After what feels like an eternity together (right, honey?), my husband and I have developed some unspoken rituals about how we go about our days. Most notably, the ritual of the lights. It goes a little something like this …
My husband is ALWAYS awake before I am. Always. And in those few minutes (nay, hours), he manages to navigate his way around the house by turning on every single light switch in the house. I thought that might be an exaggeration, because why would he need to venture in to every room of the house every morning? It is as much a mystery to me as it is to you, but somehow, every morning when I wake up, I am blinded by the light of every bulb in our house coursing with electricity. I used to walk through the house and turn off the lights in every room that was not inhabited, but that proved to be a futile exercise, as I turned around and found them all on again only moments later.
Sometimes, on a bright summer day, at high noon, with sun rays beaming through the sky lights, my husband will walk into a room and turn the lights on. I thought it was just a bad habit, and tried to break him of it years ago. Turns out … well, old dogs and new tricks and all. And so it goes …
Now, when my husband leaves to take the children to school in the morning, I wave goodbye, close the door, and systematically make my way through the house flipping every switch. First the laundry room (and I’d like to point out that laundry is not being done in this room on a daily basis, so why the need to turn on the lights every day?), then the kitchen and living room. I run up stairs to turn off the lights in the kids’ room, their closet (which only houses costumes and toys), the bathroom, the office, the hallways, the rec room (which is not frequented every morning, but somehow is shining with light). Then, I make my way back downstairs … hallway, dining room, closet under the stairs (again … really?). Powder room, master bedroom, entry way, bathroom, closet, the list goes on. Finally, I can settle down with my laptop and begin my work … while conserving the world’s energy stores.
I work from home, by the light of this thing called the SUN, which magnifies every surface in our floor-to-ceiling-windowed house. Did I mention that, as a minimalist, I have not even covered my windows with treatments? There’s no blocking the natural light in this house. With its Southern exposure and all.
Sometimes, I even find myself buried in the glow of my laptop screen so late into the afternoon that I’ll look up and realize the sun has gone down (thanks, daylight savings time), and I’m sitting in the dark. Oddly, still able to function and complete the tasks at hand.
Then, my husband gets home from work and sets our little house ablaze again. As if trying to signal space craft from our tiny spot in the woods. There are times I’m pretty sure Grand Coulee churns just for us. I’m just hopeful that my efforts offset our energy consumption. We’re working on that.
But right now, I think my husband is climbing up on the roof to install the Christmas lights. Clark W. Griswold, he likes to pretend.