Little Somethings

Since this pandemic began, I have kept a to-do list on my refrigerator door, reminding me of a basic framework I want to have for these endless, formless days.  I have replaced the list several times as I have come to know myself better.

The first list represented an  old version of me that, in the best analogy I can think of,  was like the clothes at the back of the closet that are never going to fit right again.  To continue the analogy a little further, there are newer versions of the list  that I recognize as “early pandemic me.” These are like clothes that still look good but I don’t feel like wearing.  Then there is the ever-changing “today me,” which in clothing terms ranges from shapeless comfort to “pretend life is normal” wear.

I make no apologies for ignoring any phantom presence suggesting what I ought to do at this point, any more than I think I need to justify  why today bare feet, old shorts, nice sleeveless blouse—and of course (the only invariable) cute earrings—feel like the right sartorial plan.

But back to the lists.  Geez, I am easily sidetracked these days.  I have a two-day-old list on my fridge that seems to make sense, as long as I don’t have to get all crazy about slavishly following it. Here it is:

Share Something

Build on Something

Nurture Something

Learn Something

Clean Something

Exercise Something

I can share anything— from inviting Dan for dinner to an interesting article in the news.  Building on something is so wide open it is fun to think about.  I can build on an idea I have had for a piece of writing, or just make a little progress on a jigsaw puzzle.  I can nurture a friendship by calling or writing a friend, or by taking food to the park for the birds.  And how could I possibly make it through a day without learning anything?  Ugh!  What kind of a life is that?

What I like about this list is that  I naturally want to do these things.There’s just enough of a hint about laying the groundwork for a more interesting and open tomorrow,  without the pressure to work on it as if life is a job. I can come out of this with renewed friendships, new ideas for projects, and a sense of well being.  All of this can happen if I do the little somethings  that matter to me.

And, just as a little aside, my condo is spotless.  I even washed the windows this week!  Since I am here all the time, I notice dust so much more, and why not do something about it? Exercising means getting down on the floor for some stretches and crunches, and whoa!  I was shocked at how many dust bunnies lived under the couch.  No more—nurturing does have its limits, and when I start talking to dust bunnies as if they were  pets, the top item on my next list will be doing something to restore my sanity.