Simply Sunday

Baby Steps

Your tiny forehead
Tilted to one side
Looking my way

I think I like you?

Tiny strategic moves
On my part
To bring us closer

Do you want to play?

Magic of sunglasses
Tiny red flowers
Silly iridescent mirrors
Yours vs. mine

I see your eyes quietly smiling…

Your tiny forehead
Leaning toward mine
Briefly touching
Before leaning back

Oh yes, I think I like you!

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? by Fred Rogers Kelley Morris, piano

Making Lists

There are many reasons for making lists. Dreams, goals, to-dos, groceries…that last one is the only list I write consistently. For me, going to the store without one is a mistake. The trip turns into one long, rambling adventure with little to show.

But what about life lists? The ones that show accomplishment when I scratch off an item. I rarely make those lists. When it comes to making lists, my brain seems to work in reverse. What do I mean by that? Here is an example.

Right now, most days are spent at home. I meander through the hours, often with no set plan-only vague ideas of what I might do or what needs to be done. At the end of the day, there’s a little pang of guilt. A question-what did you do all day? In my head, I answer by making a list.

  1. I managed to clean the kitchen.
  2. I sorted the laundry.
  3. I did one load of laundry.
  4. I washed my hair.
  5. I spent time writing.
  6. I took a nap.

You get the picture. In society’s eyes, this might not be considered a productive day. For me, it leads to a list of questions.  

  1. Did I actually dry and put away the laundry? 
  2. Unload the dishwasher?
  3. Talking to a friend count?
  4. Playing piano for fifteen minutes? 
  5. What about sitting outside and watching the birds? 
  6. And really-a nap?

My conversation with myself will not likely change what I do with tomorrow. But it might change where I place value. Or I might just add those other, less finite activities, to my after-the-fact list. 

Those are the things I cling to right now. Those things keep me steady and ease feelings of anxiety. Those things remind me there is beauty in the middle of the storm.

I suppose an argument could be made for making a list ahead of time. But the truth is, that’s just not me. Maybe I should quit making lists altogether. Except for those grocery ones, of course. 😉

Person, Place, or Thing

While recently visiting my parents, I spent an afternoon helping my mom rearrange and clean out their den. She and my dad had purchased two new recliners and wanted to make this space a little cozier and less cluttered. My mom is the queen of knick-knacks and definitely has difficulty throwing anything away. My dad also tends to hang on to certain items…just in case he might need them. I may take after them just a little bit…

After our work was finished, some unused/no longer needed objects were gone. The room felt very inviting and everyone was happy. Our little project caused me to think about my own view of things. My husband has often accused me of being too sentimental toward certain possessions. Shhh…don’t tell him, but he may be right.

What is it about those things? Items you just can’t get rid of. Things like gifts, cards/artwork from your children, concert programs. You get the idea. Yes, when you received them, they touched your heart. A memory was planted in your brain forever tying that one thing to a specific person or place.

Here is my question. If you no longer have the object, is your memory any less significant? In times past, I would have argued that logic. Surely if I give away something given to me, I might run the risk of forgetting someone or someplace important. Even as I type the words, that logic sounds a little silly.

As I’m getting older, the thought of simplifying my life becomes more appealing. Perhaps I could be persuaded to change my thinking concerning getting rid of some possessions. Of course, some would automatically be excluded. The serving plate and bowl my mom gave me. The Hummel’s and candy dish which belonged to Gart’s grandmothers. Unusual items, not easily replaced.

What happens if I choose not to keep every single thing ever given to me by another person? Does that make me a bad person? Does it mean the person or place represented is no longer important? Of course not!

I’m beginning to understand that it’s always the person or place, not the thing, that I am actually holding onto. The impact someone had on my life. How being in a specific place changed my perspective and possibly my direction.

Keeping material momentos has no bearing on any personal relationship gained or influence bestowed. Truthfully, these three words should always be listed in the following order of importance:

  • Person
  • Place
  • Thing

That being said…when it’s time to pack up this house in which we’ve lived fifteen years and raised three children, getting rid of certain things will most assuredly be difficult. Nonetheless, I’m determined to simplify life and stop hanging on to the unnecessary. I’m quite sure my husband will be relieved to hear of this recent revelation. Let’s just hope I can stick to it! 😉

“…Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”  Luke 12:15