The title of this work means "household management" and is derived from the Greek word, οἶκος,oikos, meaning "house/household".
The sky is falling. If you're fortunate, the shelter you live in will keep you safe. Not everyone is fortunate, which is exposed now, more than ever. We're all home for a while, huddling with our beloved. Sharing space, hiding toilet paper, worshiping streaming services and relishing in the physical contact we're allowed with a few. The universe feels unbalanced; millions of screen-addicted creatures are suddenly craving nature and connection. One thing is constant: we tend to want it all.
This experience is a revealing one. We get what we want most of the time, whether professionally, personally or in a box on the front porch 24 hours later. Now, we're all faced with the economics of not only our world, but our home. We wake up to it in its raw form every morning with little mouths chirping at us like hungry birds, whether we have professional work, parent work (or both) to contend with. It's chaos, no doubt about it.
But I think it has saved me.
This situation hasn't thrown things out of balance. It's revealed our lack of balance. As recently as last month, I woke up screaming like a trainer on the Biggest Loser and didn't stop until their little feet climbed on to the school bus. Then, I jammed white carbohydrates into my face, chased them with coffee, crammed as much work as possible until they returned home, drove them every activity available in metro-Chicago, and resumed military-level screaming until we all passed out face-down on our pillows. The goal was to check all of the boxes, get it all in, have a "successful" day.
It was the opposite.
Today, I'm failing miserably. I'm holding on to freelance work with a foggy, distracted brain. My stinky robe could stand up on its own at this point. My husband has taken over what was once my office and decorated it with 76 almost-empty coffee cups, my kids have averaged 80 hours/wk on their devices. There are so many empty cereal boxes, so many dishes, so much dust. No toilet is flushed. Ever.