What counts? #SOL22 26/31

I slept in a little and was rather pleased with myself. Downstairs, I made toast and tea, did some puzzles, checked the news. I baked banana bread and washed the dishes, started the laundry and went for a walk with my spouse. We agreed on another attempt to limit screen time in our household. I met with friends to talk pedagogy, instruction and life. Afterwards, I cleaned out the fridge and warmed up some lunch. I tried to convince the teenager that the new screen time rules would not, in fact, be a disaster for him, then sent him off to a birthday party. I bathed, checked on a friend sick with Covid, cycled the laundry, and responded to emails. I repotted three plants, rooted some succulents, and set up for seedlings. I swept the floor. I gathered the kids and dropped them at a friends’ house, then gathered the moms and went to a fundraiser. (Because of Covid, we took our food to one house, leaving the kids to enjoy their pizza at another.) We caught up as we ate.

What did you do today? we asked and each, in turn, we responded nothing much.

None of us are sleeping well. We are weary.

Now, having rearranged moms and kids and homes, now finally sitting down to write, my thoughts cycle through the endless list of things left undone: more laundry, tidying, grading essays, planning lessons, baking a birthday cake, reading…

What did you do today? Nothing much.

What counts as something?

The cool sweetness of blackberry jam, a counterpoint to the toast’s warm crunch
The quick delight of the last numbers falling into place as I solve the grid
The slight tug of the fork as the banana mixture thickens; the smell of brown sugar and chocolate permeates the house
The wet crumble of dirt and the earthy promise of life
The unending tumble of children
The warmth of clothes pulled from the dryer, the slow warmth of soup in ceramic bowls, the warmth of friends who understand weariness

What did you do today? Enough. I did enough.



16 thoughts on “What counts? #SOL22 26/31

  1. That’s lovely! Your question of what counts as “something” is such a great one to consider. I love how you reframed the day and turned your “ordinary” tasks into poetry. So many lines are beautiful. One in particular I love is “the warmth of friends who understand weariness”

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  2. So cool how this slice swerves from prosaic to poetic. Another way of showing that we can always choose how to react to what happens (or what we make happen) around us.

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  3. Amanda, as I ready through your prose piece I thought you certainly did enough. Then, your poem so beautifully described in more details through a different lens. Well done!

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  4. We’ve been so indoctrinated to think only the monumental things we do count as living a good life. In reality, it’s the simple—seemingly simple—acts such as those you chronicle here that make life rich. It is enough.

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  5. In the span of our day, from moment to moment, we do so much more than we ever realize. Everything here counts – nurturing plants, ending the sick, attending a fundraiser, and certainly decreasing screen time – as living mindfully, altruistically. The poetic lines at the end are so rich, so full of comfort – I can taste the gratitude even in the weariness. Just beautiful.

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  6. Yes, you definitely did enough, as I read through I could see so many threads to organise, administrate and oversee for you, whether repotting plants, making banana bread or navigating your kids through various parts of the day.
    Love your poem, describing all those little details, especially the ‘cool sweetness of blackberry jam’ and ‘toast’s warm crunch’!!

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  7. I love the contrast of style btw the first section and the second, list vs poem, and how it shows that the way we tell = the way we feel.

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  8. Yes! I loved all the things you got done in a day. From my (oh, so much older) viewpoint, that was a brilliant description of a perfect day. You did Sooo Much! Be good to yourself, dear one. You so much did enough. And your sensory exploration of the day was a beautiful thing.

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  9. I like the way this post has a turning point, a defiant assertion that the little things matter. It makes me wonder if I’ve even done or noticed those things in my day. Walked, assembled four chairs, solved Wordle, commented on slices, read the newspaper. You’re right, of course, that all of it matters as long as you bother to pay attention to it.

    Liked by 1 person

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