Exercise and housekeeping are two areas of my life where my ambitions and intentions are always overcome by my complacency. One day, I hope to have routines that work so well I can accomplish them as naturally as now I breathe, or help myself to ice cream after dinner.
I let my membership to Curves expire, and I have to say I finished with a “whimper and not with a bang,” as Eliot would say. In other words, I quit attending long before my pre-paid months were up. However, I made sure to practice relationship etiquitte; I made some attempts to go through the motions even after the love had cooled in my heart, and even in our final weeks of complete separation, I did not exercise at any other facility until I was sure that my contract was officially over. However, I have since moved on, and time will tell if this is a transitional relationship or if I have found The One.
The Summit is a much earthier exercise venue than Curves. It is run by the city, so it is inexpensive and therefore attended by an unusual variety of patrons. All of the weight and cardio machines are in one room, so I as I walk on the treadmill and look at the mirror-covered walls I can see Terminators-in-training in T-shirts with the sleeves cut off bench pressing 350 pounds. Ten feet away, a spry 80-year old sits at the weight machine doing bicep curls with 10 pound resistance. On the treadmills, to my right might be a high school athlete, and on my left might be a very overweight person trying, like me, to get a handle on personal fitness before things get any more out of hand.
The general atmosphere does not even try to be cheery, as Curves did, with little logic puzzles posted on the walls and encouraging slogans on a bulletin board. It’s crowded and usually smells sweaty. But for $20 a month, Stephen and I can go and get our exercise, and it’s do-able because it’s not far from our house. Outside, we have access to a pool and tennis courts if we choose to ever take advantage of them. And honestly, I like the low-maintenance aspect of this gym. I can come and do my thing, and as long as I don’t try to move the fans or change the TV channel without assistance, no one will bother me. So we’ll see how it goes.
My other latest quest has been to get a handle on my housekeeping. We had fallen into a bad habit of neglecting all chores during the week, which meant that by Saturday morning it looked like a frat house–clothes strewn around the bedroom, scum on the bathroom sink, and dishes piling up in the kitchen. Half of the weekend was devoted to restoring my home to its usual comfortable neatness, and the other half was spent coming up with excuses not to get anything dirty now that it was clean.
I hate this cycle, and I could forsee it getting even worse during the summer, when my lazy side gets indulged. Even worse, I worried that the arrival of TH in August would result in not much housework getting accomplished on a regular basis during the week, and even less on the weekend. So I decided to whip myself into shape before my procrastinating habits became any more ingrained.
I made myself a schedule that divides chores into three categories: must be done every day, must be done every week, must be done once a month. Then I divided up the chores among the days so that I have two little tiny projects to do each day. Since I am the wife, and the member of the family with only one job instead of two, these are primarily my responsibility, although Stephen is gracious to pitch in whenever he is home. So far it’s been two weeks and the schedule is working swimmingly. Here’s what it looks like:
Every day chores (for Lindsey and Stephen):
-hang up/fold clean clothes
-put dirty clothes in hamper
-wipe down bathroom sink after use
-wipe down kitchen counters
-put away personal clutter
Monday: dust, Swiffer hard floors
Tuesday: no chores due to Bible study group
Wednesday: laundry, Clorox wipe bathroom surfaces
Thursday: Vacuum carpets, wipe down bathroom floor
Friday: no chores due to weekend
Saturday: laundry, weekend project
Sunday: laundry, clean out refrigerator
Weekend 1: mop floors
Weekend 2: launder dog pillow, blanket, towels, etc.
Weekend 3: mop floors again
Weekend 4: deep clean bathrooms
Weekend 5: clean windows