There’s Only One Today
by Gina Valley
I want to walk through the woods
The forest that is my world
And the ones beyond that
Stretch my legs
I want to smell the growth and feel the moss under my feet
Hear the birds around me
Climb every tree
Leap with every lamb
Dance with every wolf
Some wolves twice
I want to know as dappled sunshine fades into night
As stars begin to twinkle over trees
As the gentle wind blows the sweet scent of life around me
As the woods go dark
That I have taken a good walk
And am ready to rest
– Gina Valley
We had a small fire in our linen closet last night. A blanket on the top shelf was too close to the old light fixture and it ignited. We had the fire out before the fire fighters arrived. But, due to all the thick black smoke and the fire’s proximity to our ceiling, we wanted the professionals to double check that the fire had not spread through the walls or ceiling. Fortunately, it hadn’t.
It was scary to see what such a small fire could do, and to imagine what a large one would mean.
It was embarrassing to have strangers go through every last one of our closets and cupboards. For safety’s sake, I was glad they did. But, I was wishing I’d finished doing the organizing I’d planned for the summer.
The whole experience served to remind me and my pack of a couple obvious things that we tend to forget.
First, we should do what we know we should do.
Whoever piled the blanket close to the light knew it was the wrong thing to do. Whoever left the light on and closed the door knew it was the wrong thing to do. I realized that leaving those shelves in, and expecting no one to use them was foolish on my part. I should have ripped them out years ago. Those errors were glaringly clear tonight.
But, it was also a good reminder to me in other areas. There are people I’ve meant to call to check on. I know I should, but I haven’t. I need to hire a new assistant, as I’m working too many hours and I’ve promised myself and my doctor that I would. I need to get myself to the gym to protect my health.
I know why my children don’t do what they know they should. They’re children. They are acting childishly. They should be, as they’re still learning.
I’m not. I have no excuse, and I need to do what I know I should.
The other lesson we all picked up was that today is the only day we have.
We have another closet with a similar light fixture and similar shelves in it. We emptied it, as instructed by the firefighters, last night. It was late, but it was worth staying up to make sure it was done. Then, we changed the batteries in every smoke alarm, as they’d drained themselves last night. Today, we’re ripping out the upper shelves in both closets, changing the light fixtures, and putting smoke alarms in every closet.
Nothing like your house full of black smoke to remind you that waiting for tomorrow is not an option. Tomorrow is not guaranteed. Procrastination is not a viable option. I don’t know why it always seems like it is, until something big, like black smoke pouring out of a closet, reminds you that it’s not.
This week, I’m going to make a major effort to do what I know I should, and to remember that today is the only day I can count on to do things. I know my life will be better for it. I hope you’ll join me in the effort.
How do you remind yourself to do what you know you should? What is something you put off? How do you get caught up when you’re behind? Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.