I bought curtains today. And a curtain rod, of course. I’d need some way to put the curtains up if they were going to actually serve their intended purpose, you know? I also bought an oscillating fan and sundry cleaning items. Pretty normal stuff for a trip to the store at the start of summer. Nothing terribly exciting here. I also put the curtains up. Took a few minutes to find all the stuff I needed in my toolbox, given that most of it spilled out when I moved and I’ve only needed the stuff in the drawers over those past two years rather than the still incredibly messy main storage compartment, but I think the job took ten minutes total, from unpacking the curtain rod to fussing with the curtains to determine where I wanted to position them when they were open. They’re partially behind my front door, you see, so I wanted to make sure they wouldn’t get caught on the door in some strange twist of chance that would result in the curtains getting pulled down. And now I’ll be able to sleep past sunrise on clear days, since the window the curtains hang in front of allowed sunlight to bounce pretty much straight into my bedroom.
Incredibly mundane. The work of maybe an hour, total. Easily slipped between work and settling down to prepare myself for whatever (if any) Dungeons & Dragons was going to happen the night I wrote this. I even had enough time to attend to a few other tasks and then sit on my porch to watch a storm roll over the other side of town (more or less completely missing my side of town). It even only took a minute of prep before I went out to buy the curtains and curtain rod. A quick measurement, a little extra room for overlap, and I had minimum dimensions. An incredibly simple task, made all the easier because I developed an eye for relative distance and making lines parallel during my days in theater carpentry. And I’ve been putting it off for over a year.
I knew the sunlight thing was going to be a problem the first time I slept in this apartment back in 2020. It was easily handled by turning over thanks to the position of my bed in my bedroom and it wasn’t like I was sleeping in that late back then, anyway. It would have been easy to fix, to avoid waking up every time I rolled over between six and ten in the morning all summer, but I didn’t do a thing about it for the remainder of the summer I moved here or the summer after it. I suffered through disrupted mornings, exhausted days, and too-short nights every bright sunny morning for three quarters of each year because of a problem it took me less than an hour to solve.
To be completely honest, it was never a high enough priority for me to fix it before now. There was always something more urgent, something that needed my time and attention more than a problem I could solve by turning over once or twice a month. I wake up at six in the morning for work every day, so the sunlight only ever helped with that, and Wisconsin Weather means that most mornings are at least a bit cloudy and grey, so it was pretty easy to ignore when stuff like noisy neighbors, poor airflow, and the inability to consistently go to sleep was actively making my life worse.
But now the problem is solved. Now I’ve got a system for keeping out the light when I want to sleep and letting it in when I need to wake up. With that handled, I’m starting to look around my apartment at what else I could solve with less than an hour of work and some mild but focused effort. Maybe I can go to the local thrift shops and buy some stuff to put on all my empty walls. Or some more carpet to layer over the parts of the floors that are going to be cold when the next winter rolls around again. So many choices and they’re all so achievable now that I actually have the time and the energy for them!