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By Michael B. Wright
As most of us have learned over time, balance is key to the success of any endeavor, project or relationship. The Joy of my Life and I have achieved this balance. I do the dishes and she mows the lawn.
We often take turns. Our previous house had a relatively small yard, so we started off maintaining it with a traditional, old-school lawnmower with the blades being powered by the two rubber-tired wheels. This was sufficient until one mowed the steep sides of the drainage ditch which ran the full width of the front yard. This could bring either of us to a near-death dehydrating experience on hot, Florida summer days.
Following one of her turns, my exhausted bride suggested that we get a power mower. She wanted an unmanly, yet easy-to-use, electric mower just in case I kicked, because she didn’t want to struggle tugging on a starter rope. I agreed.
One day during my turn, I experience sudden neuropathy in my feet which ended just as abruptly with the stopping of the mower. Actually, I had run over the extension cord. She took over the mowing since she’s more careful than I am. I went back to my sudsy duties.
Along with inheriting my appreciation for art, music and certain sports, I learned during a trip to visit my Virginia family, that my dad also had no qualms about doing dishes, and actually enjoyed it. The ladies would cook together, Dad would wash and I would dry, occasionally switching roles.
I find it relaxing. It allows me time to think, letting my mind wander. I’ve prepared many a presentation, written many a song and thought of many a story plot while washing dishes. I once conveyed this to my Joy. She interpreted it as, “It’s a stupid, mindless activity,” causing her to announce, “I’m through doing this stupid, mindless activity! It’s all yours, Babe!” I tried explaining, to no avail, that it’s been found that doing left-brain activities frees up the mind to do creative, right-brain activities.
Since then, we’ve moved to a gated retirement community and now have a lawn service which takes care of mowing and trimming one-a-week. Meanwhile, I’m STILL doing the dishes. But it’s only fair since she does most of the cooking.
Mike Wright can often be found at Walmart stocking up on dog food, cat litter and Dawn detergent. If you know where these items can be purchased cheaper, let him know at firstname.lastname@example.org