I am a subscriber to "Cook's Illustrated," a magazine. The editor, Christopher Kimball, writes an opening page on life in Vermont. It has the feel of an east coast version of Lake Woebegone, and frequently has nothing to do with cooking. This month, he provides his version of the Vermont Creed: "Seen worse." There are fourteen steps based on familiar sayings such as "Make Hay While the Sun Shines," "Check the Weather," and "Waste Not, Want Not." The one which is resonating through me is "When You Don't Know What To Do, Do the Work in Front of You," which is apparently something President Calvin Coolidge was heard to say.
Every so often I feel so overwhelmed by the sheer volume of things which need to be done, that I don't know where to start. I'll stare at my desk, knowing that I could enter bills, or pay them, or file, or fill out applications for credit. I could balance checkbooks, or respond to requests for information. In the rest of the house I could clean, do the dishes, make my bed, dust, reorganize the bookshelves, feed the birds, go out to weed or water, or God forbid! CLEAN THE BASEMENT!!
Sometimes it just seems difficult to decide where to start. I hate indecision. I know from past efforts that if I simply choose one activity and get started, that the rest will fall into place. I won't get it all done in one day, but that's the nature of being a homeowner, or a bookkeeper, or a housekeeper.
I like Nike's logo: "Just Do It!" That's amazing advice for everyone, not just those facing exercise. You start with one small step and the rest will fall into place. Think of it as "One small step for man.."
I've come to understand that clutter saps my attention. I accomplish more during the day if I start by making my bed and cleaning the kitchen. I've created a morning ritual designed to clear the decks and get me out the doors in time for exercise three mornings a week. It's so satisfying, that I find myself waking early on the weekend, when I could sleep in, and those days when I ignore that routine, I'm likely to waste my time.
So, I guess I must have some Vermont in me, or perhaps I'm related to Calvin Coolidge. As Kimball points out, the upside to "Do the Work in Front of You," is that even if things don't turn out, you'll have your chores done! *G*.
So, everyone say it with me: "When You Don't Know What to Do, Do the Work in Front of You!"