Wednesday, November 12, 2003

My warped sense of evolution 

I had a busy day of housework yesterday. I went grocery shopping, vacuumed and steam cleaned the carpet, changed out the litter box, washed three loads of laundry, and raked the leaves in the front yard. It would make sense to use today as a day of slack, but I probably won't.

Believe it or not, I enjoy housework (but no, I don't want to do yours). It gives me a sense of accomplishment when I get chores done. As I cross items off my mental list of things to do, it feels like I've had a productive day.

However, it doesn't have to be the completion of chores, per-se, to satisfy my productivity quota. It can be watching a movie that I've been meaning to get around to, reading a book, progressing in a video game, or taking the dogs for a walk around the neighborhood. In fact, yesterday I managed to find time to watch Holes and read for a while, too — both of which added to my sense of accomplishment.

The completion of projects is better than the completion of standard chores. I prefer to do something beyond the day-to-day grind in order to feel like I'm moving forward. Laundry and vacuuming are things that need to be done every week. They're perpetual chores that will never be finished. If I skip a week, they may build up the point where they seem like a big project, but really, accomplishing those tasks is just the struggle to remain at zero. Cleaning out the guest bedroom or reading a book, on the other hand, are goals that, once attained, don't need to be repeated. When I finish one of those sort of projects, I feel like I'm moved a step further in my life.

It may sound like it doesn't take much to keep me content. I suppose that's the case, even on a broader scale. I like my life where it is. If I can maintain the status quo, I'll be happy. If I can push it one notch higher, though — even with something so insignificant as finally hanging the pictures in the bedroom — I'll be that much better off. It's evolution at its least dramatic, and its most satisfying.