Picture of impending doom

Avoiding Doom

by Nick on April 2, 2010

We’ve had a good ol’ chat about doom now, haven’t we? I do want to make it clear that the concept of doom as it pertains to your temporal welfare is more than a brief series can cover, but I’ll work on this over time and develop the idea more. Some angles I haven’t explored are that doom is relative (what’s doom for you might not be doom for me) and that doom is cumulative (or snowballing doom). That second point is hashed out in any Flaubert novel (see above), and thus beyond the scope of my humble blog.

But alas, what can one do to avoid this ghastly fate? Well, it’s pretty simple. At least, that’s the answer: simple. You must first identify doom (we’ve done that) and then combat it.

If you are facing doom, you cannot worry about what the Joneses are doing: the Joneses are quietly warding off doom as well. You cannot succumb to the beautiful irrelevance of a project like this:

There will be plenty of time for wax-resist and lace dyed eggs when you are done staring down doom.  It doesn’t matter if you can make a pretty egg if you toddlers’ poo balls are still ground into the carpet–stay strong and keep focused, with laser-like precision. Take care of your dirty secrets, and then worry about Martha and the lifestyle gurus. I’m all over making cool and useful and even pretty things. But you must avoid doom first!

But, how do I know what to do, when doom has besieged me like so many Russian winters? Ah, I have priorities. These will need to be customized but they are universal to a certain level. You must begin to slay them and take your empire out to the eastern lands. Remember, the fastest way to cheer up is to take action on something that matters. And, a psychiatrist couldn’t hurt.

Let’s be serious now.

Level 1 Doom

  1. Health. Are you hindered by health problems including mental health issues? These take a long time to deal with but it’s good to take stock when you are facing doom.
  2. Have you paid the bills? Failing that, have you at least sorted and planned on dealing with these issues. A list is a good place to start. I put financial issues at the top of the doom-provokers: they are doom in and of themselves, and they roll right on down into the physical environment and family/household management.

Then we get to the easier stuff:

Level 2 Doom is when the following are not happening

  1. Laundry–we all know how big I am on this. Well, I’m big on not dealing with it not being done. I don’t actually like doing it. Just so you know.
  2. Kitchen cleaning. This is core and it brings on doom in a hurry. Especially if you’re like me and simply cannot abide doing dishes by hand. Dishwashers are great, but they take time to run their little cycles. The more often you keep up with the kitchen, the further off doom will stay.
  3. Bathrooms. These get really scummy. In my house, we’ve got a toddler who has her own dedicated bathroom, and that room is one of the messiest in the house. There’s a tie-in with doom 2.1 here which is that lack of clean towels is partner in crime to a nasty bathroom. I try to do flylady’s swish and swipe approach, which is to take a rag/towel and some windex and just wipe everything down every day (I don’t manage this every day so shoot me). The idea is that the stuff never really gets all that dirty. For the toilet, I use this system which works well for me and keeps things simple and hygienic.
  4. Floors. Keeping your floors clear of stuff is safer. Not only that, but I think floors are the “broken windows” of the house. If you start tolerating crap on the floor, then it is the biggest surface for collecting things. I just try to keep things picked up and to run a vacuum now and again (like once or twice a week). This doesn’t directly keep doom away but it does indirectly: allowing things to live on the floor means never being able to find anything. So spend some time on the floors and it’ll keep fighting off doom when you’ve moved on to something else.

That’s it. There are lots of smaller kinds of doom, but they’re really sort of baby doom monsters without teeth. Get them while they’re young and live to tell about it. Anyway, enough on doom for one week–tomorrow I have to tell you about my garden misadventures.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Keith Wilcox April 2, 2010 at 7:18 pm

I came to this discussion late. For the first paragraph I thought you were talking about Doom the video game :-) Your level 1 number 1 Doom is absolutely correct. Health and happiness always come first.

Nick April 2, 2010 at 8:08 pm

Thx for dropping by Keith, glad to welcome you to our world of doom!

Michael April 2, 2010 at 10:04 pm

I feel like I should point out that ‘doom’ is an Anglo-Saxon word that means judgement. So doom can actually be a good thing, provided that the judgement goes in your favor. (i.e. Doom’s day is good for the righteous, bad for the wicked).

As an aside, doom was pronounced more like “dome” with a long “o”. the Great Vowel Shift between 1450 and 1750 explains its current pronunciation “dume”. I think this was a good move on the part of English speakers of that era since “dume” sound more ominous than “dome” and probably justified the restructuring of the vowel system to produce this spooky effect.

Nick April 2, 2010 at 11:27 pm

Doom is a good thing? The mind wobbles…

I haven’t thought much about the great vowel shift lately. But I see what you mean. We would have pronounced it like “poor.” Eh?

Edathomedad April 3, 2010 at 8:39 am

I enjoyed the post well done. I’ll keep on coming back. According to the criteria I think I have a pretty good handle on Doom. We are starting to tackle the garden. Last year we had a misadventure with what my daughter calls the “Nasty Squirrel” that ate her strawberries. So this year her goal is to defeat the squirrel and have strawberries. Best of luck.

Michael April 3, 2010 at 11:30 am

Hmm… You are are probably right about pronouncing it with the “oo” in poor.

Here is what the oracle (a.k.a.) says:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Vowel_Shift
http://facweb.furman.edu/~mmenzer/gvs/what.htm

Too bad we are leaving the topic of doom so soon, but I suppose your readers that want to keep going can read the authoritative book on the subject. ;)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doom_book
http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/560-975dooms.html

Michael April 3, 2010 at 11:32 am

correction: (a.k.a Google)

Housewife Bliss April 7, 2010 at 3:16 am

I found you via a tweet and just love it here. Will be back for more ‘dad’ perspective soon. With 3 children under 6 I know the dooms of the floor oh to well, I have baskets all over the place for keeping floor doom in transit before it goes back where it belongs.

Nick April 7, 2010 at 11:06 am

That’s right HB, keep it movin’ along…

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