Monday, May 01, 2006

An ugly, but necessary business

That description could apply to several things that I recently accomplished.

1. It might apply to the task that I set for myself this past Saturday--laying down mulch in the (seemingly) endless yards of flowerbeds surrounding our house. We purchased 40 bags (about 120 cubic feet) from the local school fundraiser and it arrived last Thursday night, saran-wrapped to a pallet and listing precariously to the side at the top of our driveway. Luckily I didn't have to take the second car, because it effectively blocked that half of the driveway. It gave me incentive to get the job done.

So, Saturday morning, I got after it. Placing bags around in strategic bed locations, finding my pocket knife (which I never carry, but always sort of think I should carry) to slit open each bag. After about three hours of steady if not frantic work, I got the front yard, the side beds, and all of the back yard complete--with the exception of the monster bed in the back half of the back yard. On Sunday, after church, lunch, and after Lynda finished weeding that bed, I spread out the final 12 bags as best I could. We'll need to buy a few extra bags to completely cover the back bed to prevent more weeds from coming up. Memo to self--next year . . . 150 bags OR make the beds smaller!)

2. But then again, the description might refer to what I just finished spending two hours catching up on--my financial record keeping and data entry. I cleaned up all of the credit card receipts, caught up on all the check book entries, got a much clearer picture of what's what here as the month begins, paid a few bills, and so forth.

All tedious work, and work that I find myself ignoring more and more these days. A bad habit, to be sure. Back when Lynda and I first got married, when all things were new, all finances much simpler, and all credit card bills confined ONLY to triple-digit monthly sums, I was much more punctual with my bank data entry. But that was before I got into online bill payment. It makes things quicker and makes everything more down-loadable, but it also makes it easier for me to let things ride a bit longer than they should.

Please understand that I don't pay bills we don't have money for or anything COMPLETELY irresponsible. But it do wait longer than strictly wise to balance the monthly statements and sort through the piles of receipts.

But tonight I tackled it and plowed through it all with a fervor. Ugly, but necessary.

3. Or, the description might refer to my weekly presentation of The Authority Speaks. Much like death and taxes, you know it's coming, you are powerless to fight it's arrival, and you are consumed with a deep dread with what you might find when it makes it's presence known. (At least you have the choice NOT to click, if you have the willpower.)

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