Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ironing out the details...

What household chores do you absolutely hate to do? Which ones do you really enjoy? I hate to dust. Hate it. Growing up in the desert living with a bunch of pack-rats dusting was the worst job ever. Moving everything off of a shelf to dust it only to have a fine layer of dust collect again before you could even finish the room was frustrating in the extreme. It's one of the things I really like about living in Portland. I can normally dust every other week and you can't tell. I say normally because it's been a very dry summer and there is construction across the street so this summer it's back to weekly dusting and still having a layer of grit over everything. Ugh.

Today I ironed. I have been planning on ironing for a few weeks but the heat came on in August and didn't turn off until today. And even if you like to iron the thought of standing in the third floor of the house ironing when it's 90+ outside just isn't appealing. Ironing is not a summer job. But here is the thing, I like to iron. I like the meditative aspect of it. It's very soothing. I like the fact that you have something to show for it at the end of the chore. Like painting, I love to paint. If someone would do the prep work part, which I don't like doing, I would probably change the color of our walls once a year. There is something soothing about the repetitive motion of it, and something satisfying about being able to point to a newly colored wall, or a freshly ironed shirt at the end and know you did that.

I also like how much freedom it gives you just to think. Ironing isn't complicated so your brain can puzzle on problems or issues or just be creative while you work. I also like the memories I have with ironing. I remember ironing Brent's uniforms when we were first married. Even though now I am really just smoothing out the wrinkles instead of pressing and starching things I still have an urge every once in awhile to starch in some military creases, just to see if I still remember how. I always felt a sense of pride when he would pass inspection in a sharp uniform I had ironed. I was good at that, not so good at haircuts, but really good at pressing a uniform.

I also remember all of the hotel rooms I have ironed in over the years. I ironed more when travelling than I ever did at home. I can remember feeling horribly for Erin Andrews when the pictures of her ironing in her underwear were released. I can't tell you how many times I have done the same thing, pressing a suit or blouse before heading out for an event. The invasion of her privacy, and how I knew I had done the same thing and never once worried about someone looking in the peep hole at me, just made me angry for her. 

What did I accomplish today while ironing? Well aside from a closet full of shirts that now look a little less wrinkly, I worked out a piece in the Practical Magic series that has been bugging me. I have two separate pieces that I want to weave together for the next chapter and I think I have finally figured out how to do it. Look here tomorrow to see if I did. I thought about working out. Or not working out as the case may be. See today was the first day in 6 weeks where I just didn't work out. Not because I was hurt or sick or it was an off day but because I couldn't find my give a damn.

I had it, but I lost it and couldn't find it again. See I was headed downstairs for the first workout of the day and the power went out. Well when you work out to a DVD in the basement no power sort of puts that on hold. So I read for awhile until my book ran out of juice, then I talked to some people on Facebook until I realized that if the power company had not clue when the power would be back on I should probably not use up all the charge in my phone. So then I washed dishes and pulled the birdseed weeds. Then I read a little of yesterday's mail. Then the power finally came back on. Well by then I was hungry, it was the time that I normally have my between workouts snack. So I decided that working out while I was hungry would suck so I would have the snack then workout like normal and push the second workout to this afternoon. When it came time again to workout I still couldn't muster up the oomph to do it. Now I will say that part of it is because I switched things up this week and I am sore like nobody's business today. But still, I just didn't want to. So I didn't. 

And while I was ironing I thought about all of that again. And I decided that it was okay. That this is part of the learning curve for what I am doing. That some days I am not going to have it in me to do it. And that if I let myself off the hook today doesn't mean I will let myself off the hook tomorrow. I figure if I am treating it like a job this is just one of those less productive days at work that we all have every once in awhile. 

I also though about the book on the brain I have been reading and how to apply some of the learnings to my life. Which I've already started. See the more regular workouts as one, though I was doing that BEFORE I read the book and realized how incredibly important it is, I am still counting it. I also thought about what lousy multitaskers we are and why that is. Even if we think we are good at it we aren't. See that's why I can think while ironing, because it's not something new that I am trying to process. Ironing is a habit (another great brain book I just read, The Power of Habit), I do it the same way each time I do it, I don't think about it. Which leaves my brain free to wander. But if I am doing something like say, writing this blog, and I try to do something else, say check Facebook, my brain has to switch off of one task on to the other and it's not able to do them both at the same time. So I am better off not dealing with FB while writing at all. Which led me to the next conclusion which is that I see an even steeper drop off of my FB time in the future than I already have done. I get so much more done during the day if I don't log on to FB. It doesn't take a genius to figure out where the time suck happens.

And yes, because it's Fall and you all know my big changes always seem to happen in the late Summer and Fall I started thinking about what I want to do next.  August, September, October those are my resolution and changes months. Forget New Years and Spring, the Fall that's where it's at! So my brain was churning away at thinking about next steps in writing and publishing. I didn't hear anything back from the publishers I sent my children's story to this summer. Which sucks. Brent keeps trying to get me to e-publish but for whatever reason I can't seem to get too excited about that. Though I did just by a book on Kindle publishing so that might change. 

So today while I was ironing I thought of those things. I thought about my day. I thought about a couple of different fiction pieces I had in my head. I thought about the book I am reading on the brain. I thought about a lot of things. I had plenty of time. See if you don't iron all summer you end up with a couple hours worth to catch up on. So one of the other things I thought about was that I will be taking a day a week and ironing. Not only to stay caught up but to have the time to let my mind wander.

Because not all that wander are lost...but some of us are...

No comments:

Post a Comment