A friend asked me recently how my laundry room project was going. I had to laugh. “It’s functional,” I answered, “so I’ve stopped.” That means that much has been painted, all the hooks are hung, and the washer and dryer are back in their proper places and in working order. But wow, it’s not done. It’s in desperate need of a final coat of paint on quite a bit of the trim, I need to paint two doors, and paint all the walls above the trim work I just installed. It looks awful.
But….it’s functional. So I stopped.
We discussed the hassle of removing all the coats/hats/scarves and stashing them in the dining room while I finished the last of the paint work. It’d almost be easier to wait until summer, she noted. Then all that stuff would be put away.
I really had to think about that. I’m still thinking about that. Instead of feeling like I’m procrastinating, putting off this ridiculous job that must be done now, maybe this is something to plan this way. Maybe this is something to put off intentionally. In summer, the “coatroom” part of the laundry room will disappear, and the area will be free to do whatever needs to be done. I could even open the window for air while I paint. Wouldn’t it make more sense to put it off–on purpose?
It reminded me of a Saturday at my parents’ home. My dad was outside in gray, windy, 40ish-degree weather, washing the windows. I’d seen the weather forecast, and I teased him about what he was putting himself through: “If you’d wait two days, it’s supposed to be almost seventy!” His response was simply, “Work before play,” and he headed back outside to his ladder.
I get that….I’m completely on board with the idea of “work before play.” It’s an idea I’m trying to instill in my children. But that morning I started wondering about the difference between “work before play” and “when would it be wise to do this job?” That question is the same one I’m thinking of now, as I look at my still unfinished laundry room. Spring has sprung, and the room that once felt stuffed full of winter coats has thinned out to just a jacket here and there… Maybe it’s time to think about diving in?