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Does it really matter if you brush your hair?

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Does it really matter if you brush your hair?

I went to see my friend Carol. She said that she was thinking of me because she had picked a word for the year. It was an important word for her and it made a lot of sense. She asked me what my word was. And I told her honestly that I had not picked a word and she was slightly disappointed, if not in me, then for me. We laughed about it. I usually love picking a word.

And then I laughed and told her that I was trying to dry my dishes when I washed them. Just so they would be clean in the cupboard. My daughter had been home at Christmas and complained about spots on the dishes. I still don't have a dishwasher. That resolution is not much of an effort at really examining your life. And then I told her I had something else too but could not remember it. We both laughed.

The next day I remembered it was to brush my hair sometimes through out the day and tidy myself up a bit before I did a video. It seemed so shallow. But I knew that paying attention to my dishes so they did not land in the cupboard with bits of peanut butter on them, and putting on a bit of lipstick throughout the day, or brushing my hair were not as shallow as they seemed.

One friend suggested that perhaps what I was looking for was to be present and that presence could be my word. I decided that I did not want a word really. That I had a stack of good words from other years. What I did want was to pay attention to my life. To care for the tiniest of things as if they matter. 

In my room there is a poster that says, "Do small things with great love." A quote from Mother Theresa. Donny Miller, my old friend gave it to me.  I read that some mornings after I say my prayers and I think how difficult that is at times. To fold the laundry with love. To dry the dishes with love. To pass the salt with love. 

Living well and living good take intention. They take attention to detail. Yesterday I left work early just to go home and read by the fire. Just so I could enjoy my home in the daylight. Such a mundane thing. Such a good thing. Such a small thing. But it was restorative.

There are so many tiny things in our life that can make a difference. Giving away what you no longer need before it is out of date and no one wants it. Baking a pan of squares and bringing them to work. Mary did that this week and later she told us her phrase for the year is "Be a blessing." Thank you Maya Angelou for bringing that phrase to life for all of us. 

So much wisdom in the good mothers who came before us. Carrying their words in our pockets is a good practice for the dark months, and into the light of spring. Small things, doing what you can, when you can, paying attention to your life, and giving attention to the lives of those around you. This in itself can be enough.

I am so glad you read these letters. Bless you.

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  • Deanne Fitzpatrick
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