Friday, April 25, 2014

I used to be a clean freak

In my younger years, I was a fervid cleaner, setting aside Saturdays to clean my house from top to bottom.   Cleaning is not longer a huge priority.  I'm big on controlling clutter.  Not so big on dusting, vacuuming, etc.

A major reason for this change?  Arizona dust.

Arizona dust is fine, light, and ubiquitous.  I lived in Iowa and Illinois prior to moving to Arizona.  In those states, you bought hutches to store china or knickknacks so they wouldn't get dusty.

In Arizona, the dust gets inside the hutches, the cupboards, the closets, the medicine cabinets.  Everywhere.

I have a two story house.  I can dust the downstairs, go upstairs and dust, come downstairs and already see the beginnings of a new layer of dust.

If you dust and no one sees, you can't prove you dusted.

Well okay, you can tell by the depth of the dust whether it has been a long while between dustings.

But the thin layer of dust that was a sign of poor housekeeping in Iowa doesn't count here.

During monsoon season, the dust comes in huge, moving waves that obscure the sun and blind motorists. But Arizona dust is always around.  I sometimes wonder if the inside of my lungs looks like the top of my refrigerator.

It's no wonder everyone I know suffers from allergies.

Why don't I leave?  Well, every state has issues.  Iowa and Illinois had humidity, mud, and mosquitoes.  Arizona weather and a job I like outweigh the hassles of the dust.

Besides, if I ignore it, it isn't there.  Right?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Why are reruns so comforting?

When I come home from work, I turn on the TV and hope that NCIS is showing on USA or Castle is showing on TNT.

Yesterday I was home sick from work and was thrilled to discover a Castle marathon, with a side of NCIS when I didn't like a particular Castle episode.  (There are very few of those, by the way.)

Why are reruns so comforting?

It's not just Castle or NCIS.  I will watch Jeff Dunham on Comedy Central almost every time he is on.  And laugh every time I do.  Or The Incredibles, or The Princess Diaries, or Doctor Who.  I've watched RED, Knight and Day, and Mr. and Mrs. Smith more times than I can count.

There is a comfort in advance knowledge that the show will, or won't, have a happy ending.

There is a release from the responsibility of paying close attention so you won't miss any plot points, and of knowing when your favorite parts will air.

There is pleasure in listening to the favorite conversations of your favorite characters.

It's the same reason I will reread some books over and over.  It's the people in them, their thoughts, hopes, dreams, conversations, and adventures.

I don't know the psychology behind it.  I just know that reruns are welcoming, comforting, and friendly.

I'm grateful to cable television for extending the lives of so many of my favorite programs.

What are your "comfort foods" shows?

Friday, April 11, 2014

What happened to my time management skills?

Something happened to me when I was laid off last year. I had 4+ months of severance and I enjoyed every minute of it.

But I lost my ability to manage my time effectively.

When I worked before, I made it to the gym 4 times a week.  I wrote blog posts 2 or 3 times a week.  I got projects started - and finished.

I can't seem to accomplish any of that now.

Somehow, I've gained an appreciation of doing nothing.

I'll drop everything to play fetch with the dogs or go for a walk.

I'll start a project I know I won't finish until later.  Sometimes much later.

And I've become okay with that.

I don't get nearly as much done as I did.

But I'm enjoying it much, much more.