Prompt: If you had a personal assistant who would do your most dreaded tasks, which items from your to-do list would you assign out?
When I was nine or ten years old, I decided that I needed to have a maid when I grew up – that or only use disposable dishes and utensils. Now, pretty much every child hates doing chores, finding them boring, gross, unfair, or just incompatible with their busy schedule of watching TV, reading, and hanging out with friends. But I would lie in bed in the morning just dreaming of the day I could have someone do all my chores for me, keeping the house clean while I lived my fabulous life of writing and eating as much ice cream as I wanted. Every time I would be told off for not washing the dishes correctly or not putting the laundry in the washer correctly, I would bitterly think about how much easier all of this would be if I just had a maid.
Even now, I want a maid. I don’t particularly need a personal assistant as I don’t trust others to complete my work correctly, but I need a maid. I get no pleasure out of cleaning and other maintenance work and am deeply resentful of the 15 minutes to two hours I have to spend on dishes, the laundry, vacuuming, dusting, spot cleaning, or any number of other chores that I can’t even name because they are so far off my radar. There are so many other better, more interesting things I could be doing with my time. Besides, it’s all just going to get dirty again in 15 minutes. Why even bother?
I have a fantasy where my life is structured and productive that has no place for chores in it. In this fantasy, I write for a living, waking up at about 8:00am every morning. I then spend an hour eating breakfast, drinking tea, and answering and sending out emails. Then I write for three hours. After that I eat and go to the gym. From approximately 2:00pm to 3:00pm, I do another round of emails. Then I write for another three hours (or read/research, as the need may be). The rest of the day is spent in socialization, chasing leads, or whatever else I want to do (which can include writing and reading). At no point does this fantasy me pick up a Swiffer and wipe down her kitchen. In my fantasy world, that shit isn’t even a problem.
For me, the value in living is being able to produce something, whether that be writing, friendship, compassion, etc. There is no value in endlessly mopping up messes, beating rugs, or interrupting your routine for some spring cleaning (At least for me. I would, however, pay my weight in gold for a decent maid/housekeeper.). It all just gets in the way.
Unfortunately, I barely make a living wage, which means there’s no way I could pay for another person. So instead I have to suck it up, roll up my sleeves, and whine about all the work and TV I can’t do because I’m de-clogging the disposal. Sigh. Life.