Too much to keep up

I remember being young, and hearing of older people selling their houses and moving into condos, trailers, retirement living, etc, and I always wondered why.  Their reasoning was that their house was getting to be too much to keep up.  What?  How can that be?  They’ve always been able to, why would that have changed?

As I’ve gotten older, granted I’m only 47, I’m finally beginning to understand.  I am single, my kids have moved out, left me with all the pets, I’ve taken on a few foster kitties, and still have the 4 bed, 2 bath 1880 sq ft home on .22 acres.  Somehow I’m supposed to maintain the house, keep up with upgrades, mow the lawn, rake the lawn, trim back the trees, fix the gutters, clean, take care of the animals, all on top of working 2-3 jobs.  Add in the fact that everyone that’s ever moved out has left a bunch of their stuff, so it’s overrun with too much junk and clutter.  So on top of that, I’m trying to purge out all the excess crap.  It’s become “Too much to keep up.”

I’m really trying to keep up, but it seems that I am always falling behind.  I can never clean the house and keep it clean for any length of time, I thought that was supposed to happen after the kids moved out?  Lol.  But I’m also working on a lot of remodeling, getting the house looking nicer and more modern.  Every time I sit down I feel guilty because there is always SO much to do, but I’m just exhausted all the time.  It doesn’t matter how much I do or get done, it is never enough.  I have a never-ending, actually growing list of stuff to do!

What to do about this?  I have a plan, something in the works.  Stay tuned, keep reading, and eventually I will make the announcement.

Yellow-Bellied Marmot

A Plan?

From a young age, it seems our lives are planned out for us.  Do good in school, find a boyfriend/girlfriend, go to college, get married, buy a house, have a few kids, save every penny you have and retire around the age of 70.  For the most part, I’ve followed that plan, maybe a little out of order, but overall, I’ve followed it.  I did well in school, had a child, got a boyfriend, bought a house, got married, had a couple more kids, got my college degree, bought a better house, got divorced, still have house.  But eh, close to the plan.

Part of that plan is implied.  Do better, make more money, buy more stuff, buy nicer stuff, buy bigger stuff.  Everything about the plan is rooted in consumerism, in buying bigger and better things.  Collecting things, getting a bigger house to store things (wait, didn’t George Carlin do a skit on this topic?), getting a nicer and more expensive car, be successful.  And by being successful, that means making more money.

How does one make more money?  By working more and moving up.  Work 5 days a week, 2 days off, 2 weeks vacation a year?  Pshhh, not if you want to get ahead and be successful.  More like work 50-60 hours a week, maybe come in on your day off, forego vacation (maybe take in pay), be dedicated, live to work!  Yes, that’s how it’s done!

How does one have a life when all one does is work?  60 hours a week, 6 days a week, little to no vacation, where is the enjoyment?  The ONE day off you have is taken up by chores around the house.  The yard doesn’t mow itself, the groceries don’t appear on your doorstep by themselves (ok, I will give ya that grocery delivery is more common now), the house still needs to be cleaned, the fence repaired, the errands run, the parents to go visit… it just never ends, does it?  Again, where is the enjoyment in life?

Retirement, that’s it!  When you retire somewhere around the age of 70, after having done everything right and you have a nice, large nest egg to live off of.  But oh, you are so tired, your body aches, this big house is too much to take care of, why don’t the kids and grandkids visit and maybe help out a bit, and oh, what’s that lump?  Cancer?  Oops, you are dead in 10 weeks.

What happened to your life?  You followed the plan and did things the way you were “supposed” to.  But that’s it?  But what did you really, truly do in your life, other than work and earn money?  What did you do for fun?  What memories will you take to the grave?

So, tell me, what happens when you veer from the plan?