Time’s Tyranny

Despite being retired and relatively free to do whatever I want to do, once again I find that Time’s demands cannot entirely be ignored, perhaps proof that old habits die hard.

Lately, between Leslie’s urgings and my own feeling that I should get more done, I’ve felt the need to finally get started on some long-standing projects around the house.

I suspect that for me the real motivation is the “end-of-summer” syndrome, a feeling that overwhelmed me for nearly thirty years of teaching. This syndrome, in turn, was probably an extension of a far older rhythm, that of the procrastinator, a personality that operates more effectively under the pressure of deadlines, real or imaginary, than in open-ended schedules where little seems to get done.

Without deadlines, I’m generally a “dabbler,” far more interested in the process of what I’m doing than in actually completing something. I have far too many former “projects” lying around than I’d ever care to admit, particularly since I also pride myself on being frugal and self-reliant.

Our current project is to re-paint and, perhaps, re-furnish our bedroom, though I’m more interested in the repainting than the refinishing. If I hadn’t spent most of my time in the bedroom sleeping with my eyes closed, the room would have been refinished long before now. The former owners painted most of the room a sickly pink, except for one wall poorly covered in rose-filled wallpaper that was lifting at the edges.

We knew when we moved in that we couldn’t live with that room, but we had other priorities, particularly solving storage problems so that I could actually get at my tools buried in the garage. Unfortunatelly, the garage is still mainly a storage area, not a working shop, but as our one-year anniversary in our home approached and summer drew to a close, we felt an increasing urgency to refinish the room. We moved furniture out of the room and finally started steaming wall paper off the walls last weekend. As of today, we’ve nearly finished the room, and all that’s left to do is to touch up the line dividing the walls from the ceiling, a little more than an hour of work.

We still have to buy new shades and decide whether or not we will replace the bed with a king or queen size bed. Personally, I’d prefer to stick with the old bed, but that’s probably because I made it nearly fifteen years ago from some beautiful walnut lumber I had and from old flooring that I salvaged from a gym floor. It supports the futon that I bought after my first divorce and slept on on the floor until my daughter complained, thus motivating me to make three beds that summer.

After sleeping in a king-size bed while on vacation, I realized that my long-standing arguments against buying a bigger bed were probably unfounded. It turned out that both Leslie and I slept sounder in the larger bed. Go figure. Though I’m not willing to spend my money on a new bed, I guess I’d be willing to throw away the old bed if Leslie wants to replace it.