Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Little Things


It must have been a day like today that made James Brown jump out and shout, “I feel good!!” What a day it has been! Labor Day, to be exact, a good time to tackle the 12 Labors of Hercules—and so I did. If ever angels were at my side, it was each and every minute of today, guiding me through the treacherous waters of finding the things that drive us mad when we can’t find them. Intrigued? 
Well, not to boast and possibly inspire more hate mail, but here were my accomplishments:

1.     I bought a rubber ring to put on my front door key so I could easily identify it.
2.     I bought a new deck of playing cards that actually shuffle without sticking.
3.     I bought a package of little matchboxes to light my incense with each morning.
4.     I bought two D guitar strings in anticipation of when they will break.
5.     I bought a neck strap for my sunglasses so I can stop losing them.
6.     I bought a new Memo book to stick in my front pocket and keep both my to-do lists and occasional inspired ideas.

Most of the above I found Irving Variety store, one of the last remaining 5 and 10 stores in San 
Francisco—or possibly the world. It’s a great mystery how they can still be holding on after all 
these years, but I’m sure I helped them enormously with my lavish shopping spree that totaled all 
of about $6. With tax.

Definitely on a roll, I came home to tackle the other half-dozen labors. And with remarkable success! Consider:

7.     I cleaned out my closet and found five extra hangers.
8.     I gathered my quarters and put them in the car for parking meters.
9.     I cleaned out my desk drawer and found loose paper clips and out them in a tin.
10.  I sorted through the rubber bands and threw away the bad ones.
11.  I tested my pens and recycled those too faint to write.
12.  I gathered my pencils and sharpened them.

What a day! Armed with rubber bands, paper clips, hangers, sharpened pencils, a key I can find by touch, a strap that will keep my sunglasses from straying, I am ready to face the world. “Bring it on!” 
I shout with confidence!

Now you may doubt my tone here, but I’m actually pretty serious that in this day and age of big fancy purchases, I often find these little things bring me the most pleasure and utility. How many times I’ve been on a plane ready to do my ritual Acrostic puzzle and can’t find a pencil, or get ready to write in my journal and my pen is out of ink. Often I need a paper clip to hold my papers together and suddenly, there are none in a five-mile radius. Or I’m on my front step trying four different keys that look alike, at a parking meter with no change in my pocket (or in the car) or in my closet desperate for a hanger for a shirt—well, you get the idea.

Some clichés are true. It’s the little things that count.

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