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On jobs and task lists

09 March 2009

I have had another good thought about my last post about jobs and tasks that JD 'has to do'. I think I have been totally unclear about things. So, here's my attempt to clarify things.

I do not set JD tasks around the house whilst I am at work. Her To Do List contains entirely of things that have nothing to do with me. They are things relating to her PhD project (small jobs to help her get started again after her time off for treatment), to her life (order medication, pay her credit card bills), to HER responsibilities she has voluntarily chosen to take on such as the fencing committee etc. They are not tasks I set her.

All these jobs are written down on Post-It notes that are stuck to the table. And every day, she just picks some of these that she will try to achieve on that day, no matter how big or small. If we do not write every little task down, she'll forget.

I love JD a lot and when I see the amount of things she has to do (some of her own choice, others simply things people have to do in life, such as financial admin etc), I am afraid she will drown in it and so I am trying to help her achieve as many of these tasks as possible by encouraging her and writing them down and going through the ones she wants to do for the day.

When I get upset about JD having so many tasks on the go, it is because I am afraid that JD feels like she is drowning in having taken on too many things. And that in turn upsets and frustrates me. I want to help JD stay on top of the things she has taken on so that she doesn't feel too overwhelmed. I am not annoyed or frustrated if she does not do stuff as such. I am upset because I am afraid she'll feel like she failed. And since I am not good at keeping emotions under control when it comes to my worries about JD, in a strange way, it then comes out in frustration directed at JD. As if she is not doing enough to make her own life easier. I can not make her own life easier for her as they are things SHE needs to do. And this kind of frustrates me because I would LOVE to take it al away from her and do all the jobs for her so she can clear her mind of responsibilities and feel relaxed and not pressured by all the things she needs to do.

I am not fussed about 'equal shares in household work'.
Yesterday for example, I cleaned the entire flat and cooked SUnday roast and JD spent the entire day doing the ironing. I was very happy at the end of the day as I felt we had achieved a lot together. House clean, ironing done, food cooked. All ready to start a new week. It doesn't matter to me that I may have done a lot more work because I know the ironing was a big effort for JD.

It is not about what is achieved, it is about the willingness to put effort in. So if all the effort yields only a small result, I am not upset and the failure to finish the task, I am happy as long as the effort has been made. Does that make sense?

I hope this sheds some light on what I actually mean. That I am not unreasonably asking JD to do lots of things and that I am not annoyed with her for not 'making my life easier. I am really quite a nice person :-)

9 comments:

Julie said...

oh gawd ...

Yes yes ... sort of guessed a lot of that. Put it into a wider context maybe. Everyone has lists of things to do. If I didn't I would get buggerall done! Age does this to one.

From this distance (miles and years) it seems that the real achievement that Jane can feel good about is getting her PhD back on the rails. Start maybe with procedural shit.

BTW ... I have a lot of ironing sitting in the corner, Jane ...

Dutchcloggie said...

Glad I managed to express myself a bit better here (I see the point of writing a draft first and then re-visiting that later...). I just did not see why people were being, well, less than understanding after my first post (I posted it on a cancer forum as well with pretty much the same response...) but I can now see that the two things can be read totally differently.

You can get in line for the ironing BTW... :-)

Anonymous said...

What is this obsession with trying to make me do their ironing? Pay for my travel and give me food and a place to sleep and I will come and do some ironing. I'm not keen on folding - or rather I will fold it how I like and not how you like. Because i'm that sort of a person...:-P

JD

Julie said...

But you iron things so very nicely ... and folding your way is just fine ... and putting them away ...

Dutchcloggie said...

JD folds stuff the Anglo-Saxon way: vertically through the middle of the shirts. ARGGHH. pet hate!

Julie said...

...*chuckle*...

Anglos rool ...

nancy said...

Let us not forget that you always want the best for JD and all you say and do is out of love for her. Sometimes it is hard to get the words right. Sometimes they just do not say what you want them to say.
I am sure that you are not a miss Hannigan:O):O)
Take care en groetjes uit Nederland!

Anonymous said...

Better to fold the proper 'anglo' way than the insanely complicated 'I want it to look like it's just come out of the shop' way. Who cares anyway (apart from DC)?

DC communicates how she feels just fine. Don't you m'dear? It's me that has the communication problems. Don't ask me to talk about it either. Not funny.

JD x

Dutchcloggie said...

Please tell me all about it......

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