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First Things First

October 8, 2022

As I enjoy the start of my Thanksgiving long weekend, I found myself getting angry at the mess of dirty dishes in the kitchen. I felt completely overwhelmed after a bit of a cooking mishap ensued last night, and the remains taunted me this morning. With my new ability to “name it and tame it”, I realized that I didn’t need to feel overcome by these big messy pots and dirty countertop: I just needed to put this mess into perspective. In reality, this wasn’t one isolated event where I was taken by surprise and therefore inundated with more mess than I could comfortably handle; this was the summation of a long week where not enough time was spent doing those little things that end up turning into big things when neglected.

So I asked myself, what happened this week that led to poor time management choices? While there was not a single or profound extraordinary event, it was simply the enforcing of bad habits – extra time spent on rest and not on work. I forget very easily that my chores need to get done, whether easily or begrudgingly, they absolutely must get done; it’s simply a fact of life. Therefore, I try to work piecemeal, slowly and calmly, in order to avoid the chaos that inspired this post. Every so often though, I take liberties over the stretch of two days or so, and this results in anger and frustration when the time does come to tackle it.

As a proponent of minimalism and slow living, I don’t actually mind spending time on the mundane acts of general living, because I believe that all work is meaningful, and I always reap the benefits of my efforts. I feel good when I take care of myself: I am thankful that I can live responsibly today. I also realize that sometimes things will happen that are simply out of my control, and that might throw my routine off. That’s okay, because I now live for progress, not perfection.

Now that my kitchen is relatively under control, I remember to be grateful this special weekend here in Canada. Not that long ago I didn’t even have the proper tools to cook and to make that overwhelming mess that I am still working through. This world is beautiful, and the universe is always there to support us if we learn how to ask it, but life can easy become overwhelming for us. Remembering humility and to ask for help, even for the willingness to remain calm under stress, can help us move through challenging times and feel more cared for.

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