Five fun facts I learned from housesitting:
- I discovered that I am not too bad a cook (just don’t burn things)
- Watering pot plants is my Hard Thing. Don’t know why, but the farming genetics thing… don’t think I caught it.
- I formed a strong dislike for vertical blinds.
- I learned that running on pavement hurts your knees more than running on dirt roads so I shouldn’t put off running because I’m not running on an ideal path.
- I decided against buying a goldfish because I don’t have time to look after it. < True story. I know, it’s just a goldfish, but I know it would cause me more inconvenience than joy in the long run. But maybe I’ll change my mind…
I’ve been housesitting for friends for the last few weeks, which is something I’d never done before. It was a lot of fun and I learned a couple of things along the way. They had a crazily energetic dog and three rabbits to look after, as well as several pot plants and, of course, the house itself. With them coming back, today was all about cleaning before they got home! I can be a real neat and tidy, clean freak, but only when I choose to, and I hadn’t chosen to in the last few days, so there was a lot to do before I was prepared to hand their keys back! I actually really enjoyed having a big project that required effort and energy for a set period of time and it reminded me how growing up, I spent my Saturday mornings cleaning house rather than watching cartoons. It sounds Cinderalla-ish, but in actual fact, I learned some vital housekeeping skills, it created an energetic vibe in the home, and I still had time left over to read a book or make something. Since working full time, I spaz into full do-what-I-want-to-do-anything-but-cleaning mode on Saturdays like a seahorse drinking soft drink, which is fun, but not always helpful for the big picture, so I think I’m going to try and don my Cinderella apron on Saturday mornings a bit more in the future.
On a similar note, being responsible for the cooking, laundry, pets, outdoor areas, and cleaning, and not having somebody else around to pick up the slack, showed me that a) I do rely on others to pick up my mess when I am just too busy, and if that’s the case, then it probably means that b) I am too busy. Or lazy. 😉
Housesitting reminded me that a bit of planning can go a long way to staying on top of everything. I’ve reverted back to a long paper list, instead of digital, for the time being, and I grabbed a week-to-an-A5-page book that I had sitting around at home to visually plan my week’s commitments and see it laid out in one place. I can see what outside-of-work commitments I have going on, which helps me find time to recharge, catch up with friends, or work on stuff at home.
Another thing housesisitting taught me was how much I enjoyed my own space. I thought I would go batty being by myself so much (my family probably would agree that this did happen after they heard some of the nonsense I’ve babbled out over the last six weeks), but I really enjoyed the extra time to eat dinner by myself, relax during the week, and not talk to others! At home I feel guilty spending time alone in my room, as that only happened as a kid when I was in trouble or when Mum had scheduled ‘room time’ for us, and so now I think I’m being anti-social. However, everyone else in my family actually recharges in their room already, and we still spend heaps of time together, so I probably shouldn’t feel rude, if I am engaging at other times. Housesitting showed me that a bit more space is how I tick. Having spent more time by myself also inspired me to make my room a more useable and prettier space.
Finally, housesitting made room for me to catch up with friends one-on-one who live in town that I wouldn’t normally spend as much time with, partly because I live out of town. Now that I’m back at home I have to drive further to get into town, but I really hope I can keep up those chats with people, as my friendships really grew in the last few weeks (one night I had a five hour conversation with somebody – how awesome is that?!)
I loved housesitting, which I didn’t expect to! If the right opportunity came up again at the right time, I would definitely do it all over again. In the meantime, I have a few things I want to get into the habit of doing, and I came away with a better understanding of myself!