On Purpose or on Impulse?

My sister Pam is the most “on purpose” person I know.  She long ago “purposed” to be organized in all areas of her homemaking life.  Every morning she makes a list of the things she wants to accomplish that day, and she accomplishes them.  She has established a routine which she follows when cleaning her house, cooking her meals, tending her flower gardens, and doing her shopping.  Consequently, her home is always company-ready, her yard is tidy, her meals are well prepared, and her pantry is adequately stocked.

Pam visited our home last week and got an up-close demonstration of how the other half lives.  To her credit, she appeared comfortable in the less-than-perfect environment I provided for her.   She serenely worked on her crochet project in my living room (crammed with too much furniture and littered with the grandkids’ toys).  She complimented me on the meals I served (hastily put together and served off the counter).  She praised my outdoor flower beds (weed-plagued and untidy), and she did not reprimand me when I discovered, just as I was about to make biscuits, that the flour canister in my pantry was completely empty.  She is a kind and good person.

At one point in our visit Pam asked me, “So, Debbie, what do you do all day?”  What could I say?  I replied that I clean occasionally, cook a few meals, shop when I absolutely must and work with my flowers when the weather is perfect and I am in the right mood.

I want to be an “on-purpose” homemaker like my sister, but instead I seem to be an “on impulse” person.  As I take the Windex bottle out of the cabinet, I am suddenly struck with an impulse to complete the crossword puzzle that I started the night before.  I reach into the closet to get my vacuum cleaner, but instead I pull out last summer’s vacation pictures and start putting them into an album.  I resolve to do some yard work , but my eyes alight on some magazines that are stacked up for recycling.  I recall that in one of those magazines is a recipe for a Chocolate Lover’s Strawberry Shortcake that I wanted to tear out.  By the time I look through the magazines and find the shortcake recipe, it is too dark outside to do yard work.

At the end of her day, Pam can look at her to-do list and check off every item.  At the end of my day, I can say that I completed a crossword puzzle, put some photos into an album, and tore a recipe out of a magazine.

Resolving to do better, I take out a sheet of paper and start to compose my to-do list for tomorrow.  I write a number 1 at the top of the page.  Then my phone rings.   It is my sister Pam.

“Did you find that shortcake recipe you were looking for?” she asks.

“Yes,” I say.  “It’s right here on my countertop.  I’ll probably whip one up tomorrow in between washing my windows and shampooing the carpets.”

“You’re too good,” Pam tells me.

“I know,” I say.

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