“I Give Up!” (For Today, Anyway)

It’s raining buckets here, and our garden is getting a great soak. One of the “neighbor cats,” whom we fondly call Plumpy-Nut, took shelter in our bird feeder to get out of the wet. It’s about 5′ off the ground, and I think he’s a pretty smart cat to get himself in there and out of the rain. It’s quite cool for an August day; about 67 degrees, so the Crankee Yankee (my husband) and I decided to make this a day off for both of us. Also, the pre-fall weather and the soothing sound of the rain makes us both sleepy, and even though we could clean the inside of the house today, we just didn’t want to.

I am sleepy because Pepper, our third cat, hawked up an enormous hairball inches away from my face this morning at 3:30a.m., which meant the sheets needed washing immediately. So, after the be-hairballed sheets were in the washer, I made up the bed with clean sheets and eventually went back to bed. The Crankee Yankee swore he would vacuum the house today, but I knew it wouldn’t get done; it’s just the kind of day it is.

So, while sipping my third cup of coffee, I looked around at the cat hair tumbleweeds on the rugs, the smudged kitchen floor, the dusty end tables and knick-knacks, the cobwebs in the corners, the piles of coupons, magazines, and other papers littering the kitchen table, and said: “That’s IT! I give UP! Dirt, mess, cat hair, mud, etc.–you WIN.”

The Crankee Yankee looked at me as only he can do–a mixture of “are you kidding me?” and “really?” and “I know you aren’t serious but you LOOK serious so I’m not going to argue with you.” I even allowed myself the luxury of imaging how we would eventually become one of those couples who hoard everything, and who have to make tunnels through all the junk in the house just to move from room to room. I also imagined people in our neighborhood watching us and our three cats get boarded onto a police car headed for the nearest mental hospital, saying to each other, “Yep–I knew they were crazy. I just didn’t know HOW crazy!” Then our still-half-finished house would be sold to pay off our stay in the nut house.

But that’s just the lack of sleep and too much coffee talking. We both decided that we would just put all projects on hold for the day, go out and get breakfast (which, by the way, was truly hedonistic), and sing “Let It Go” from “Frozen.” I informed the Crankee Yankee that I really didn’t mean I was going to give up on everything and let the place go to hell–that I just needed to let everything go TODAY.

And sometimes that’s all it takes to reset the old internal clock. Just turn your back on all the mess, mud, muck and mire and forget it for the day. Oh, it will all be there for sure the next day, but for today, sometimes you really just have to let everything float over you and stop trying. It’s a “just for today” thing. I swear.



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