Friday, December 26, 2014

The Juxtaposition of Two Environments

"It makes an enormous difference if someone creates an environment for you to live in.  One person sleeps half the day, gets up looking like a half-dead duck, drags around with eyelids scarcely open, slurping coffee and leaving a mess all over the newly polished sink, leaves the bed unmade and a week of clothing in a heap on the bed, heaves a sigh and moans about what a drag life is, then prepares to sit and philosophize while you work.  What is the effect of this on you? Surely, you begin to feel tired, discouraged, irritated, frustrated, and hopeless.  Your own energy begins to ebb away.  You decide to put off the rush of getting your article written.  After all, you might as well go out for a walk.  And so one wasted, ugly life infects another.

"A second person gets up when the alarm goes off, or soon after, puts water on for the tea or coffee and helps to get breakfast, takes a bath and dresses so cheerily that you feel the sun must be shining and have to look again to realize the sky is still grey, makes his bed and clears things up so that you feel the urge to get to work soon, tidies the living room so that it looks better than it had been left the night before, and talks with an awareness and enthusiasm that gives you inspiration for your article and you feel there will be no doubt about getting it finished in time.  Both have pitched into work before the hoped-for starting time, feeling a surge of accomplishment and energy that seems to multiply the time instead of wasting it."

                   --Edith Schaeffer, The Hidden Art of Homemaking

Nothing motivates me to avoid looking like a half-dead duck in the morning more than this passage! And for anyone who has lived with or visited with a person described in the former know what a joy it is to live with someone like the one described in the latter paragraph.  I'm glad to note that my husband is firmly in the second category and I appreciate that very much.  My natural inclination is to drag around with my eyelids scarcely open, because I am not a morning person, but I genuinely try to get up and at it in a cheerful, efficient way each day-thanks in no small part to the encouragement of Edith here.

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