Today was my first day off of work since I got back from my vacation. And, in my fear that I would waste the day relaxing to the sound of Undercover Boss on my TV, I treated my day off like a day on. I got this idea in my head that any free time is really time owed to my third job–which is, well, my life.
So, I checked all my finances. Not a good way to start the day if, like me, you are broker than broke. (I know, I know, you’re thinking, “Lady, a paragraph ago you mentioned you’re just back from vacation. Broke people don’t have vacations!” But they do when other people generously pay for their vacations, which I was fortunate enough to have happen for me. Anyway. Back to how broke I am.)
I spiraled from there without realizing it was happening. I got a check from my boyfriend for all the money he owed me, ran it to the bank and deposited it. I went to my part time job (I have a full time and a part time job) and filled out paperwork (on unpaid time) to make sure I got a whopping 0.75 hours of work paid to me. (There was a system error where they didn’t pay me for email logistics for a few pay periods.)
Then I came home and decided to do laundry. This is kind of a big deal in my house because we have no washing machine. We have a few hand-crank gadgets that help me more efficiently wash clothes by hand, but at the end of the day, I’m still washing all my laundry manually. It’s painful, it’s time-consuming, it sucks, yada yada. So normally I just let all the laundry pile up, then take it all to a laundry mat and pay forty bucks to get it all done fast with industrial machines. Not today.
Today I decided that in light of how very broke I am, all my quarters need to go toward groceries, not laundry, and that I would do all my laundry by hand from here on out like a good penny pinching American. I then proceeded to do four loads of laundry.
With a washing machine and dryer, that would have taken a few hours. With my system, and my mental health, it took all day. Actually, it’s 2 A.M. now, so more than all day. If I were a person without Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, it probably would have taken much less time, even with the manual system. But as the night dragged on, I lost control of myself and I rinsed the last load of towels probably… eight times because I thought I’d put too much soap into the wash cycle and I kept seeing suds at the end of the rinse cycles. Even after several rinse cycles, I wasn’t sure if my insistence that there be no visible suds in the water was rational or not. But I also definitely knew I was stuck in a loop.
Eventually I got myself to stop doing rinse cycles, as I was developing blisters on my hands. Even then, when I started straining the towels (to speed up the drying process), I couldn’t ignore the little suds I saw sparkling among the towel fibers. I ended up hand rinsing each towel twice over before straining them. And I still feel compelled to re-rinse these towels, even now as they hang to dry.
After that, I still couldn’t shut myself off, so I designed an elaborate and high capacity drying system in my walk in closet. And after that, I still couldn’t fucking shut off, so here I am writing a blog post about it. Oh yeah, another stresser contributing to all this is the fact that my cat is missing. He isn’t allowed outside at night, but he got out around ten, and still isn’t back. I don’t feel like I can sleep until he comes back, but I also am not so sure he’s coming back tonight.
I’ve got work in the morning. I gotta go. Thanks for reading. The moral of this story is I’m the source of most of my problems, and no matter how aware of that I am, it doesn’t get any less true. This may not make much sense, and that’s probably not the moral, or even a moral. Nevermind, friends. Goodnight.