I’ve kept a running list of things I’ve got to do in my head for years. These are bigger projects that don’t fit on my daily to-do list or things that I need to research how to do like fixing a doorknob that won’t latch or shopping for paint to repaint a room. There are so many steps that it’s easy for me to get overwhelmed and put the task off. But the undone task sits in my brain, nagging me, making feel inadequate and vaguely guilty.
I did finally repaint kid #1’s room about a year ago. It took some time to choose paint chips, then go back for paint samples, paint wall patches with samples, come to an agreement with kid #1 on which color to use, go back to the store to buy the paint, move the furniture, tape and prep the walls… see why I put it off? The actual painting was the easy part.
Now I’m working my way through a mental to-do list for kid #2’s room. I
recently took care of a furniture purchase that had been bugging kid #2 and me for the better part of three years. I was relating what a pain it was to my father and mentioned the next task, repairing the bedroom door latch. The door would close but that sticking out part from the door didn’t pop into the cut out part of the jamb so the door wouldn’t stay closed (which the cats loved, but the kid hated). He immediately offered to take a look and was able to repair it that very day. Hooray!
My dad then took his tools out to the side gate. I thought it was normal to have to slam the gate closed. Turns out that, no, that’s a screwed up latch. In 15 minutes, with a drill and screwdriver, my dad had the gate closing easily and quietly. No slamming necessary. (I wonder if that gate bugged him the whole 10 years we’ve lived in this house and he didn’t want to step on ES’s toes by fixing it…)
Getting these ongoing, niggling tasks completed is like releasing a deep sigh. It clears my mental space. It relieves a hidden burden I was barely conscious I was carrying.
Edit: A few hours after hitting the publish button, I realized that the tasks I wrote the most about were completed by my handy dad. But I also did a number of things myself, including a complete room re-do for kid #3 which involved the complete disassembly of her huge Ikea loft bed. I don’t want to leave the impression that I’m a damsel in distress waiting for a man to fix everything. I do, however, greatly appreciate a man with tools.