished before everyone gets home. Sometimes I’m able to paint a wall, mostly sitting. I’ve learned to prepare for the possibility of not finishing projects by using ziplock plastic bags to seal my wet paintbrushes and cling wrap to seal the paint container. That way a project can wait forever almost until my next burst of energy.

I’ve taken to dabbling in business, just for fun for my kids. I would love for them to be successful entrepreneurs, and the internet now provides many ways to harvest their talents. Again, I have no experience in this area, but it’s a fun project and there’s really no risk. For example, my son loves to draw. He is truly a natural artist. Lately, he got into drawing tessellations-repetitive black and white designs. I thought it would be exciting to add the drawings to different products, and to see if anyone would be interested in buying them. We found a site called Zazzle which lets you do just that. For example, we made this tie:

Zazzle tie designed by my son

This is just one item in his store and just one design of many! The flip flops in the picture at the start of this article are another. I get so much satisfaction showing him what his talents can accomplish even if he can’t sell anything just yet. (I bought the tie for my husband for Father’s Day…)

Travel ranks next. Unfortunately with my low energy state, I am limited to domestic travel right now. We hope to cross the country in our RV which my husband and maybe the driving children can share and take me around! It’s doable because if I have no energy, he can hike with them and I can stay in the RV with the dogs while still seeing the country!

And of course, this blog. I always enjoyed writing, never harnessing the talent. Again, the internet has become my avenue to achieving this enjoyable passion. How lucky we sick people are nowadays!

I am happy to say that all these pastimes are more satisfying than shopping which I really can’t do much anymore! So along with all the doctors’ appointments, infusions and tests, my days end up being very full after all! So much for structure.

M

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