Staving off overwhelm is the order of the hour around here. As usual we have a lot of terrific opportunities for work and school and socializing, yet even heavily edited the calendar can seem daunting.
One of the casualties of running about having fun and not being home much is the inevitable slide of household upkeep and projects. I’ve developed a certain comfort level with this over the years – I do value experiences more as I get older, and understand that there are only so many hours in the day, and that as hard as I might try I cannot be two places at once. (dammit!). As much as I love houses, and my house in particular, I don’t care to be so tied down to maintenance that I say “no” to an occasion to spend time with people I love, or to learn something new on an outing, or to help someone who needs it. Obviously we can’t let the place crumble around our ears, but the occasional cobweb left undisturbed, a dish in the sink? I look past those pretty frequently.
A really gross back door covered in dog slobber and fingerprints and buggy things…..no. At least, not anymore. It’s *REALLY GROSS*. Our dogs and most of our people demand to come and go through this door, so it is prone to getting funky. It’s also a glaring reminder that letting things get disgusting has a huge effect on overall well being – this is the first and last thing we see (usually) as we go about our lives, so it’s kind of a daily downer. And did I mention *REALLY GROSS*???
So – back to where I started – OVERWHELM…it’s these little but important tasks, like cleaning the back door, that on their own are really quite manageable but when you make a list of how many of them there are in the average household on any given day, it’s easier to just ignore them, pour another cup of coffee and do just about anything else. Even paying bills is less painful.
This poor door really needs to be replaced, or at least painted, but that’s not happening today or even this summer. What I can do, very quickly, is clean the sad little thing and show it some gratitude for its years of daily service. Also, our back mat deteriorated and was thrown away, so a replacement was in order – but again, relegated to “not urgent” status. This was a lucky clearance find at Target last week ($7.68!) and since you can’t put a fresh new doormat under a dirty door, Tiny Task Tuesday was inspired.
My idea for TTT is this – schedule and accomplish something small, with big results – or maybe not big, maybe it just needs to get done? Either way, it should take less than one hour and less than $10.00 to accomplish, and the faster and cheaper the better. On Tuesdays. Like a standing appointment.
Two things based on my experience this morning – 1) this effort will cause the domino effect. You will notice that everything everywhere needs cleaning and straightening and replacing. But that is not the point of this exercise! For myself, I imposed a strict limit – the door, it’s surround, and the first step both in and out of the door. 2) hurry up and finish within the allotted time . This is a serious “perfect is the enemy of the good” trap waiting to snare me. Plus, these aren’t necessarily tasks to be savored (otherwise we’d be doing them all the time) and even though I’m a process person, going too slowly will throw off my timing for the rest of the day and make me less likely to return for my next TTT*.
My friend Dawn to the rescue – I just used this and warm water to clean off grime, and finished off the glass with glass cleaner and newsprint.
I did manage to finish this little exercise in an hour and ten minutes (I started at 9:18, and finished at 10:26) including gathering, rinsing, and returning the equipment I used, and snapping the pictures. The only out of pocket expense was the mat, so I’m counting it as a win.
Not perfect, but so much better. I’ll take it.
With love and optimism –
*there’s a broken tile on the threshold – that’s up next!