Cleaning house a waste of precious screen time

Observations from Isolation


One day I cleaned house. I’d actually thought about it for several days, but that’s a norm with me. Don’t rush into it. Give the idea time to percolate.

To say my house is less than pristine would be an understatement. We don’t live in squalour, but I’m creative in finding things to do other than dust, vacuum and mop. But the breaking point arrives, even for me.

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So, I did it, and as the day progressed I ruminated on how one cleaning task leads to another, another and another and another. Once you start, the grime screams at you from every corner and surface. When I found myself scrubbing the tops of deepfreezes and the front of the basement fridge I had to say, “Whoa, Becky, this isn’t like you.”

I mean, really. What a waste of screen time. I’ve become a devotee of screen time. I know it’s bad for you, but I keep wondering if this wonderfully entertaining universe we’ve become so accustomed to is going to implode. Will we revert to “farmer vision?” I remember that well from my youth. Better gorge while I can.

In any case, dust has always been a welcome guest in my house, some of it was born here, and an occasional lapse aside, I’ll revert to other activities until the need once again overwhelms.

But when I do have to put aside more amusing pursuits to, gasp, clean, I have a secret defence against the tedium of everyday chores – audio books. I tune into a good book and go about the tasks of kitchen cleanup and other household tasks while being entertained by a good book.

I have the “good fortune” of being profoundly hearing impaired. I’ve worn hearing aids since I was in my 20s. The latest incarnation of hearing aids is amazing, featuring a Blue Tooth connection to audio book transmission, so I don’t have to use headphones or ear buds. It is all broadcast through the devices. Sometimes our world is magic.

There are times when my husband actually wants to talk to me and has to wait until I turn the book off. He wonders when I think. That’s the magic of it. I don’t!

The world of audio books is wide-ranging and entertaining. I borrow my books through an app with Lakeland Library Region, but they are also easily purchased online. I’ve listened to probably thousands of books over the years, but can recommend some standouts.

Anything read by George Guidall will entertain. He has a way of becoming the book’s characters and engaging you at every turn. I prefer mysteries and thrillers and Guidall has narrated some classic tales from Craig Johnson featuring Sheriff Walt Longmire of Wyoming to tales of the Hopi in Nevada and Arizona by Tony Hillerman.

If you’re looking for humour, look up Carl Hiaasen. His books lament the destruction of the Florida Everglades. He weaves his humorous tales around his colourful characters while teaching the listener about the famous swamps and the challenges faced.

If you just want a deep down belly laugh, and aren’t afraid of a little ribaldry, anything by Janet Evanovich will fit the bill. Her characters have so much colour and insanity, you will be hard pressed not to laugh. Of course you could also read the books, but the narration gives you the colour of a New Jersey accent that just wouldn’t come through the same way in print.

The catalogue is endless. I recommend zoning out with a good listen.

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