Friday, February 18, 2011

Wherein We Review The Concept of "Dawdlework"


Moons and moons ago I believe I coined the term "dawdlework" to describe doing things that, while necessary, are insufficiently high on a current priorities list to justify the level of energy expenditure devoted to them. This is generally more constructive than mere procrastination, and allows for a positive defense when accused by family and loved ones of "not getting anything done."

I am confronted every spring with this, and this one is no exception. In preparation for the coming of Sturdy Baby, the Mrs. and I have been doing various projects around the house. We still have too much junk. But my priority revolves around thinning the amount of Stuff that we have, and putting away the Stuff that we do have in some semblance of order and aesthetic appeal. But Mrs. is focusing on the nursery. At this point our opinions diverge. I feel (quite strongly) that we need to focus on other areas first, since we have already done so much in the nursery already. Mrs., firmly in Nesting Mode, disagrees. She offers as a positive defense, "But we need to have the nursery ready well before the baby gets here!" And while she has a point, I can't help feeling that this may be a bit of a dodge to avoid doing things like sorting boxes for storage, thinning for another garage sale, and such.

Mind you, I have utterly no hope of winning this argument, logically or otherwise. I've been married long enough to appreciate this.

However, my crafty ("male!") mind has taken a different tack lately. The weather is growing warmer. There are many projects that need doing outside, especially in the vegetable beds. I can reasonably claim that if work is not done now, we will be in March and March is going to be busy, plus March is into growing season and many things need to be done prior to this time. Thus, I go skipping merrily outside to do Manly Things.

This, friends, is dawdlework.

One of the key secrets to a happy marriage is agreeing to only tackle one project at a time, and to have a defined time-limit to said project (four hours on Saturday morning seems to work well for everyone here). Another is agreeing beforehand to reward cooperation with incentives like footrubs. But it also doesn't hurt to make sure that "dawdlework" also includes something that will pleasantly surprise the other party. I'm working on that one...


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