Sufficient Unto the Day

Never go to bed with dishes in the sink.
– Life’s Little Instruction Calendar Classics

Dirty dishes in the sink
No idea whose sink this is.

Ever woken up to dirty dishes in the sink?  No matter how bad they seemed the night before, they’re worse the morning after.  I didn’t need a calendar to tell me this, but I guess I did need one to make me go beyond the literal to the figurative meaning.  

To make me think about other tasks that are orders of magnitude easier if I keep up.

Never leave a desk with unsorted paperwork.
Never leave a camera with un-downloaded photos.

To make me consider more broadly what I’m tempted to defer in the moment but can’t actually avoid in the long run.

Never leave an apology unsaid.
Never leave a conflict unresolved.

It’s not a perfect rule, of course.  Some applications are self-evidently impractical.

Never leave the basement with unwanted stuff on a shelf.

And even figuratively,  the rule can’t be applied to literally everything.

Never leave the garden with weeds in the ground.

Community garden going under
No idea how the weeds grow faster than the plants.

No, some tasks are inherently can’t-keep-uppable. For those, I need a different Life’s Little Instruction altogether.

Never give up: Just keep slugging.

Or maybe something even more different . . .

Never be reluctant to ask for help.



  1. Jim Taylor

    This coming Wednesday’s Soft Edges column deals with weeds, and their rate of growth, and their negative effects on life generally…
    Jim T

  2. Judith Umbach

    Oh, I don’t feel that bad about dirty dishes in the sink, because it means I had something better to do. And I have particular shelves in the basement where items quietly rest while possibly proving their worth – or not.

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