This famous Latin phrase, “Work Conquers All”, was originally a piece of propaganda used by the Roman poet Virgil (70 BC-19 BC) in his poem Georgics to curry favor with the Roman emperor Augustus (63 BC- 14 AD). Augustus wanted to encourage Roman citizens to quit their enjoyable lives of drinking wine and discussing politics to take up the hard work of farming. Peg, and maybe your spouse too, has carried on this tradition.
In the beginning were the innocent sounding words, “Jim, are you taking a vacation this summer?”
I thoughtlessly replied, “I dunno, why?”
“Oh, I just thought we could spend some time together at the Ranch, relax and catch up on some things.”
“Sounds good, I’ll check my docket.” Unfortunately it wasn’t too busy. I aimlessly proceeded into Peg’s nefarious Inferno.
Wives and husbands see “relaxing” and “catching up on things” from different perspectives, kinda like foxes and roosters might see dinner. The first two weeks of August were anticipated by me to be a bucolic period of connecting with the deer, fish, wild turkeys and even the pesky raccoons around JPeg Ranch. What could be wrong with some time spent with my feet up and a good book or a cool beverage to lull me to sleep on a lazy summer afternoon? Ask Peg!
“Since you are home with nothing to do would you mind …?” Yep, the dreaded LIST! Peg had been secretly working on it since spring. I had no idea our home was near the point of complete collapse from chores undone, by me, of course. Immediate action was called for. What wasn’t called for, or allowed, was propped up feet.
Now one need not be mentally exhausted from reading or relating a seriatim rundown of the physically exhausting chores that stood between “relax” and utter destruction of our home. Their actual completion was punishment enough. Suffice it to say that from tilling the garden, to reorganizing my stacks of half-finished projects from years past, my vacation morphed from pastoral pleasure to a yearning for a return to Court. I’ll be there Monday!