Best of January 2014

The Tyranny of Things
Things started to fall apart long ago but the realization came in just one day. I have a strange way of dealing with problems. When they are difficult or too many, I simply freeze for one or two days. I feel and behave as if I were a zombie. In fact, this is how I gather energy for whatever I have to do. That day was Monday. Today is Friday and I identified most of the sources of my worries.

. Paul’s office chair broke. I reminded him that he has a proper chair. He was glad with the substitution, while I was left with a broken chair to fix. In some places it would represent a simple call, but not here. I’ve done at least three steps without visible results: 1) I called upholsterer Basilio. 2) I called carpenter Mateus. 3) I visited a shop only to discover that they don’t have the right material. There’s a tiresome multiplication of actions and the result is very slow. The chair is still parked next to the front door, probably to haunt us.

. I realized long ago that I have one piece of furniture I absolutely hate. It’s dusty and pointless. I have plans for it and only now took the first steps to transform the hated object into two useful working tables.

. Ants multiplied in our garden and were already discovering ways to invade our house. Because it had become a trouble, the fumigation was unavoidable. Sometimes we hate the solution as much as we hate the problem. It’s done.

. The kitchen drain got clogged. I had to call plumber Tomas. It was a full day dealing with the usual mess, a two men job. Finished.

. Our refrigerator broke. It is telling us goodbye. We know it for quite some time, but I’ve been delaying the moment so that I am in the position to buy the one I want. I am tired and sick of all those fantastic brands whose plastic components break in the first weeks of use. The repair is now done and, even though a small component is missing, the white box is working!

The above list is probably half of the story. From a problematic aquarium to curtains to repair, it’s really huge. It justified a day to freeze and a week to find solutions.

Still, I know that when things take control of my life it’s usually because I am not able to face some important question. And after a zombie-like day, I found the two things I cannot postpone any longer: a letter and a call.

The letter is addressed to my neighbour. He has been using and abusing our patience with his endless home-makeover. It is time for him to hear some truths. The letter is written. It’s only a question of delivering it as soon as possible.

Of all those problems calling for my attention, maybe the most urgent of them all is the need to find good people to work for us. Even though we have the help of three, the situation is not stable or satisfactory. Chef Tieta surprised us with an unexpected pregnancy. She is heavy and slow. Pedro is a good man, very useful in some areas and very negligent in others. He is a keeper but we have to find someone who fulfills the areas where he is less competent. We have the temporary help of a lady called Lucy. She is not the kind of help we need right now.

The agency we have been using closed for holidays or a makeover… or whatsoever. I searched the phone directory just to confirm that they are the only ones covering this area. I decided to call another agency, where a nice lady said they were only supplying office personnel. Anyway, she volunteered to find someone for me. I know I cannot sleep on it but I end this week a lot better than I started. And the curious is that I don’t feel better because I’ve done so many things. I realized my actual main concerns. Just by coincidence, today I was defrosting at the same time my old refrigerator defrosted.