Accomplishing simple tasks feels rewarding

Published 12:33 am Wednesday, July 11, 2018

I love the way the sun slants through the oak limbs in the early morning. It makes patterns on the floor in front of my glass door where a cat lies sleeping in the warmth.

He’s been inside with me for a couple of days recuperating from an eye infection. It was rough for a while, but he is getting better everyday, eyes clearer and he’s purring louder. Right now, he is dreaming in the sun on a bright Saturday morning while I watch him.

In the distance, I hear the sound of my husband mowing somewhere in the yard. It’s hot so he got an early start. Our white lab is probably with him, following behind him or lying close by watching him push the mower back and forth. I wonder if he wonders why humans make such a fuss about tall grass when he loves it.

The washing machine is humming in the laundry room, cleaning the first of several loads. I feel the shaking as it spins through the final cycle. It squeaks a little as it winds down, a bell plays a chiming tune to let me know it’s done.

Recently, I spent part of a day rearranging the kitchen. I moved the microwave to a new spot and cleaned out a cabinet that was full of mason jars I know I won’t use this year, if ever.

Before the rearranging, I stripped the floor and put on a new coat of wax. It’s so shiny it almost looks wet, and it feels nice as I walk across it on my way to the coffee pot, which also has a new location.

I pour a final morning cup of caffeine heaven as I survey the new kitchen arrangement. I like it. I have a sense of accomplishment looking at the neater, less cluttered countertops.

In a bit, I’ll pull out the vacuum cleaner and run over the floors and area rugs. Strangely, I like vacuuming and do it almost everyday. Maybe it’s that sense of accomplishment thing again.

Later, I just might dust and wax the furniture. The house will smell like lemon when I’m done. I think it makes the place smell happy.

Once I finish waxing, it will probably be time for lunch and I’m planning in my head what to fix. Pasta salad filled with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and olives sounds good. Maybe a croissant stuffed full of chicken salad to go with it. Add a glass of iced tea or cold lemonade and it sounds like a pretty perfect meal on a hot July Saturday.

As I sip my final sip of coffee, I think about this morning, this day. It’s just an ordinary Saturday like so many other ordinary Saturdays, but what a wonderful gift of a day. The sun is shining. The cat is snoozing.

I have good coffee, a washing machine that cleans my clothes, another machine that pulls all the sand out of my rugs and a refrigerator full of food. My floor is shining, my kitchen is neat and soon my house will smell happy.

In a world that sometimes seems overwhelmed with turmoil and trouble, it’s nice to focus on the sweet, simple things that come along on a sunny weekend morning. Time flies faster and faster the older I get, and I’d like to hang on to the simplicity of right now for a while longer.

I realize I can’t fix the problems in the world. I can’t right all wrongs or undo the terrible things we humans do to each other. That makes me sad and sometimes feels like too much to hold.

That’s why I need a day like today when I can have a sense of accomplishing something positive. I know nothing I’m doing will change the world, but for a while it will change mine for the better.

Well, my coffee is cold and the clothes in the washer won’t jump in the dryer by themselves. Namaste.


Nancy Blackmon is a former newspaper editor and a yoga teacher.