Saturday, July 3, 2010


Today is the first of a much-anticipated, three-day weekend, and I’m up early. Without alarm or special need, my body clock set me in motion before the crack of dawn.

By 6 a.m. I had put on a pot of coffee, gathered up a load of dark-colored laundry, jumped on the scale for a reality check, done some yoga-style stretches and placed an age-defying masque on my face.

I sit here now pleased with myself and pondering the possibilities of the hours ahead.

Scattered thunderstorms threaten to put a damper on things for many here in Houston, but not me. I had planned, all along, to make this particular weekend a mental health one, focusing on my home and a long list of things I need to do around here. Most are small things, of little importance. But, together, they add significantly to my levels of stress and states of unease.

There is a large, empty pot on my front porch. Every time I walk by it, I think, “Go buy a plant and stick it in there.” But, for some reason, I never get around to it. Today, I will, and doing so will bring more beauty into my world and make me smile.

There is a stack of unsolicited mail sitting on top of a small chest in the hall. Often, the stack gets too high, and flyers and envelopes fall to the floor. Each time it does, I think, “Just go through all this paper, and do what must be done.” Instead of addressing the problem, I postpone it. (Bending over frequently is good exercise, after all.) Well, that stack has tipped over for the very last time. Today, I will toss paper to my heart’s content.

There is a small closet in my home office. For a while, it contained only extra office supplies. Currently, it is the depository of things I have been too lazy to deal with or carry upstairs and put in their proper places — two winter purses, a pair of heels, holiday wrapping paper. It’s also holding two bags of donations I intend to drop off at Goodwill Industries. Cleaning out this closet will take less than 15 minutes and contribute mightily to the Zen-like organization I strive for and thrive on.

There is a drawer in my kitchen that never gets opened — because it is full of gadgets I never use. Today, I am going to gather them all up and give them to a young friend who is a new bride and avid cook. She will give my neglected gadgets the love and attention they deserve.

And, for the first time in my life, I will have an empty kitchen drawer — one that will hold nothing more than all my special hopes and dreams for the future. One that will forever remind me that less is truly more.

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