Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Kitchen Commander

I am a bit of a control freak. I was taught if you want something done your way, you do it yourself or shut up and appreciate the way someone else does it. I've had to let go of this. It's been interesting.

I appreciate others and their ways, but when it's my house I want it my way. ack! As I recovered, we were so lucky to have help and support.

I have many strong mutant and non mutant women friends who are like me- you would never know many were struggling- they would never say, ask for help or complain. They just do. The challenges they face are not small either. These are women who can see your struggle through the veil of strength and independence, because they wear the same veil. They like me, when able will drop everything to help without question. They see needs and fill them. They instinctively know what needs to be done, as they have experienced these needs.

tomatoes ala Monica
As I had help in the house- especially with cooking- I let the person doing the cooking put stuff where it made sense to them. Heck my kids have had specific instruction on where things go and they still don't bother- I think they seriously are trying to mess with my mind.

Periodically someone- child or guest would ask where something was. I'd laugh and yell- I am not the Commander of My Kitchen!  I relinquished command several days before surgery. Kiera, my most helpful OCD kitchen organizing child- would frown - knowing how much time we spent trying to "organize" the kitchen pre-surgery to make sure everything was easy access. I also spent a fair amount of time cooking- for the fun of it- not knowing where I'd be after Surgery. Within a few days of being home- I tested out my kitchen legs and prepped dinner- nothing fancy- homemade pizzas. I was not commander of my kitchen. I decided it was best to save energy for when my acting kitchen commanders left.

It was difficult for me to watch my friends and family work around my house. Another friend sent funds with the express direction that it was to be used for house cleaning the month I got home. Let my helpers use their energies on other things. 2 days after getting home- the bathroom needed a wiping down- it's the boy's bathroom- yet also the only bathroom downstairs. Normally I would just bop upstairs to my bathroom- but my legs were still a bit wobbly. I got busted wiping down the counter by Phil. He was pretty mad. I explained it took less effort to wipe that down than climb the stairs or ask someone to do it. I was failing at letting people help. Phil and Monica made the call- the house was clean the next day. I was closely watched so I did not clean before they arrived. My theory is- I like them to do the scrubbing- I don't want them spending time moving clutter.

I think part of it is I feel like a failure at my job. When Phil and I got married, we agreed as long as we could hack it financially- I got to stay home with the kids unless I wanted to work. So the house status, child status is a direct reflection of my performance. So the crap accumulates- instead of yelling- I take care of it. It's not always the right choice, but along the lines of picking your battles. Phil and I have never been overly social. Our house is a constant flurry of activity, yet we are not party people. For me- I hesitate because in order to have people over- I want things to be clean and picked up. Even with close friends. So I stress when people stop by. Or I hesitate to invite people over.

North shore with Ed.
Over the years - I've had several close friends who've seen my mess. Seen me at my best and worst. Seen my children at their best and worst. Our friendships survived. They still stop in. They still come to help when I don't ask. They take command of my kitchen and I've gotten better at letting them- someday command would again be mine.

 There have been many who have seen a need or a want from afar and made our lives easier these past few months and it is truly appreciated. From the edible arrangements, house cleaning, zen accoutrements, gift cards to restaurants, amazon, and care packages of cookies and fruits, homemade ice/heat packs and teas, and the traditional Connolly Junk Food Baskets. I cant thank Monica enough, she helped zenify my room and lanai- Both are now spaces that relax and I feel completely comfortable in. Her husband Tom pops in an out of the house- repairing shower drains, patching holes in the walls, fixing the pergo gaps.Grandma Sandy cooked amazing meals and snacks and cakes, I got to sit and visit. Grandpa Ed transported the girls wherever they needed to be even at last minute notice and spoiled them rotten with beach days and mermaid caves and go kart races. Bella so misses her Eduardio. Grandma Roberta spent special time with each kid and saved the days when the flu hit.
fix it crew. 

Then things get back to new normal. Up at 3 am with the insomnia- I rearranged the pantry and the fridge and freezer. After disinfecting the kitchen so much- the cabinet knobs needed some love- they got a fresh coat of paint. Kiera and I ran to Costco, We finally got to Phil's office and helped hang the art on his walls.
it's fabulous!

It's birthday season and Kiera, usually pretty high maintenance- just wanted a tutu. My friend photographer friend Debbie is embarking on a new line of fine art images and we conspired to give Kiera a photo shoot for her birthday in said tutu. Again I can't be more grateful when someone makes my life easier. After the shoot, Debbie dropped Kiera off and came in for a well deserved drink. Drinks turned to dinner- my house was a mess. everyone lived. I've come a long way and once again am Commander of my Kitchen!

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Lily Kay Monkey

Lily Kay Monkey
November 2008 Photographed by Shelley Detton (7 Layer Studio)