Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Rule of Thumb

The rule of thumb with exercising is it doesn't matter how you feel, exercise.
The rule of thumb with writing is if you only write when you feel inspired, you aren't a writer, you're a hobbyist who keeps a diary or a journal.  
The rule of thumb with cleaning is don't procrastinate.

So this is an all thumbs day.  

Yesterday, I climbed back onto the exercise wagon, but writing still lagged, so I told myself, today, no matter what, you would be stuck with me for 1000 words.   Normally blog posts are 400 words, 800 if I get going.   You are doomed.   Why? Because I've climbed onto the computer version of a treadmill, set the timer, and I'm not getting off until it's done.  No cheesy clips. No links. No.  I need to get back to writing 1000 words a day, either in Penelope or here, or for submission.  To do that, I need to start.  

How many words is that?  181?  Nuts.  I’ve barely begun and feel winded.  I’ll put on some tunes to keep me going.   Googling “Unwritten.”  (My favorite song to get started with writing).   But I’ve got nothing. I’m staring at this stupid page and crawling for each word. 

Where did my muse go?  Answer, she’s lurking beneath the flab in my brain.  I’ve got to start exercising to tone her into shape, to make her more present.   Sigh. 

AHHHHHHH. I’m “staring at the blank page before me…” Maybe this wasn’t the best choice for a song as background.    Don’t look at the count. You’ll be disappointed.  Don’t look. Too late. I looked. Nuts, I’m only at 292.   Push. Push through the mental pain of having a block.  Write. Damn it Sherry! Write!  

Story.  What story will I tell you today? 

There’s the discovery my kids have a Wikipedia understanding of the world. 

Readers of this blog know my dryer has commitment issues.  Sometimes it works beautifully, other times, it needs more reminders to do its work than my children do to put their laundry away.  I’ve learned to give it smaller loads.  To keep up with our family though, I need more dry than the piece meal approach allows.   Sunday, I opted to string out a line and hang the towels and other things, so as to double our output.
My teen thought I’d lost my mind.  “The sun can’t dry those things.” He announced.  His sister agreed.  Pointing out clothes have dried since clothing began via the sun could not dissuade him from his opinion.  Googling proof didn’t help as a fellow blogger, the Frugal Momma, came up as the top post. “Why I no longer line dry my clothes.” Now she wasn’t saying it didn’t work, only that it wasn’t as time efficient as the modern method.  But the headline gave him the proof he needed.  “She doesn’t do it, so you shouldn’t either.”  Pointing out she had a different issue than I did, I wasn’t doing either method exclusively didn’t work.  “Just put them in the car and drive to the laundry place.”  He suggested.

I proposed a race, between the dryer and the sun.  Equal sized loads. Both got two towels.  We’d start them at the same time. The dryer would run until they were dry.  I bet the sun would win even though there were clouds.  “This is stupid.” He said, and told me the race was fine, but his clothes were going to the laundry mat, neither my dryer nor the sun would work.   While not as gripping as the race between the iron horse and the horse drawn carriage, or the tall tale of John Henry vs. the Steam Drill, (My kids have been watching Disney Short films), in this case, I bet against technology.  All I wanted was dry clothes, but now, I had to prove to my son, the capacity of the sun, and my own wisdom despite google headlines to the contrary.  

One cycle through, everything is still damp.  The toy house propping the line blew over from the wind resulting in a scramble to rehang all the laundry.  My son gave me one of those smug “SEE I KNOW BETTER” smiles.   Two cycles through.  Watching me flipping some of the laundry on the line, he gave me a thumbs down.

Some of the stuff in the machine and on the line feel dry to the touch but the rule is it has to all be dry to count, whether the dryer or the sun.   The laundry starts cycle three.   The sun wins. The dryer still needs another cycle for the towels.  My son has put his wet clothes in the car.  He explains, “Don’t put my clothes on the line. In fact, don’t wash my clothes. I’ll do my own laundry.”

It turns out, he doesn’t want me airing his dirty or for that matter, clean laundry.   So in addition to proving that I may actually know something and that the sun can be used to dry clothes, I’ve eliminated a chore for me…at the price of once a week dropping him off at the Wishy Wash place.  Is there a downside to this?  I’m thinking no.  

In fact, upon consideration, I’m wondering if I did the dishes outside in public view, if I could get out of kitchen detail as well.  Maybe if we made the home transparent, I could get the kids to clean.  
Am I done yet? 

905 words.   

Last push, cool down part of the exercise…before I have to also go and exercise. 
The music is back.  The procrastination is back.  I registered two girls for Girls on the Run, answered emails, watched an excellent video on Syrian crisis and moved the laundry along before recognizing, I was opting to do chores rather than write. SIT BACK DOWN.  Finish the damn thing.   971.  Man I’m out of practice.   Thanks for bearing with me  in this exercise, I hope you’ll come back tomorrow as I try to have my blog become the equivalent of my mental treadmill/trail run.  

And a big "Thumb's up" for persisting. 

1 comment:

Helene said...

Congratulations! You made it. I feel your pain because I just re-joined the gym. After one day I'm already re-thinking it. Yikes!

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