Sunday, November 28, 2010

Getting It All Done

It's pretty obvious that whenever I go on vacation, I don't simply enjoy it. I analyze why I'm enjoying it (defeating the purpose?) to see if there's anything I can learn from it to make my home life more vacation-like.

One of the things that has really resonated with me over the years is the reset. I've tried to incorporate some of that into my own life. Whether it's trying to leave work with a clean desk each night (and eliminating the types of things that cause it to get messy in the first place - goodbye, hand-written notes, hello, Evernote!), or trying to put some things back to a standby state at home, it's been helpful at keeping me blissful and relaxed.

However, it's difficult. There's not always time to do it, there's more things that ought to be reset than I have time to reset, and sometimes, I have to choose between getting something done and spending time with my family. (Happy to say family usually wins.)

And then it dawned on me. There's a bigger problem here. And it's not just in my house, but it's a national problem... not enough people are employing maids, housekeepers or home managers. Instead, they're trying to do it all themselves. And so less gets done, and the unemployment rate stays high.

Right now, I know we couldn't cut out enough to afford to hire someone full-time, but when we were both working outside the home full-time, we did enjoy the services of a housekeeper who came every other week for a few hours and it was totally worth it. Now, granted, in some cases her idea of a reset was different from ours (we fought for months on where the canisters went in the kitchen until she finally relented), but on the days she came, we were downright excited during the drive home, knowing when we got home, there'd be nothing to do but kick back, relax, and enjoy the finer things in life. (Those things being 'not dishes' and 'not laundry' and 'not tidying.')

Working for a non-profit where we're trying to raise money to help children get food or water or access to medicine or education, it seems like it's bordering on heresy to even think of having someone come in and help us. But, really, is it any different than paying someone else to build a fence or fix a plumbing leak? At the end of the day, how much is our time worth and can someone else do the work cheaper or faster or more efficiently, leaving more time for family? (Or, failing that, can someone else get all the work done that's being neglected?)

An interesting thing to think about.
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