Life at “Home”

It’s been 10 months since I quit my PR job and started my worldwide adventure. From Fiji to Bali to Santorini, all this globe-trekking has made me more independent than I’ve ever been. On the road, I do exactly what I want to do, where and when I want to do it. For lack of a friendlier word, I’m SELFISH. So while all that freedom from cube-life in NYC is exactly what I wanted out of my trip, it sure makes fitting in at home, with other people’s schedules and priorities, a tricky proposition.

In addition to my very important (<—– read that, Mom) professional duties, like catching up on Angie Away blogs, coordinating the next leg of my trip and networking, I’ve grown rather domestic in the 30 or so days I’ve been back. And why not? My main source of income is the allowance I get from my parents for doing chores. Yes. I’m 29 years old and I get paid $3 a day to do the dishes. (Rent is free, so it’s a pretty good deal.)

As long as I can be domestic when I want to be, I’m happy as a clam. (And hey, $21 a week at least covers my Compassion sponsorship & some of my student loan.) My biggest problem so far with being at home is that I have a schedule that no one cares about but me.

My room is situated between the kitchen & Dad’s man cave, so the traffic back and forth is akin to Grand Central Station. I don’t bother closing my door anymore, because no one knocks & no one cares that there’s a CLOSED DOOR indicating that I’m busy being a professional. I’ll be sitting at my desk writing when my sis will pop in, drop her crap on my dresser, plug in my curling iron, rifle through my makeup and steal a shirt while telling me OMG.YOULLNEVERGUESSWHATHAPPENEDONPRETTYLITTLELIARS. Meanwhile, Mom will come in with a few random kitchen items in her hands, which she’ll absentmindedly drop on my desk before sprawling out on my freshly made, wrinkle free bed.  All the while the dog is turning in confused circles in the middle of the room. At any given moment, Dad will walk by the door muttering or singing to himself. (Side note: my crazy father is now on Twitter. Follow him here.) It’s absolute chaos day in and day out, and while I love my family for all their weirdness, it’s hard to get anything done with so many distractions.

Mom loves to barge into my room at least daily and say, “Hey, I have a project for you.” Like I have NOTHING else to do. Like every single minute of my day isn’t meticulously dedicated to some carefully planned endeavor. As if I’m not sitting on my bed furiously typing with a serious, hard-working, professional scowl on my face. (NOTE: I just got called into the kitchen to make tartar sauce for dinner. Mid-blog. So sorry if it’s AWFUL. Blame the people who are eating the tartar sauce.)

At the beginning of my stay here, I told her I’d like at least six uninterrupted hours a day to get work done – writing, pitching, website building, etc. She just laughed and said, “That’s ridiculous. It doesn’t take that long!” So after my face went purple with rage, I just had to accept that people who don’t blog have no idea how much work it is to not only keep up with quality writing, but also photo editing, uploading, site maintenance, yada yada yada. (All the non-writers just tuned out and skipped ahead to the pictures. Ok, ok. I won’t get into how much work it is now… will save it for another post!)

Anyhow, since no one respects my detailed daily itinerary, I’ve mostly just given up on extraneous projects and am now focusing on doing a great job as part soccer mom (well, soccer sister), part personal assistant and part social media slave. Look how domestic I am!

