"After the first four years the dirt doesn't get any worse." ~Quentin Crisp
I have bunches of hobbies, obsessions, and pastimes and I'm guessing that you do, too. But to my detriment, I never remember how to relax.
I'm always working on a little of this-and-that, and I just love-love-love a project. (It's how I procrastinate.) I've been an artist my entire life and always have a painting-in-progress that I pick at now-and-again. I have a knitting project that, at this point, is so out-of-control it's probably best not to even discuss that bundle of insanity. I've also been faux-finishing our dining room for the past five years, and am finally starting to see the light at the end of that particular tunnel. (You try painting an entire room with only an artist's brush!)
But beyond the madness I manage to invent for myself, I also always manage to clean just a little every morning. After making a pot of coffee and tossing back at least half of it, I hit the ground running. On an average day, for instance, like many of you, I'll chase the vacuum cleaner around, run a load of laundry, and sweep the backyard -- oh, and on a good day, I'll write some of my weekly blog and work on the manuscript for my next book, too, all before noon.
And then there's my list of other projects waiting in the wings -- and I mean an actual list. By the side of my computer I have a running "to-do" list. That includes things like patching the roof; finish painting some of the trim-work around the house, and somehow retiling the bathroom. Much to the chagrin of my partner and friends, I just can't sit still.
What was that!!?? No, not a car crash. That was the sound of me slowing down, me stopping to smell the something-or-other, me sitting still to take a breather. And ya' know why? Heh?
April 7 is "No Housework Day."
I'm not certain what smart-alek came up with "No Housework Day," but for sure it was some wise-en-heimer with a laundry list of stuff to do like mine who made up the perfect-excuse-of-a-holiday as a way to put it all on a back burner. "No Housework Day" is a day all about just saying, "No." (Nancy Reagan would be so proud!)
Just say "No" to taking out the garbage. No to laundry. No to washing windows. No to cleaning grout. No to vacuuming. No to turning the compost. No to bundling the recycling. No to everything.
I've made a vow to honor this faux-holiday, as painful as it may be, and hope that you will, too. But in a day filled with the word "no," how about filling some of it with the word "know." What about something like: "Know how to have fun" or "Know who's important" or "Know what's important" or "Know what's what."
And know guilt -- oops, I mean, and no guilt.
So instead of sweeping a room with a broom, sweep a room with a glance. Instead of hunting for dust-bunnies, let the suckers multiply. Rather than washing a load of laundry, take a load off. Today's tip isn't for cleaning it's for cleansing. Try this one on for luxurious:
First, cut two lemons into super-skinny-slices and put them in a large bowl. Dribble half-a-dozen drops of olive oil onto the citrus slivers, and finish by adding three cups of sea salt and giving it all a toss. Now it's hands off while the concoction cures for at least five minutes. Then pour your "citrus derma-dip" into your tub filled with hot, steamy water.
Lock the bathroom door, put on some soothing music, light some candles, submerge yourself into your citrus soup, feel the warmth loosening you up, and settle in for a comfy, lazy, r-e-a-l-l-y l-o-n-g soak. (If they knock and complain...tell 'em to cross their legs, 'cause you're busy doing nothing!) You'll reappear recharged and revived.
Be good to yourself and know how and when to say "No."
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