The life-changing magic of UFOs

I chose to ignore the trail of unfinished things that accumulated while my husband and I were in and out of town the last few months.

Who cares? We weren’t here. We were visiting my husband’s family, and we had more important things to worry about than the pile on my desk or the baskets of unfolded laundry.

We took out the garbage, compost and recycling, of course, and we did the dishes. (I’m not crazy – it’s an old house, and who needs extra critters?) The rest of it could wait, so I (gasp!) let it go on purpose.

Once my mother-in-law’s health stabilized and we began spending more time at home, however, it became clear how big and wide our trail was. It was time to follow through.

There are lots of theories about how to get things done: Tackle the most urgent, the most important, the smallest, the groups of things. …

I went for the dirtiest things: Bathrooms first, then floors, then laundry. Whew. Much better.

Then another storm or two came through Charlotte, and that meant raking up sticks and mowing the yard. Then the freezer went on the blink, and that meant cleaning it and re-homing its contents with friends and neighbors while I waited for the repairman.

That left Unfinished Objects, which I wrote about for Charlotte magazine’s July edition. This trail of UFOs was evidence of all the times my attention was diverted, and a reminder of how often I had chosen to leave something for later. Items that didn’t make the cut when I packed for the last trip. Half-organized notes for a class I took in June. More laundry. A stack of papers waiting to be filed.

I would love to tell you that I KonMari’d everything, and it’s all tidied up and joyful now. Nope. Or that I methodically went through one room at a time. Nope.

None of the UFOs were urgent or very important – they were just in the way – so I spent a few hours at a time working on the most annoying stuff. It’s a loose sort of UFO Day that lightens my mood with every project that I finish.

And it reminds me that I have choices.

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