Accomplishing Things and Reading Motivational Quotes

You guys, the Mayday tree is budding, the tulips are up, all sorts of hardy plants – yarrow, daylilies, ornamental sage – are making their appearance in my backyard, and today it RAINED. Do you know how rare it is to get rain in Calgary in April? Usually it’s snow. I feel like I’m in some exciting new world where winter doesn’t last eight months.

Now that I’ve said that, it will probably snow tomorrow.

Similarly, I realized that it has been over a year since I was last ill. I made it through the entire winter – including close-quartered yoga teacher training when a number of my fellow students were hacking up lungs and feverish – without getting sick. I thought, perhaps I should write a post about that, but then decided that was hubris, and in doing so I was guaranteeing I would be immediately struck down with the bubonic plague. So this brief mention is all you, dear reader, will have to endure. In any case, my “stay healthy” regimen consists mainly of daily smoothies containing 8-10 cups of spinach, washing my hands like a surgeon, never directly touching doorknobs, and having children who are no longer mobile petrie dishes.

I currently have five library books piled up on my side table; four of them came in within two days of each other, and the other one was a title I picked up on a whim, so I’ve been reading a lot. I finished What Alice Forgot, and while it wasn’t my favourite by that author, it was certainly thought-provoking. The premise is a woman falls and hits her head and is suddenly missing the past ten years of her life; she doesn’t remember her children, her friends, her impending divorce.

If you woke up tomorrow with no memory, none whatsoever, of the past ten years, and had to just reintegrate into your regular life, can you imagine what that would be like? Imagine if you still thought you were the same person you were in 2007. It boggles the mind. I had only just started practicing yoga in 2007, I wasn’t 100% vegetarian, I didn’t have a blog, and I looked a lot like this:

Well, I FELT like that, anyway, since I hadn’t slept through the night since 2003, and by that point I was pretty tired. I really looked like this:

Whatever happened to that denim jacket? I guess I donated it; I barely remember it.

Anyway, it’s an interesting thing to think about, if you just erased the past ten years. All the friends that you would have made in the past ten years, you’d have no memory of. The children’s school years, family dramas, deaths, home renovations, etc., all of those would be GONE. My god, I wouldn’t even remember Barkley. I would just suddenly be thrust into a home with a super cute fluffy dog who insistently nudges me when he wants to be petted, and begs for carrot ends.

Well. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.

It’s been a real Get It Done week in the Boyhouse. I don’t know if it’s post-vacation energy or the fact that I’m reading motivational quotes, but I have been Down To Business around here. You know those little jobs that take hardly any time, but are annoying and you hate them? I’ve been doing all those jobs! And I have to say, it is incredibly Empowering (motivational quote-inspired) because damn, now those stupid little things are Done. Going through the pile of mail and filing things and recycling others, picking up boring items at Walmart, vacuuming the stairs. That kind of thing. I feel a vast, and probably greatly overstated, measure of accomplishment in doing those little chores.

I will confess to one of the stupidest jobs that I always put off; I hesitate to even call it a “job” because really, it’s almost nothing. I don’t think this can even qualify as a job, but here goes: Sunday nights I make a big dinner, and usually there is gravy. My gravy boat resides in the cupboard above the fridge, and every Sunday night after the dishes are done, I just let the gravy boat sit on the counter for a day or two before I put it back, because it seems like too much work after all that cooking. Because pulling a chair two feet and then getting on the chair and putting the gravy boat back in the cupboard is just a Bridge Too Far. But having the gravy boat on the counter is incredibly annoying to me, and I keep thinking to myself, all Monday and Tuesday, I need to put the gravy boat away, I need to put the gravy boat away, I need to put the gravy boat away, before I finally do it.

This is a long and boring way to say that last Sunday I just PUT THE GODDAMN GRAVY BOAT AWAY ON SUNDAY NIGHT and honestly, it was – is Life-Changing too dramatic? – Life-Changing. I mean, I have to do it anyway. It takes literally thirty seconds. Why do I aggravate myself by not just doing it? This thought spiraled into other areas in my life. Why put off something that can be done right now, and get it off the Giant List of Things To Do? Why have something as stupid as a gravy boat hanging over me? FREEDOM.

So, I urge you, dear reader: go DO IT. Do whatever it is hanging over your head. Do the thing on your to-do list that will take no time but you don’t want to do it. Make the phone call. Schedule the appointment. Just Do It And Then It Will Be Done, is my new motto. It is incredibly Freeing, I tell you.

Just in case you’re wondering, no, no one else in my house will put away the gravy boat because I have somehow created a Reign of Terror around putting things away incorrectly in the kitchen. I know! I need to figure out how to rectify this issue but in the meantime, Gravy Boat Serenity rests on my shoulders.


  1. I thought of you this weekend as I cleaned out my closet, rearranged a bunch of stuff, gave a bunch of stuff away, and basically got my shit together. This morning I was almost happy figuring out what to wear to work because looking in my closet didn’t make me feel despair. Woo!

    In re the gravy boat: his was me with our griddle. We have an electric griddle that we use every Sunday morning to make pancakes. It lived on a shelf with a ton of other things and getting it back into place involved moving stuff around and jiggering it into place. Naturally this meant after washing it always sat out for days because putting it away was a complete PITA. Then THEN I finally thought (after literally years of this), what if I MOVED it to a different shelf where it was easy to put away?? I moved some things around and put it on a better shelf and it was life changing (ok, my life is really boring). I put it away on SUNDAY when it was dry! I didn’t feel hostile or irritated doing it because it was easy. I swear sometimes it’s the little things that improve my life more than it seems like they should.

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