As a freelance musician, writer, and tutor there are days when I have nothing scheduled, and rather than taking joy in that I descend into the depths of despair, feeling I need to justify my existence. Why bother getting out of bed? Never mind that I’m still exhausted from my summer of almost nonstop travel and performing. Today is a new day and I need to accomplish something useful.
After way too much time (almost an hour, possibly?) of reading Facebook and finishing a book, checking my credit card balance (not as bad as I thought) and translating a passage of Ille Hobbitus for my online Latin group, I finally decide that at least I can do laundry. There is an initial momentum needed here, since I have to walk up the stairs to get the laundry. Then I progress to a whole minute of action when I put the clothes into the machine so it can do the work for me.
At this point I am actually on my feet, so I take out the recycling. There are weeds (see previous comment about a whole summer of traveling). There are also dead things in the garden, mostly plants. Pulling weeds and dead things out of my garden helps me pull unwanted and dead thoughts out of my brain.
Coming back inside to take the momentous step of transferring laundry from the washer to the dryer, I notice the dishwasher. I take a moment for gratitude, since during my month in Scotland I had neither dryer nor dishwasher. I did have good ale, whiskey, music, theater, and friends, for which I also remembered to be grateful. I put the clothes in the dryer, unload the dishwasher, and vacuum the stairs for good measure.
By the time I remember the clothes are dry, my husband is there to help fold them and put them away. Gratitude again.
And so the day goes, with laundry leading to joy and thankfulness that I have days I can putter, accomplish small things, and come up with an idea for an essay. I’m pretty sure that’s what Jack Kornfield said in his book, so I think I’ll go back to bed to read it again.