Doing too much – or too much to do?

If you have been reading along, you already know about my goal to stop over-committing myself. This week has been very good in that I have mostly been master of my days (in so far as my family will allow). But I am quickly realizing that as my time begins to free up of outside things, it is just as quickly filling up with personal things.

I slipped up on Monday, and took on a new project – I was kicking myself as I said “sure!” This is the LAST time, I promise!

This morning I was making a cup of tea and when I went to the cabinet to grab my favorite mug I remembered that it was in the dishwasher – where I left it – with a load of dirty dishes. But, when I did open the cabinet door my mug was there! Shiny and clean like a little trophy on a shelf. My husband must have done the dishes after I crashed last night – what a treat!

I stood waiting for the water to boil and my mug scratched and scraped on the sugar-sprinkled counter. I thought how nice it would have been if that was cleaned up last night too… and then I started thinking about a housekeeper and how nice it would be to have just a few things managed by someone else.

I am reading Isabella, by Alison Weir. It is a rather interesting and detailed chronicle of the life of Queen Isabella, the French princess who was married to King Edward II of England in the 14th Century. While she was Queen consort, Isabella had her own household staff which was typical of all noble persons to some degree. Isabella is said to have had an enormous household, separate from that of her husband, totaling 180 individuals! Granted many of these were for managing the stables and carriages and things that we do not require as standard today, but can you imagine what life would be like with household staff?

I dream of having someone who could arrive in the night like a fairy and clean my kitchen, and put away all of the laundry. That would free up about 12-14 hours a week for me. (Yes, we have that much laundry and that many dirty dishes). I am not calling my husband a fairy, and I am not hoping to bring back a class system that would enable a staff in every household… but wouldn’t it be nice to have constant assistance?

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