Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Fight For Your Rite

Yesterday I was ruminating on the passage of time and the inevitable receding of easy markers differentiating the years, all as relates to my work situation. There’s a somewhat similar phenomenon going on at home, too, and since today is technically the equinox it’s as good a chance as any, I reckon, to give that side its due consideration, too.

It seems like the seasons have very little impact on my job, which isn’t influenced by the weather terribly much. There’s a few things like quarterly accomplishment reports and annual performance reviews that are directly tied to the calendar, and then other things which are in fact subject to nature and the elements (here of course I’m thinking more of my commute, the fabled Leaf Oil Incidents and the once-a-year three-hour train ride home) but by and large a day at work in April is much the same as a day at work in July or October.

Around the house, on the other hand, things move in more changeable cycles. Examples abound but a couple of obvious ones leap to mind: yardwork and spring cleaning, both of which are very much at the forefront these days.

This past weekend I actually did a fair amount of yardwork, aerating the front and side lawns and then spreading weed-n-feed all around. This will be our third spring in the house, but it’s the first time I’ve really felt like we got a jump on things. Partially this was aided by the unseasonably warm weather, not only arriving early but with great staying power so that it was possible to be mindful of getting groundskeeping-type stuff done one day and still have favorable conditions for it a few days later. Also, we’re finally getting to the point where we’re not starting from square one with every single project. We already own an aerator, working hoses, sprinklers, etc. There’s some grass seed in the garage and some straw in the shed, leftovers from last year’s attempts at lawn salvaging. I bought more weed-n-feed, but they sell that at Costco where I had to go for various sundries (diapers, granola bars, coffee, y’know, the essentials) on Saturday anyway. Up til now it has always seemed like everything has a two-stage launch: a day just for running around to stores and assembling the materials, and then another day for getting the physical work underway. This time I was able to just walk out the front door and get to it, which is pretty nice. Yardowrk’s still an ongoing project, of course, almost by definition, but a manageable one for once.

What?  I like art.
Spring cleaning is a bit more complicated given that we have a house full of stuff and only half of the resident human beings who have a tendency to take stuff out of wherever it’s put away have any concept of putting things away again once their use has been completed. (To say nothing of the animals who are even less helpful.) But it’s more than just clutter; two to three years in is just about the point where “we just moved in” no longer really works as sufficient explanation for physical objects not having a designated place to be stowed in the first place, or for potential places of stowage to be ferociously disorganized. We’ve gone from entire rooms more or less functioning as bins-of-miscellany in the house schema, to certain corners of certain rooms as same, to not having extra space at all, knowing with reasonable certainty that we do have enough space, if we use it wisely. And the thought of tackling such an endeavor isn’t offputting to me in the least: designing and implementing organizational schema is seriously one of my favorite things to do! As with all things, it’s just a matter of finding time to make it happen.

Plus, of course, finding time for the little fixer-upper home improvement projects which aren’t really cleaning, per se, but would no doubt help with the overall freshening up which the blooms and blossoms outside seem to call for. There’s extra motivation for some of those tasks in the form of the little girl’s first birthday party, mere weeks away. As well as her big brother, who has taken it upon himself to start asking questions as he did last night during bathtime: “When are you guys going to paint this room?” (To be fair, the kids’ bathroom really is an eyesore, albeit one I’ve apparently habituated to since moving in.)

But again, isn’t that the great thing about spring? Not only that it periodically reminds us of things we should do (or, arguably, should have been doing all along) but that it invigorates us with the sense that these to-do’s are actually possible to achieve. How magnificent. (I say now. But check with me again after several weekends’ worth of manual labor.)

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