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.


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11 Responses to Sufficient Unto the Day

  1. Jim Taylor says:

    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. I love these dueling aphorisms, Isabel. We need such pairs for every possible occasion. Perhaps pocket-sized and suitably illustrated like this piece?

  3. Kate says:

    Indeed! Iā€™m starting to agree that asking for help is really important
    I have so many I downloaded pictures on my camera!

  4. Judith Umbach says:

    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.

  5. Tom Watson says:

    Does this count: Never leave a sermon until Saturday night to prepare?

  6. Pingback: She’s Not Wanting – Traditional Iconoclast

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