I’m still thinking a lot about connections. Especially with COVID keeping me from dancing, choir, church, and all those other peopley activities I’m into, and especially with my kids grown up and gone now. I’ve grown too reliant on Workahol. Not at the day job, since Automattic is good to us and discourages us from overworking. But after work, lately, I work until I fall asleep. Then I get up and work until I have to go to work. My latest project has gone like this…

The dryer vent had come undone in March, I couldn’t access it, and the machine is way too heavy for me to try to move and put back on my own. I figured I’d ask someone for help when COVID blew over. But with summer, my house was getting WAY too hot and humid with the dryer running. Laundry was starting to stack up. I know, I know. I should have installed an eco-friendly clothes line outside, but … friends. I’ve got a lot on my plate, not to mention a bazillion earwigs in my yard.

I realized if completely emptied my broom closet, I could climb up, saw open an access hole, and reach in and pull the vent back up.

Trying to cut two 14″ holes with a jab saw was fairly tiring. And the vent hose was still pretty hard to connect. So I got hacky: I taped one leg of some old work pants to the hose, and put the other through the new opening. And then I used the pants like a pulley. It still required some acrobatics, but it worked. Now Mount Washmore is 100% clean and put away: the power of connections! And the access panel fits beautifully. If I can ever move my dryer, I’ll install one on that side, too.

Yesterday, I thought I might as well finish up the broom closet while everything was emptied out. I bought shelving and asked a neighbor if I could use their table saw to cut it to fit.

We hadn’t seen each other since late February, and it was so nice to catch up a bit, even with masks on. When I came home, I didn’t feel like working anymore. Chatting with someone for a bit made me realize how lonely I was. And I wondered what would happen if I put as much effort into connecting with others as I did in connecting my dryer vent.

I sat down and made a recurring list of To-Dos with my reminders app. I intentionally put “Fix something around the house” in a weekly slot, so I’m not exhausting myself every day. I spread out the housework through the week, too: I don’t really need to run and unload the dishwasher daily anymore with just me here. (Weeding? yeah that’s still every day, d’oh!) And I added some new recurring to-dos:

“Act on a kind thought” and “Make a Connection”

What serendipity: my former roommate came by with a bouquet of flowers and some candy. She said she couldn’t give me a hug, but she’d been thinking of me. SHE was acting on a kind thought.

Next, I looked at my WordPress notifications. I usually ignore these on the weekend because I get a lot of them for work, but lo and behold, I had a pingback on my last blog post, from a blog that’s literally about making connections. The author had create a post to connect me to another blogger. Someone else was already working on making connections for me.

Call me what you will, but I took it as a sign I should put down the tools and get out and connect with people. How I ended up at a socially-distant picnic with cornbread waffle bites and spicy butter is a post for another day.

But I came home and slept the best sleep I’ve had in weeks, filled with delightfully fun dreams.

That baseboard and shelving is still sitting there, and all my cleaning stuff is in the hallway. And that’s okay.

(Terrible featured image photo by me. It’s old. I’ll try again to make a nice version one day.)

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