Thursday, February 10, 2022

Stretching the wings

Today is a high ambition day, full of plotting and strategy. Some days are for doing only the immediate. During those times I can't imagine the future. Other days (like now) I feel like a fledging raptor, stretching my wings and looking out at the space I'm going to conquer. 

The first space will be our house. I realized how to put up some pictures on the wall that I've been dithering about. My spouse wanted to put up a new rectangular piece of art next to an existing rectangle. And it wasn't going to sing. But I have a couple of oval things and a small rectangle that I can put up on the other side of the existing piece. And it will be much better balanced and overall good to look at. 

Tidy oop
I just read a book online (How to Manage your Home...) and have decided it's my next guide to a more fun and serene way to tackle housekeeping. It is not to diminish the author's achievements when I say that I love a good mommy blogger who talks about the challenges of maintaining a home and parenting. Someone able to engagingly describe the frustrations and satisfactions of the small stage. This book and her original blog project was a way to grapple with her own strengths and challenges when it came to keeping house. The distractions with what to keep and how to work around it, questions of value and guilt felt very familiar. I liked how constructive and blame-free the strategy is: build the foundational habits and routines that make each cleaning event require less time and effort. Simple, right? Some very tidy people clean as a way to manage anxiety. I don't envy that, I have felt it momentarily.   

Despite the sexism inherent in our current mode of existence, this is a worthy subject for any adult sentient biped. Because we all have to keep house in some sense or another. I find it more natural to read books and talk about them than to keep up a steady rhythm of cleaning. I've improved over the years (parenthood is quite a teacher) but it's still pretty rudimentary at our house. I am going to try this for a week and keep it to myself until I've built up some momentum. I hope the ADHDers I live with will get something out of it eventually. If not, at least I'll have reenergized my nagging. I do run out of the will to nag after a while.  

I learned today that Japan includes free education in their constitution and that all parents are required to send their children to a state approved school. There is no such thing as homeschooling in Japan. I approve entirely. This came up in a conversation with a Japanese coworker about the local district's budget crisis. There is a discussion of closing some of the elementary and middle schools to consolidate and save money. I hope they can find a way forward that avoids closures as much as possible. I worry that we've gotten our kids through American public school right before the roof caves in on that institution. 

We brought home the shy cat from the shelter. He was reallly shy at first and didn't want to interact, very easily startled. After a week, we've seen a lot of progress. He's stomping around our house now and yelling for exercise. He also runs up and down the steps and looks out the windows and yells. Nod thinks he's going to demand to go outside soon. Tough crap, kitty, you're an indoor citizen. He's so different from Zing. I miss her still. We settled on the Honourable Frederick Threepwood as a name after watching a bunch of Blandings. (Oh that second season is a delight!) Freddy weighs 13 pounds (so far) and is a long legged customer. He likes to throw himself down on the wooden floor -- we can hear the thunk of his hip hitting.   

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