Saturday, May 6, 2017

Repair Work

I slept until 6:30 today, which is very unusual for me--and that's after I fell asleep at 9 last night.  The last 6 months of getting ready for our accreditation visit have left me more exhausted than I expected to be.  I am glad that I've kept May largely free so that I can recover.

Last night, as we stared at our task list for getting the various home remodeling chores done, I felt such a wave of hopelessness wash over me.  What happened to the woman that I used to be?  That woman would know the order of what should be done, and she'd have a week by week plan.  She would not vacillate the way I did last night, "Maybe we should think about moving your study to the cottage.  Maybe we should revisit that."  Likewise, my spouse would have put in 12 hour days to get the work done, and I'd have helped where I could, around my full-time teaching job.

Because Friday night is slow, and I needed to feel like we could accomplish something, we made a Home Depot run to pick up some basics:  pool care products, a part to fix the broken toilet handle, a new weed wacker, and a new blower for good measure.

Later, I had a revelation.  When I was younger, I had more time to put home repair plans into place--my work did not require so much of me.  My spouse was not working multiple adjunct jobs, the way he is now.  When we were younger, we didn't have much cash, so it was clear that we would be the ones doing the work.  Now we need to decide when to call in "experts," and when to let my spouse proceed--and if he does it, is it worth the work that he has to turn away, work for pay?  When we were younger and remodeling a house, we also didn't have so many design options.  We went to the Home Depot and decided between the 7-10 flooring choices.  The only fancy countertop choice was Corian, and we couldn't have afforded that.

And when I was younger, I didn't realize how much home repair/remodeling would disrupt my life, and so it was easier to embrace what needed to be done and to adopt a full steam ahead approach.

I finished the day by reading Margaret Drabble's latest, The Dark Flood Rises.  What a treat!  Despite its topic of all the betrayals of getting older, the old Drabble humor is there, and she's got such piercing insights about society.  Some of her books, especially the ones written this century, have come across as bitter instead of funny, and I prefer my satire to have significant humor with its bite.  I'm only about 40 pages into the new work, but I'm seeing the right balance here.

I look forward to having some time to read, some time to sleep, some time to get the house in order--in a small way, like vacuuming and laundry.  The larger work will happen in its own time.  I'm glad to have had enough experience to know that fact too.  Some times, when the work feels impossible, it's time to back off and wait for the right time.

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