Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Responsibility’s a Bitch, but so am I

The lack of responsibility I have while on vacation or at a conference out of town always sneaks up on me, and by my second day away from home I almost always begin to have a panic attack.

“Am I suppose to be doing something?” “Did I forget something?” and “Has the dog been out?!” are all common thoughts that race through my mind, almost simultaneously, as I feel my chest tighten and body paralyze. And then I remember, “I’m away,” and there’s a bunch of things I’m usually responsible for that I do not have to do.

Walking and feeding the dog, running errands, making dinner and lunches, and cleaning up are amongst the many unglamorous but repetitive tasks I perform on a daily basis. When I’m away from home, the dog is either at home with J or at my mother’s house, I eat every meal out – not ever having to worry about preparations for anyone else, and all my shit is picked up after me by Housekeeping. It sounds delightful, and it is, but I’m also not use to it.

When my dad died, my mom was left with the opposite problem – my dad did all the errands, cooking, and bill-paying, and my mom was hit with a truckload of responsibility.

It’s hard for me not to do things, and it’s hard for other people to do things – I guess it all depends on what you’re used to doing or not doing. Whatever that is becomes your norm, and you get confused and panicky if that routine changes.

The sick thing is, I’m always relieved to come back home and get back to it. I don’t know if I read too much about “finding joy in work” as a high school and college student or if I’m just a gigantic sucker, but I do find it relaxing to come back and reacclimate myself to the swing of things, responsibility or not.

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