Invisible constraints

Invisible constraints

I enjoy vacuuming. Of all the choices in the domestication canon, vacuuming has to be my favorite. Just to be clear, it’s not like go looking for places to vacuum for fun. But, still. Vacuuming has its own kind of weird, loud attraction to it.

Yet, my recent history with vacuuming is anything but rosy. When we moved I became a stereotypical, vacuum hating “I’ll mop the floor and do the dishes instead” kind of guy. To give you some context, most days I would have rather gone to the IKEA pillow section than run circles with the old dust buster. And the nearest IKEA is a half a day’s drive away.

But I knew this could only go on for so long.

The day I examined my negative bond with the vacuum cleaner.

I realised that our vacuum cleaner has an abnormally short cord. It used to be the standard length (as far as I can tell with zero research about it), but we had the cord changed a while back. And the fine folks fixing it must’ve replaced the old cord with a toaster cord. Which is just long enough to do a room and bit at a time.

So each time I’d vacuum, I’d do one room, unplug, fiddle with the socket in the next room, plug the damn thing in, vacuum that room, and then repeat the process a few more times to get the entire house done.

Talk about a scarring experience. I had had enough.

I went and got a 15 meter extension cord. This allows us to get the entire house done without unplugging the red, loud, battle-scarred hell-on-three-wheels. And as they say in the best kind of movies, the rest is history.

Sometimes, we need to take a step back.

And look at our struggles with a curious mind.

Forcing healthy eating habits or trying to hopelessly claw on to your strength training routine doesn’t always work when there are invisible constraints in your life.

It could be unmanaged stress or anxiety, lack of sleep, demanding family life, work, wine, or late night Better Caul Saul marathons. All of those can derail the most well thought out plans. Regardless of the motivation burning under your heels.

It’s easier to march forward once you find and fix your invisible constraints. Unfortunately, most of them can’t be fixed with a 15 meter extension cord.

– J

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