My former job could be very stressful and intense at times. I was responsible for a huge biotechnology patent portfolio. I had roughly 700 active patent applications under my direct supervision, some foreign, some domestic. Some of the work I did myself, from the initial discussions with scientists, through drafting a patent application, prosecuting it with the US Patent Office, and eventually achieving an issued patent. Some of the work I supervised through outside legal counsel, both in the US and in a large number of other countries. I used my brain in very different ways. I had to develop legal arguments to counteract patent examiners at the US Patent Office. I had to read complex scientific articles and distill them into small nuggets of information, which I could then use to support the patent applications for which I had responsibility. I had a lot of daily meetings with scientists and business people. I was busy, each and every day, but I was intellectually busy.
When I used to come home from my job, I would do a little housework from time to time, but it was gentle in comparison to what I do now. I admit that I am not the world's best housekeeper, but I never let my home descend into utter chaos and disfunctionality. Now, instead of going somewhere else to work every day, I work at home. It is a completely different type of work. I don't really have to think very much about what I need to do, but I am busy, each and every day. I am physically busy. I am mentally stalled.
There is SO MUCH to be done here. I have never cleaned so much in my life. I have never organized so much in my life. I have never had to deal with the extent of chaos that I am presently dealing with. At the same time, I really miss the "thinking" work that I used to do, even though I am just as busy. I'm not quite sure how to manage this conundrum right now - perhaps it will work itself out.
In any event, to demonstrate how (hands) busy I am, here are a couple of "before" pictures of my current kitchen, and a couple of "after" pictures, to show you the progress I've been making. Keep in mind that when I acquired the home, all the previous owner's stuff (as shown in the pictures below) was still in place. Since the owner had some health problems, he was unable to do a lot of the clean-up work, so we agreed to take the house "as-is" and deal with it ourselves.
BEFORE: Note the....ummm...chaos! The rather dreadfully brownish-yellow wallpaper (which was originally a white background as I discovered when removing it) was truly horrid. I determined that it's probably due to a combination of age and smoke. Even though the house does not smell of smoke at all (I am very sensitive to smoke), I have found old, used ashtrays. I think that probably 5-10 years ago, both the former owner and his wife smoked heavily. Also note how you cannot actually SEE the table in the middle of the room, just the stuff that is sitting on it.
BEFORE: This is the view of the kitchen from the other direction. Yes, it really was THAT chaotic. I have never in my life seen a kitchen in such disarray. I was overwhelmed. You can actually see the table in this picture. Well, a little bit of it anyway... I encourage you to note the rather hideous "harvest gold" fridge and dishwasher. Let me also tell you that the dishwasher actually was full of dishes, but had not been run in probably 8-10 years. It was....well...pretty disgusting to empty it out. The shelves were completely full of stuff that didn't belong in the kitchen, but all of which needed to be sorted and categorized, or disposed of!
BEFORE: This was part-way towards my goal, but as you can see, the wallpaper was removed but the harvest gold appliances were still in place. Ugh...
AFTER: The same view, essentially, as the first picture I posted, but with the dreadful wallpaper removed, the chaos on the shelves removed, the rather pitiful stove removed, and a new stove and fridge (basic models but very serviceable) in place. Note that in the original picture, you can barely see the woodstove pipe that shows in this picture. It's going to be removed soon, but for now it just sits there. My rolling butcher block shelf unit is between the two appliances, which offers additional surface space for chopping, etc.
AFTER: This is after the harvest gold fridge was removed, and my metal shelves were put in place until we find some replacement cabinets we like. It's not perfect, but it is a long way from where it was. The wallpaper is gone, the chaos is gone, there is a semblance of normality. The dishwasher was removed yesterday. We'll have a new one installed in short order!