What Needs Doing?

trepte-174_its-endless-undoing-1Facebook, just now:

Maezen: There is nothing to do today but weed.

Me, in a comment: What is the snow-covered equivalent to weeding?

Maezen’s response: Jena–whatever needs doing.

This morning, I changed the sheets on our bed. I on on a long peri-menopausal runway, and the sweating is outrageous; many days, I wake up clammy and soaked as if I’d been swimming, and not just in dreams.

I straightened up the bedroom, which also serves as a makeshift office for both of us, and where the girls often hang out when we’re all home. Piles of clothes and books everywhere, papers categorized for preparing my taxes, markers and to-do lists and podcasts and Candy Crush–so much happens inside these four walls, and it felt good to neaten things up a bit.

I poured a second cup of coffee and tackled the dishes in the sink, which we ignored yesterday completely, took out two bags of trash, swept the kitchen, and hung up Aviva’s pottery pieces she brought home last week from school.

I sorted the recycling for Tuesday and ate a piece of pizza leftover from dinner last night at my sister’s house, where we watched “Being John Malkovich,” a film so brilliant, dark, and funny I loved it all over again.

I wrote a letter to a friend on topography paper, sealed and stamped for tomorrow’s mail pick-up. I checked my work calendar to see what the week ahead holds.

I decided to wait on showering, after hearing that Mani’s hot water ran out after five minutes.

I replied to a comment from a new blog reader, read a wonderful essay about W.H. Auden’s “secret” life, and emailed my address to a new client whose poetry I’m going to read and provide feedback on.

I’ve had a headache for almost a week straight, and can tell my neck and shoulders are screaming for hands and heat.

This afternoon, we are going to a bridal expo in Springfield–a wedding planner friend comped us tickets, and we expect to laugh and enter every single raffle there.

The need to be productive is different from doing what needs to be done. The latter is a practice and meets true necessity. The former can become practically pathological, if it means never slowing down. And like everything, a balance is probably best.

What else needs doing? And what needs undoing? What’s really important? What can wait or go away altogether? What does the person nearest me need in this moment?

I think I’ll go ask her.

Image by Cody Trepte

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