Sometimes it#039;s the small stuff

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 3, 2003

I ran the morning race.

Packed a lunch box, zipped the backpack and, along with a child, delivered them to school.

Now I was taking a few minutes before launching into laundry and vacuuming.

"Think I'll have one more cup of coffee," I said to the dog sprawled on the deck as I opened the sliding door to let in some fresh air.

The black nectar filled my cup. I reached for the bowl to add the large dose of sugar my coffee requires.

"Shoot it's empty," I said reaching for the sugar canister.

I opened the top then remembered that yesterday morning I scrapped the last crystals of sugar out of it and into the sugar bowl.

"Shoot," I said again to the dog that was now listening with interest to the clanging of the closing canister. "There is nothing in there for you. Heck there's nothing in there period."

Quickly losing interest, she rolled over and went back to sleep.

I pulled a bag of sugar from a shelf in the pantry, cut a hole in the top and poured it into the canister. All the while I was silently fussing and generally irritated.

"Wait a minute," I said. "This is silly. Why do I hate filling the sugar canister?"

Try as I might, I couldn't come up with a good answer to that question. As I sat sipping my coffee I thought about all the little unimportant things that just bug the heck out of me, or that I let bug the heck out of me.

Things like filling the sugar canister. It's not like I have to grow the cane and then process it into sugar. All that's required is cutting the top of a bag and pouring the contents.

Simple enough, but it is a thing I put off until I have no other choice. The same thing applies to filling the salt shaker.

I started mentally making a list of stuff I put off because I don't want to do it.

Unloading the dishwasher made the list. I realize this wonderful machine washes the dishes for me. All I have to do is remove them and put them in their proper place. Again, it is silly, but it's a thing I don't like doing.

Folding clothes - near the top of the list. I am luckier than women who lived long ago. I do not need to carry my things to the river and beat them on a rock. I don't even walk outside to hang them on a clothesline.

I fold them or put them on hangers, simple, simple, simple. So why is it one of my least favorite things in life?

Also on the list was putting a new roll of paper towels on the holder (replacing the toilet paper was there too).

I added taking off my makeup at night to the list, along with shaving my legs.

"I need to get a grip," I thought. "This is small stuff and I let it irritate me as much as ants at a picnic."

So I decided I'd let forget the list, get it off my mind by reading for a few minutes. I picked up a new magazine and started flipping the pages. Instead of falling one at a time so I could look at each page, it plopped opened to an extra thick page advertising a prescription medicine.

"Oh, I hate those advertisement pages," I said going through the magazine ripping out every post card ad for the Franklin Mint."

That is when I gave up, put down the mangled magazine, poured out the remaining coffee and started unloading the dishwasher.