There is something insidious about instructions.

I made the mistake of opening the box and looking at the installation instructions for a new ceiling light I bought. Whenever I read instructions my first thought is  “How hard can it be?”. A quick cost-benefit analysis of installing the light myself vs waiting for the handy man leans heavily toward the side of Wheres that ladder? Ultimately it comes down to available time, no matter how strong the siren call of the easy-to-install instructions.

I don’t know how other people manage so many home improvement projects. We can barely keep up with the usual cleaning/shopping/cooking/yard maintenance let alone improve anything. Last year we had to scrape and paint the garage because we were cited by the city. I understand the inspections and citations are a necessary evil to maintain good housing stock, but boy did that task suck up any and all “free time” for the entire summer.

I know it comes down to priorities, and trying to integrate both work & play into the hours after you leave your paid job, but some of us are better than others at figuring that out. My family knows that I’m incapable of lounging in my pyjamas. In fact I only leave the bedroom in my pyjamas once a year on Christmas morning for the coffee, cookies and present opening part of the day. I have a hard time relaxing if there is work pending. And there is always work pending.

Unless I am in full escapist mode, or on vacation, there is a certain number of tasks that have to be completed before I can chill. The number and complexity varies according to an obscure, internal algorithm that exists independent of my will (e.g. the day before our wedding I had to re-pot all of the house plants).

I want to relax, and I am getting better at it, its just not yet my immediate response to exhaustion or unstructured time. Blame Catholic guilt, or my parents obsessive work ethic, or the fact that I always manage to see dust that my husband can ignore, how ever you slice it – My name is Amanda and I have a problem.

Meanwhile that new light fixture is sitting there taunting me…