Today is a good day for tidying up, and taking care of small things. I keep a list. I lose track if I don’t, and it doesn’t take long for some avalanche of little things to suddenly feel very big, and very overwhelming. So I have my list. Wobbly table? I put it on the list when I notice it (or when my traveling partner points it out!),  and practice staying on track with the moment I am in, without being distracted by minutiae. Some things just don’t ‘go on the list’ – a sticky spill, for example, or something that is a health or safety hazard, but most other sorts of small tasks that catch my attention go on my list to be undertaken in a thought out way, on a day that makes sense, perhaps grouped with other similar tasks. It is my way of getting as much done as I do. I can’t ‘recommend it’ – we’re different people. You likely have your own way.

Today it has been a rainy day of chores off the list: laundry, fix a wobbly table, build a lamp (some assembly required), empty a bookcase to straighten it, sort out some of the books, and a few other assorted household tasks that tend to seem ordered and fulfilling. I am sometimes surprised by how much difference a handful of small quality of life improvements can make in an increased sense of living well and treating myself well. These sorts of small tasks seem most pleasant and satisfying when I don’t feel rushed, compelled, or obligated, and I really dislike forgetting one of them completely for some prolonged period of time. They aren’t generally the sorts of things that improve for being overlooked longer, and I so easily forget them… and sometimes I… just can’t. Living alone there is no one else reminding me. When I live with other people, the observations (theirs and my own) come at me too quickly to keep track, and I certainly can’t keep up in the here-and-now trying to complete them immediately. “The Way of the List” works for me, and today I am working off the list. 🙂

Simple and enough.

Simple and enough.

Little things can make such a big difference. A tender word in a difficult moment, an unexpected smile, a sweet romantic kiss, a new solution, another point of view, a great cup of coffee, a word of praise, overcoming something I’ve struggled with, recognition of new skills, or appreciating a moment of insight, a shared moment – quiet, connected, intimate – and the little things love has to offer are every bit as big a deal as the little things I might do to treat myself particularly well. I think about my ‘to do’ list, and the way it sort of ‘holds on to my intentions’ so that I can take care of them later. How do I ‘hold on to’ all the little things I want to do to show my affection, my love, my appreciation… all the best of who I am, who I am inspired to be…so that when I am struggling with some other thing, feeling I am letting myself down, or failing someone dear to me, I can ‘check my list’ and do the things that I know matter most and say ‘I love you’ most clearly?  This isn’t about damage control, this is about growth and building on a good foundation. 🙂

Interesting thoughts on a rainy Saturday. I move through my space gently, practicing mindful awareness as I dust, straighten, and tidy up. Often playing a fun game with myself of ‘can I step so gently moment to moment that the water in the aquarium never moves?’ I’m not very good at it yet. I practice. I have left the weekend open, free of plans, giving myself time to really rest. The morning with my traveling partner was lovely, chill, and intimate. The afternoon has been productive, merry, and satisfying. I’ve no idea what the evening holds; I may be alone, but it’s not a given, so I keep working down the list, taking breaks to write, to have some water or a piece of fruit, or to chill quietly and relax for a moment and enjoy the day.

I find myself yawning. Coffee time or nap time? Looking out over the marsh I see the egret relaxing, and the ducks sitting, seeming quite content with their lot. I decide on a coffee; by the time I finished folding all the clothes (tossed unsorted on the clean comforter) so I could take a nap, I’ll have forgotten that’s what I was interested in. May as well have the coffee. 🙂