Paulette Delcourt: Don't Shortcut on the Stairs

How speeding up slowed me down—for a little while.

My husband knows that my version of Feng Shui includes moving impossibly large objects around the house like chess pieces. I always claim it’s to create more harmony in the house, but really I’m just bored and looking for something to do.

The only thing I haven’t tried to move is our grand piano. Let me rephrase that: The only thing I did not succeed at moving by myself was the grand piano. As soon as I figure out how to flip it on its side without the lid opening, it’s gone.

A few weeks ago I was up to my usual tricks when I found myself in an unusual situation.

I was moving a small bookcase end-over-end up my stairs when mid-flight I got stuck. By stuck I mean I had the heavy object perched at a 45 degree angle, with no means of moving forward or backward. As is typical of a Saturday afternoon, each member of my family was either out, wearing headphones or zombified by electronic media. Not one member of my family heard my high-pitched yelp for help.

The situation deteriorated as I held shaky arms up over my head, both surrendering and succumbing to the book case which by good fortune I had enough sense to empty. (It could’ve gone either way.)

After reality set in, I decided to heave the furniture, leveraging a Valsalva maneuver that both strengthened me and unblocked my Eustachian tubes.

I hurled the book case up and away from me like a monolithic shot put. Mid-push, I lost my bearings and barely caught my balance.

Finally at the top of the stairs, I visualized the “almost me” at the bottom of the stairs under a heap of cheap laminate. “That was close!” I thought, followed by, “What in tarnation was I thinking?” and “What the heck does tarnation mean?”

The answer is, I was thinking that if I didn’t hoist that book case upstairs by myself it wouldn’t get done at all. I was thinking that later is really now, because now is now, and later never happens.

I was trying to avoid what I call procrastagnation: putting things off which results in a lack of forward motion.

What I learned was that sometimes pushing too hard can result in losing more than a little forward motion. What I earned was four weeks of excruciating back pain and bed rest. “Later” became unavoidable; very little can be accomplished while wrapped in a heating pad and covered in Eau de Biofreeze.

Somewhere between the first and second floor I lost a little piece of my soul.  I hope the cleaning lady didn’t suck it up in the vacuum. I’ll need all the help I can get to move the piano.

Charlene Ann Baumbich July 13, 2012 at 02:33 AM
Great story. Sorry about your back, but seriously, well told. And SO RELATABLE! Charlene Ann Baumbich www.charleneannbaumbich.com


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »