As my recent post on housework demonstrates, I have been neglecting many areas in my life lately in favor of blogging.
If you’re into blogging, you’ll know that blogging can become a proper little rabbit hole. You go down and you rarely come out again. You enter a feverish flux of post-comment-moderate-post-read-comment-moderate-reply-read-post with no end in sight. Meanwhile all the things you haven’t done eat at your concentration until the only thing left at the keyboard is a twittering, caffeine-swilling word-press wreck with a gaping hole where post ideas should be.
Due to my blogging obsession, there have been things that I have left hanging. Little things, on the edge of my consciousness, continuously nudging at me. “Here, Laura! Look at me! I need doing!” Their voices are tinny and annoying. I do my best not to listen to them. I tell them that I am terribly busy. I am busy tapping the keyboard, drinking wine and eating chocolate chips cookies. Just leave me alone!
A while back I read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. She had this rule of doing anything immediately that takes less than a minute to do. I did that briefly, but now I’m back to just looking at things that need doing and saying “Oh dear” with all the energy of an unambitious slug. The house is definitely not on fire and no one is lying on the floor convulsing, but I don’t pick up the socks. I don’t call to make an appointment. I act like the proverbial husband and listen to the nagging until it morphs into mere background noise.
Yesterday, I’d had enough. I decided that I needed to unload all the excess stress that these undone things were creating in my blog-addled mind.
So, within a very short time, I did ridiculously many things I’ve been meaning to do for ages. I took the carpet to the dry cleaners. I booked an appointment for an eye examination. I booked an appointment with the hairdresser. I did some necessary shopping for the boys. I marked their clothes for daycare. I vacuumed. I arranged the books back in the bookcase. Etc.
The whole thing took me a few hours, but the amount of brain clarity gained was enormous. I managed to post, too, so the mundane things didn’t get the upper hand. The creation was not exactly Pulitzer material, but the trade-off was good.
Wiping my to-do list clean(ish) taught me a lot.
One: it only takes roughly two seconds to lift a pair of dirty socks to the laundry basket. That means you could theoretically do 30 pairs in a minute, or 1800 in an hour. Within the great scheme of things, the amount of energy expended for lifting one pair is negligible. There is no reason to complain about lifting one pair.
Two: If you don’t do something immediately, you’re going to have to do it later anyway. Waiting too long might lead to developing your own personal mold culture laboratory. Not that I have experience with this. That would be sad.
I feel better now that I’m done. But. There is a problem. Is it really over? Are we safely on board a rescue craft, ready to exhale a great big sigh of relief and post the picture of the iceberg Thingsleftundone on the Internet? I don’t think so.
More will come. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon. These things will start pulling at my sleeve, going “Laura, do this! Do this now!” Their tinny voices will build up and fade into an unpleasant background noise.
Let’s face it. I haven’t learned anything.