Thursday, May 24, 2012

Life is Too Short to Scrub

I never scrub. If there’s dried on/baked on muck on a pan I let it soak first. I wonder what else needs soaking in my life. Could I put some troublesome problems on hold? Would they get easier? What is the equivalent of soaking a set-in-stone habit? Is there any virtue in putting some things off for a more propitious time?

I have a “to do” folder—two actually—one for urgent tasks and one for things I need to “get around to” some day. It’s easy to figure out what goes in the “urgent tasks” folder: bills, insurance claim forms, letters that require a response. It’s harder to figure out what to do with other items: the college scholarship info that I will want to know about in four years when my daughter is old enough to apply for college, or the neat websites that I may want to check out some time, or the articles ripped out of magazines (how to turn my hobby into cash, American-made products I can buy to stimulate the economy, recipes I want to try but need to plug into my Weight Watchers website calculator so I know how many points they are.) My life is full of such tidbits that I can’t let go of but can’t yet deal with—hence the need for a “get around to it” folder. There are some things that are worth hanging onto just in case. Having a place to keep them makes me feel hopeful and organized.

Unfortunately, it invariably takes me so long to get around to the “get around to it” folder, that when I do, half the things in it are past date: concerts that already happened, coupons that are expired, business cards of people I met so long ago they will have no idea who I am. I always feel bad about the missed opportunities in the “get around to it” folder. But maybe it’s not such a bad thing to miss out once in a while. My life is pretty full as it is! Maybe by letting these tasks metaphorically soak I allow a natural selection process to weed out those things that really aren’t important after all. Maybe it is sometimes better to put off until tomorrow what you just can’t get to today. Life is simply to short for scrubbing anything that will get easier if you let it soak a while first.