#279: Labor of Love?

#279: Labor of Love?
North La Salle, Detroit, MI

“You know how people call things a ‘labor of love’?” Julia said as we were scraping paint again today. “Sometimes it’s just labor.”

So goes the work on the house. We extended the lease on our apartment by a month so we wouldn’t have to rush. And good thing, too, as we’re still not ready for paint. Hopefully we’ll finish scraping the trim by end of week (though that’s also what we said last weekend).

Why is it that we (Julia and I) are so bad at estimating renovation times? Maybe it’s that we’re new to it; we see the action but not all the setup and cleanup around the action. The ways that a little bit of laziness in the moment (like not covering the floors under the door trim) leads to more work later on (having to sweep and clean those same floors). Our solution has been to try to think more about our future selves, to ask: How can we make less work for Future Jack and Future Julia? Is it possible to defer laziness?

I have notes back from my editor, and am just returning to a daily journaling and writing routine. It feels like I haven’t touched the new manuscript in forever, and that’s a good thing! The plan from now until move-in is to write a couple hours in the morning, immerse myself enough in the story so that when I’m at the house, the story will be where my mind wanders. Wind up the toy bird and loose it out the window. I’m planning to keep a pen and notepad nearby at all times.

“Maybe the love in ‘labor of love’ always come afterwards,” I said. “It’s only in memory that you realize that love.”