I like things to be in order. I like cupboard doors closed, books arranged so they are easy to find when needed, my grocery list arranged in the same order as the aisles in the store. I’m not obsessive about these things, but order, having things and activities in order, my order, keeps my stress level low.
At the same time, whenever life gets more haphazard, so does my space. I have said that the number of papers and assorted odds and ends on my kitchen table act as a useful gauge of my stress level. The same goes for the number of emails sitting in my inbox, or the number of open pages in my browser. The other day I counted 208 emails and 13 windows. Not bad, really, but this feels like having 221 things on my to do list. Two hundred and twenty-one loose ends.
Loose ends take up precious room in my mind. Loose ends gobble up time too, as I spin in thought, trying to decide what is most urgent to get done, or all the smaller steps that are linked to the bigger task.
Do I really want to fix the leaky faucet? Is it better to be annoyed by a leak? Or to brave a trip to the hardware store in Covid? (And with my history, leaky faucets tend to mean more than one visit to the hardware store.)
So here’s what I’ve decided to do: I am going to catch as many loose ends as I can catch, by listing them on slips of paper, dropping them into a pretty box, and then making a Lenten practice out of randomly drawing tasks to complete.
Do you want to come along for the journey?