I first heard "do the next thing" from Elizabeth Elliot. Mum and I used to listen to Elizabeth Elliot tapes in the car. From memory they were encouragement on daily life, life managing with young children and so on. They were lovely.
Ever since whenever I am overwhelmed or in a crisis I think to myself "do the next thing". And how simple is that? It's right up there with the blog I love "If you do stuff, stuff gets done" somehow these simple phrases are just fabulous to me!
It's like pointing out the obvious. But the obvious can totally elude us in a crisis.
We have not had anything serious go wrong really just a few smaller things. One constitutes a lesson learned and the sort of thing where you feel so upset but you know it's all fine and probably is going to do you good in the end. The other is Andy's work van died yesterday. I thought it was a break down and maybe a few days off the road (which is a few days of no income plus a repair bill) but it is not going to be fixed. Nope it's curtains.
I guess you would never say there was going to be a good time for this but this was a bad time. We have no way to replace this van just now unless insurance might cover what has gone wrong. So we are waiting to see.
I was in the supermarket and the lady in front of me looked just worn out. I blamed the heat for a minute. The check out girl asked her if she was ok? And the lady said she was but she was having a hard day... her husband was home sick and he has a disability and her young daughter is home with him and she has epileptic seizures and a brain tumour. I could have wept.
Then last night I read Pasti's blog A Working Pantry. http://aworkingpantry.blogspot.com.au/ Her blog is just a wonderful encouragement on building up your pantry. And it had turned out her own life had just become a testimony to WHY we should have a good pantry. My heart felt a bit broken really and our own problems settled into perspective.
Today I woke up thinking what will I do? I know. I'll do the next thing.
So I got stuck into a long list of things. Not one of them was really anything exciting, just jobs that needed doing. But you know how when you have achieved lots and things look and feel better because of it, you feel better. It is a good day. So I thought I would do that.
From Laines Letters I learned that keeping track of all the things you did in a day is a good thing. She would show her husband all the stuff she had been doing. She would show him how she had planted things in the garden etc. So I often track what I have done. Do you know the feeling when someone says "what have you been doing?" and despite the fact you have been flat out you can't think of anything to say?! Well, this is my cure for that.
I open up my planner and leave it out. Then during the day write in everything I did. Somehow seeing the list grow is satisfying. Tonight I have a huge list! So many things were done today. And some of them were really lovely.
Some of my achievements were...
Unpacking the last of the beautiful dinner set my Mum gave me for Christmas. It is gorgeous. It also has a large serving platter. I love the detail on it.
It was beautiful putting this away into my cupboard and having a re arrange.
Since I have all white everything looks beautiful together. Playing with china is always lovely.
Now it is all stacked and put away and so is everything that was still around from Christmas.
I did the floors, dusted and had a putting away stray items blitz.
I washed the bed linen and the thick woollen underlay from our bed. I washed it in wool wash and added eucalyptus oil to the wash. It came up beautifully and today was the day to do it as it was 38 degrees (100.4) so it dried in no time. Now it is fresh and fluffy and smells lovely.
I made a large rice salad as we hare eating cold meals while the weather is hot.
Andy installed shelves for me in the cellar.
I wrote a heap of emails and letters, sorted my crochet projects and made the dining room table look nice.
It was hot and I used recycled water to give the whole front yard a big drink. My hydrangeas are the thirstiest plants I have ever had. They wilt very quickly. But they are lovely and worth it.
By the end of the day even the budgie (Chippy) had a clean cage and benefitted from my housekeeping!
Well, conquering lots of things did make me feel better. And that made a happy day. Doing the next thing is a good thing.
I wanted to show you the gorgeous gift I got from Helen It is a t towel (kitchen towel) from Sweet Magnolia Farm. I have always loved that website and their beautiful country style things. Helen left the packaging it came in as it was just beautiful. Too good to unwrap. But look at what was inside! It even has a little bell so at Christmas every time you use it the bell jingles. It is honestly adorable. I can't put it away yet so it is still out. I feel cheery every time I look at it!
I am behind in my blog. I wanted to have my pantry post up but I am going to have to accept that the schedule I had planned has had to change a little bit this week.
It is awfully late but I thought turning the day around and making it productive was a good thing to post about. I can go to sleep feeling happy with the day. We all have times when we just don't know what to do. Just do the next thing. xxx