Spring cleaning and tax time are two foreboding concepts we face this time of year. It’s hard to enjoy the cherry blossoms and all the outdoor events scheduled right now with crammed closets and W-2's hanging over you. Or is it? Some people have a really hard time enjoying themselves with a long to-do list, while others are just fine with hitting the pause button on their obligations to enjoy some R and R. Unfortunately, when a couple is made up of one of each type, things can get hairy, and the Yin and Yang in this relationship can attest to that.
She Said: Figuring out which side of this issue I embody wasn’t difficult; just sitting down and writing about this topic made me feel antsy. Even though this column is my job, I thought of a million things that need doing while I pondered the notion of work before play. I need to handle the car registration, one of my tax forms is missing, I have an urgent need to do laundry and I have got to get a package in the mail to my younger brother (who’s expecting it)! How could I possibly sit still and type when all that needs doing? Remembering that this is work, not necessarily play, helps bring my anxiety down a notch. But overall, the idea of kicking back with a book or flipping through my DVR when there are dishes in the sink and I’m out of deodorant is ludicrous. Once everything in finished, I have no problem watching five episodes of How I Met Your Mother back to back or watching pets play musical instruments on YouTube. But seeing a kitten pluck the strings of a banjo isn’t as fun when my bed isn’t made.
He Said: There are so many responsibilities and obligations in this world that if you stop the fun until your to-do list is completely clear, prepare yourself for a fun free existence. I don’t know about you, but even after I put in a ten hour day at work, do a grocery run and write a few “birthday gift thank you notes,” there is still a lot to be done. I could get the car washed or finally change the address on my Rolling Stone subscription or call my sister. There’s always something to do, so at some point you have to just put it on hold and relax. My wife is almost chemically opposed to this. The other day, she was waiting for some information she needed to set up a news story. It was going to take an hour or so and she couldn’t write her story without it. Instead of taking a load off and making a sandwich or flipping through a magazine, she took a 90 second shower, bolted right back to her home office and called again and again until she got what she needed. Once her story was set up, the sigh she released shook the apartment.
There’s something to be said for getting your chores done before you make an ice cream sundae and watch a movie, but there’s also some value in quitting before you pace a hole in the floor. The expression “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” exists for a reason, but “too much of a good thing” rings true as well.