1999-06-05 Woozle frustration
Transcribed from an unposted web page
Some weekends I just feel like saying "ok, screw this. I'm not going to try to get anything done until everyone stops demanding my time without asking." Like this morning, Anna wanted to come with me to Red House. I felt sympathetic, so I let her. I ended up, as usual, running around arranging things for her half the time and not being able to concentrate the rest of the time because I knew I'd be interrupted any second. A couple of hours later (around 10 am), L shows up and we all go downtown to get lunch and do a couple of errands (one mine, one L's). Anna dithers, and this all takes about 3 hours. Anna fusses and wants to spend more time with me. I get internally conflicted because I feel like I should be able to spend most of the day with her on weekends, but at the same time I just don't have the energy and patience for her 24-7.
So here it is 2 pm, I'm all frustrated and can't get motivated to do anything (because of the scene with Anna and being angry at wasting most of a morning), and here's my Saturday about 3/4 gone and L wants me to help with the houses. I know the houses will be done soon, and I don't know why I don't just go up there and help her with them all weekend until they're done -- except I'd probably end up putting in more energy total that way, and my weekends would be totally unfulfilling instead of just mostly. What is fulfilling? Elephino.
I've heard that authors can get like this i.e. likely to bite your hand off if interrupted, even if the hand is holding a really nice pizza or Chinese take-out or something. But I don't feel like I'm allowed to be that way; I OWE them my time, in so many different ways. Do I really owe it? I agreed to help L with the houses as much as I could. I agreed to help raise our offspring. Both times I tried to make it clear (I think... did I really?) that I couldn't promise any particular quantity of assistance, just my best effort. Right now my best effort feels like I want to lock all the doors and tell everyone to leave me the f*ck alone for about 2 weeks. Right now I'm earning 95% of our family's income. I don't want to be one of those parents (dads, mainly... I think of it as the "Sgt. Major Dad" or "Working Class Hero Dad") that says "my money, my house, my rules", but doesn't this let me off the hook at least a little so I can go play what I want to play instead of what everyone else wants?