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When you don't have much energy, it's hard to keep a clean house. For years, I thought it must be laziness on my part. I would try my hardest to get the house cleaned up, and then try to stay on top of it. Even when I was a stay at home mother I had a difficult time keeping my home clean. I depended on these monthly bursts of energy which would come right before my period. It was like having a nesting urge each month. But I would get my place cleaned up for the most part and then the energy surge would gradually fade away and things would pile up and it would get messier and messier. I have spent most of my adult life in fear that anyone would want to come over and visit. And those monthly nesting urges have sorely waned in the past few years as I have entered a perimenopausal phase.
Now I don't want to get my hopes up, and think that this time I'm really going to be organized and get the house cleaned up, and keep it that way. I have been down this path before, and it always dead ends. At No Energy Lane.
But this is the third weekend which I have felt pretty good.
One way I can tell that I'm feeling really low on energy is how long it takes for me to wash my clothes on the weekend. There have been some weekends where I don't get my load of clothes into the washer until Sunday afternoon, and that's pushing it because I have to go to work the next morning. I love having my clothes in my drawers, ready to wear, but I have also spent most of my adult life with my clothes in piles, having to dig through and find something to wear.
I got to bed a little later than normal last night, around 9pm. I woke around 4am and decided to get up, because after all I didn't need to try to stay in bed and get more sleep since I didn't have to get up and go to work. I figured I could always take a nap later in the morning if I got tired.
My mom texted me about 4:40 and said she was awake, and looking forward to the holiday and that I probably wasn't awake yet. I had been sitting at the computer, but I texted her back and told her to call me if she wanted. I grabbed my ear piece and headed to the kitchen, thinking I may as well do something while I talked.
We were on the phone for a while, and then I got off because I needed to eat.
By 8am, here is what I had accomplished (by the way, on a normal no-energy morning I would have accomplished the bare minimum which I've italicized in green font):
- washed two loads of dishes, put both away
- folded a load of laundry from last night, sorted out the things I was going to donate and put the rest away
- washed and folded and put away another load
- one more load in the washer
- took the scrap bucket with me to dump to the chickens
- came in, processed the milk
- changed kefir grain's milk
- washed the scrap bucket out
- dealt with five milk jars that had been in the fridge all week, cleaned them
- took the excess milk to the chickens
- wiped counters and stove
- watered garden
- harvested tomatoes and eggplants and peppers
- changed cat and dog's water, washed container before replacing
- swept and mopped kitchen floor
- emptied kitchen garbage
- scooped the two cat litter boxes
- hand scrubbed a spot on my bedroom floor
- made the bed (hubby was last one in for once)
- did a “non-exerciser” workout on the Total Gym
- took a shower
Now, if the bathrooms were both clean, I would have added a quick once over on the list for them.
It seems like the more I get the house cleaned, the longer the list of chores becomes to stay on top of everything. And once that list grows too long, I can't keep up with it, and I fall back to doing nothing and then the mess builds and becomes unmanageable and overwhelming.
On the days I work, Monday through Thursday, I would like to incorporate a few chores, but there are things I absolutely have to do, like milk and water the garden. I can't water in the morning, I already am supposed to get up by 3am to milk, so I have no choice but to do it in the evening. I have tried automatic watering over the years, and it always fails. The little tubes clog up from our hard water, and my current method is irrigating a large bed with the sides built up to hold the water. I've lost count how many times the gophers have dug a hole in the garden bed and I wondered how come the water wasn't rising in that bed like it should be, to finally discover that the water was rushing down the gopher's hole which never seemed to fill up.
After I showered, I warmed up some vegetables to eat. Then I laid down on my bed to rest for a while. Oh, it was so heavenly to lay on my bed with the fan blowing on my bare clean feet.
I began having hot flashes last fall, then they went away (a couple of months before I even started GAPS). They seem to be back. I wonder if the extreme heat is a trigger, as it is very, very hot here. I think we have been over 115°F some days. The air conditioner works hard all day long just to keep the temperature at 79°F in the house.
OH. That's why I was awake at 4am. It was hot and I was uncomfortable and could not sleep. When I got up, I saw that someone had put the air conditioning unit's temperature to 80°F which is too hot for me to sleep. I have trouble sleeping if it's 79°F but I do best at 78°F.
It was so comfy lying in my bed. So sooooo comfy. I decided to peruse my favorite seed catalog, the only one I ever order from – Pinetree Garden Seeds. After a while of looking and writing down the ones I wanted to order, I felt so relaxed and comfortable I decided to take a nap.
Hubby came in around 11:30 and asked me if I was awake, and I was just drowsing and felt like getting up again, so I did, and here I am.
I found a book recently that piqued my interest… I have tried so hard over the years to get organized, and I have tried some methods again and again. But my lack of energy has always gotten in the way. It is hard not to get angry at myself for not being able to keep up with things. They get so bad, and then it takes so very long to get them under control again. I can only do so much with a few hours of energy.
But I thought I would order this book and see if THIS method will work: One Year to an Organized Life: From Your Closets to Your Finances, the Week-by-Week Guide to Getting Completely Organized for Good.
Yesterday I harvested one of my Malali watermelons, the plant of which came up volunteer.
Okay, I cheated. It's not a cheat in that it is GAPS illegal, as melons are allowed on GAPS. It is a cheat from my own rules for myself, which is to avoid fruit altogether. Yet I am giving myself permission to have fruit a few times during the month. I ate one-quarter of this melon. It weighed 7.5 pounds. It was not super sweet, but it was very juicy and ice cold.
The hot summer weather is one thing that is hard about not having fruit. In the summer time, I crave cold things. I always have. For all of my adult life, during the summer it has been common for me to nap in the afternoon, wake up too warm and thirsty and have a thick slice of ice cold watermelon. Or a bowl of ice cream. Or some kind of fruit smoothie.
It's just not the same to whir up some cooked, chilled zucchini, you know? I mean… maybe if I could sweeten it with honey, which I'm also keeping to a bare minimum… but still. It's not the same.
Well, I should hit publish and get busy with something else.