When beginning my career, after starting to work in the real world (per say) - I would spend my time on ironing boards.

I would neatly press all my shirts and slacks, usually on the weekends. I would hear from people about how they took everything to the cleaners. Had everything pressed, starched and dry cleaned. I was never the one to do such a thing. I had the time so I did it myself. On Sundays, I would get everything ready for the week. Maybe have a little time for television. This way I would not have to do so much and rush. This is not so easy to do now.

Old habits are old habits for a reason. Those habits get tired too. Their bones begin to ache and those habits, they may be forgetful at times. So it is hard to get back into the routine.

Last night I found myself in my basement. Getting ready to get ready. Intending to iron one sweater. I ended up continuing with the other sweaters, shirts, pants, etc. Weird how relaxing it was. It was simple, minute and arbitrary.

We all have certain things that take absolutely no thought. These actions allow our minds to be completely blank. Allow us to go to a place void of worry. Cause us to forget what may have happened over the course of a day or even what we may face for the next. For me, it is washing the dishes, scrubbing them clean by hand when I know I could just as easily place them in the dishwasher


mowing the lawn. Trying to get the track of lines in a yard perfectly aligned and parallel. So careful not to damage the baby tree that has so much to look forward to. Even when I'm washing the car... vacuuming it out... taking the towel to remove gook... from all the nooks and crannies. Detailing the details.

We need time to reflect. In order to be better at work, professionally and personally, I believe we need these small and at-first-glance meaningless events. Events that we have some power to contain. The power and ability to remove all thought from the regular, daunting and otherwise engaging moments outside of our personal lives. If at no other time, we can feel right.

The moment we as individuals realize that we are not in control of everything... all that happens to us, we may then see how we might gain control. Sometimes we try so hard to have that control that we press to hard and become sprained. We can control our reactions. We can control some of the things within our own space. Yet we cannot control everything.

I don’t wear starched shirts and well-designed ties as much as I use to. My shoes have no need to impress my colleagues as much as they needed to in the past. Every event and interaction in my life... I do not always get right...

but my space... those little things that matter, I am in need... to get those right. So I will...
iron the shirts,
clean the car,
wash the dishes and
mow the lawn

because those are the small moments... the little things that are needed to stay sane.

Views: 117

Comment by Margo Rose on February 25, 2010 at 10:55pm
You are so special. I was saying something similar to my best friend who was in despair early this morning. I just told her, do the mundane, ordinary things, walk through just this one day. The dreary moments tend to dissipate when we stay in the moment; follow our nose, and keep our heads where our feet are. Great post Ben.
Comment by Maureen Sharib on February 26, 2010 at 6:06am
This is a super-great post Ben and a lesson lost on many.
Comment by Sean Ryan on February 26, 2010 at 1:58pm
Glad to see Benjamin is maturing. I remember being in High School once: I cared greatly about what other people thought, spent far too much time determining what I would wear, and made sure I was doing everything "just so".
Frankly, life is a bitch. You realize that the more you live it. We've all had struggles - and when we are confronted by those struggles, we are forced to adapt - forced to change our course of direction and change our priorities.
This fork in the road comes at different times - sometimes multiple times - in our lives.
Ben, I appreciate your post - and good luck with navigating the realization that all is not in our control!
Comment by Lisa Howarth on February 28, 2010 at 7:44pm
This is a great post, thank you for reminding me of this on a Sunday night as I get set to start the week again.
Life gets incredibly busy and stressful, and it seems like this cycle is never ending .. and it is never ending, unless you take time out for yourself. Busy-ness is just a state of being, we can all make ourselves busy .. I've become a master at it. Unfortunately while all that "important" busy-ness is going on, we're missing out on what life is supposed to be. Dinner and laughs with friends and family, cuddles with puppies and kids, romance with our spouses.
Thank you Benjamin for this. I'm going to make an effort this week ... when someone asks me how I'm doing, or how things are going .. to answer something different than "busy."
Comment by Benjamin McCall on February 28, 2010 at 8:07pm
Glad u get it :) It can be so easy for us to only think of the routine that we forget everything around it!


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