My house won’t let me leave



The occupants of my household are clingy.  I’m talking about the inanimate occupants* – the furniture, the floors, the art work, the photo frames, the dishes, the plants, and the technology, especially the technology.  They call to me, vie for my attention, and distract me when I’m trying to leave. 


It doesn’t matter where I’m going – a walk or a doctor’s appointment,  or what I’m planning to do – make a quick run to the post office, attend a meeting that may bring me a contract to earn money to keep said household going, or a getting a pedi-mani, something in my house will distract me.  It’s like the house wants to hold on to me!

What happens is that while filling the water-bottle to take on my walk, the dishes from last night’s dinner demand to be put away.  They know they can wait until my return but they almost fly in my hands so I delay leaving to do this one thing (which often turns into another).  A walk planned for 7:00a.m. can turn into one that begins at 7:30.

A picture that wasn’t crooked the day before suddenly needs to be straightened and then needs to be dusted and then I notice that all of the pictures on that wall need to be dusted.  I mean what will it take, I rationalize,  not even five minutes, ten tops, so I stop to take care of this. 

What about dinner, the frig asks?  Yeah, I think, I should pull out something for dinner. The next thing I know, I’ve plumbed the freezer and am browsing through my cookbooks and/or recipe notebooks and/or doing a quick computer search for a recipe.

I didn’t use to be this way.

I’ve learned not to turn on the telly or the radio or the computer until I get dressed for appointments that require me to be on time.  After I’m dressed, and only then, can I turn on the computer, check email ortype a document.  I have to time myself even then.

I could focus, concentrate and walk straight instead of the detouring, multi-tasking attempts, and flittering I do now.

So this morning, I was fully dressed, coiffed (if you can call what I did to my hair today a “coiffure”), with my face prepared by 7:30 even though I didn’t need to leave the house until 9.  It is now 8:45 and I’m going to stop…this…post and pick it up when I return…that is…if this darn computer will let me.  An email just came in I could check it quickly, right.  No…no…I’m standing up, I’m saving this post, I’m…turning, the computer…off!

Post-script – I made it out and got to the tour of the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Art) in plenty of time!

Do you find it difficult to get out of your house?

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*The other animate occupant doesn’t seem to have this problem.


About Candelaria Silva

Candelaria Silva-Collins is a marketing, community outreach and programming consultant; writer; and trainer/facilitator who lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She has designed and facilitated workshops on a wide variety of topics including communication, facilitation, job search skills, team building, and parenting issues. She currently coordinates the Community Membership Program of the Huntington Theatre Company. Her work as Director of ACT Roxbury was profiled in several publications, including The Creative Communities Builders Handbook. Candelaria’s children’s stories, short stories, essays and reviews have been published in local and national publications and she is an active blogger. Her publications include the booklets, Handling Rejection; Pushing through Shyness: Networking Tips when You’re Shy, Slow to Warm Up or Just don’t Feel you Belong; and Real Questions about Sex & Relationships for Teens: A Discussion Guide for Parents. She has served on the boards of Goddard College, Wheelock Family Theatre, Boston Foundation for Architecture, and Discover Roxbury. She is currently Chair, Designators of the Henderson Foundation.

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