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September 14, 2013

Celebrate small accomplishments of best laid plans

My summer plans always seem so reasonable when I make them in May. Come late-August, I wonder what the heck past-me was thinking.

For example, this summer my goal was to paint my home office and the family room and the stairwell while simultaneously finishing a book I’ve been toying with and researching another. The kids and I were going to do co-operative craft projects and reading logs and muck out their rooms.

I accomplished exactly one of those things. My office is lovely, by the way. While I hate painting, I love having painted.

Part of the problem is the weather. Actually, the weather itself isn’t the issue; instead, it’s my response to metrological conditions that creates the problem.

I don’t function well when the mercury climbs above 75 or so. As I type this, it’s in the 80s and all my brain seems capable of is wondering if they still make thermometers with mercury in them. Isn’t it all done with, like, solenoids and iPhones now?

All I want to do on a hot summer day is lie around and feel sorry for my sweaty self. Accomplishing anything beyond tearing up some lettuce for dinner is more than I can imagine, much less taking the children outside for some wholesome activity. Besides, they’ve reached the age where they can find their own fun.

Or, if they choose, said kids are welcome to cultivate their own boredom. I think idleness is under-rated in our culture today. A good friend of mine who has grown a decent music career learned to play guitar because there was nothing else to do on his family’s farm. You need a certain amount of slack in your life in order to figure out how to amuse yourself.

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