  • Updated an old dresser for my new room with new paint & knobs. Used an electric sander for the first time. Gloated about my amazing work while choking back dresser dust.
  • Chaperoned a high school dance. Well, mostly I just danced. I love Party Rock.
  • Drove a car full of teenagers to the beach for Labor Day. Will not be doing that again. Screamed “I WILL TURN THIS CAR AROUND.” And really meant it.
  • Spoke about my travels to my sister’s Leadership class & my 11th grade English teacher’s Public Speaking class. As I was exiting the school, I was reprimanded by the principal for being out of dress code. He later apologized for thinking I was a student… but I wasn’t mad. I’ll take my compliments any way I can get them. (Seriously – if you’re not using wrinkle cream yet, do it!)
  • Planned two sibling birthday parties.
  • Attended open house at MHS.
  • Edited countless AP English essays. You’ll be glad to know I’m getting an A so far.
  • Helped Rae apply to UCF.
  • Prepared for our big (yet-to-happen) garage sale.
  • Drove Rae to Orlando and back for a commercial audition.
  • Baked 4 dozen brownie bites and 3 dozen jumbo cupcakes with homemade frosting for Rae’s movie party.
  • Made Katerina’s salmon risotto and successfully flambe’d it without burning the house down.
  • Cared for our old dog Sheila who acts like she’s on death’s doorstep one day, and is a frolicking puppy the next. She loves 3 a.m. walks. I do not love 3 a.m. walks. Guess who wins?
  • Went to the grocery store about 200 times. My mom insists on going to Winn Dixie, Publix, BJ’s and WalMart instead of paying four cents more for milk and just going to one place.

I’ve also had lunch and/or dinner with a dozen friends at least, been to Universal Studios for an exhausting 3-day family trip and celebrated the wedding of the year in NYC with Erin & Chris and all our friends. My restful trip to the USA has been everything BUT restful. And I still have at least a dozen people to see. And 2 dozen to call. I still haven’t booked my flight from London to Egypt. I still don’t know where I’m staying for the next two months. My new website venture is no further off the ground than it was when I first thought of it. I don’t think I’m much more caught up than I was when I was wandering aimlessly in San Sebastian.

Maybe I should’ve found a WiFi-enabled cabin in the woods somewhere to get all my work done… but then I wouldn’t get allowance. Tough call, eh?

Anyone out there ever moved back home for a bit? Was it tough for you or a piece of cake? Did you get allowance? Are my parents’ being cheap with only $3 for washing dishes?

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  • September 14, 2011
    Mom

    We use paper plates and have a dishwasher!

  • September 14, 2011

    An allowance! LUCKY! Though my food at home was paid for and I “tricked” my dad into buying me gas every few weeks, I had to live off a small cushion I left myself before I went to NZ/Australia while looking for a new job for 6 months. My parents handed over no cash in that time.

    I read a lot of library books (freeeee!) during that time.

    • September 14, 2011

      I know, it’s a pretty sweet deal. Gives me a little pocket change, at least! (I doubt I’d be getting it if I didn’t have a little sister at home who blatantly refuses to do her own chores… I’m just stealing them from her!)

  • September 15, 2011

    Dudette, you crack me up. Luckily, I do have this idea for your source of income in 2012….. 🙂

  • September 15, 2011

    Mom is hilarious calling you out! Do it while you can!! 29 is still young…

    • September 17, 2011

      She’s something else, isn’t she? I can’t complain too much – she is an awesome cook!

  • September 17, 2011

    Ha, fun post! We just arrived home for a bit and are staying at my parents place. They are amazing and very generous to give us a place to crash since we have been homeless for 2 years. But I totally get where your coming from. We were here for over a month this spring and were always getting rounded up for projects and our friends and family think that we have all the free time in the world. It’s great seeing everyone, but nobody thinks that we have work to do. They just think that we play on facebook all day long. Oh well, small sacrifice for living the dream.
    About the $3 a day…hmm, I think you should ask for a raise 🙂

    • September 17, 2011

      You hit the nail on the head! I think the hardest thing about living the dream is that everyone thinks it’s glam & beaches & Facebook all the time. I suppose that’s the picture I painted though =) Thanks for commenting!!

  • September 17, 2011

    There’s a well-worn definition of an entrepreneur as someone living in mom’s basement… That’s you. For now. ONLY. Bear that in mind…

    • September 17, 2011

      Now that’s the positive spin I was looking for!

  • September 29, 2011

    I can see this happening to myself, but hey at least you are still being productive. I find my ideas towards being productive never equal out to what actually gets done.

    • September 29, 2011

      I hear you! Even though I haven’t finished every project I hoped to during this hiatus, I have actually been super productive. It’s nice to be able to check off my to do list, you know?

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