During lunch I was working on the crossword puzzle, pencil in hand while I puzzled and chewed. It’s Tuesday, so I could do it in pen, but I prefer the option to erase. It’s a habit. I also prefer to do the puzzle with my trusty Mirado Black Warrior. This is my favorite pencil–the lead makes a nice sharp edge, but has just the right softness when you need it. The pencil is dark black, and looks really elegant, and the eraser removes marks without leaving a mess. The company stopped making them for a while and I horded my stubs until they started producing more.
I’m particular about pens, too. When you’re going to use a tool all the time I think it’s important to have the right one. The wrong pens leak or create too much drag against the paper. I hate a wimpy wavering line—unless I happen to be going for that at the moment. When I pay attention to the details I end up in a better mood.
I don’t remember where I read the concept, but there is a notion I find helpful. Anything that you have to tolerate, no matter how small, creates a disruption in your energy. The crack you notice in your coffee cup, the tiny tear in an old shirt and the waste basket you never really liked all work against a joyful life. Get rid of them and make room for something else! The same goes for useful items with bad memories. I once had a very lovely bedspread given to me by a former friend who later turned very hurtful. Every time I saw it I was reminded of the pain she caused me. It was my suffering blanket, and therefore useless. I couldn’t sleep well underneath it. I’m sure that whoever chose it at Goodwill had no bad memories to detract from its warmth.
As I get ready to move again, I’m going to using this little test to decide what comes with me—I will move only items that bring me joy, along with the assorted necessities of life towards which I have no major feelings. I’m definitely bringing a cup of those fabulous pencils!
Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:
97. Go through a small area like a drawer or a backpack and see if you can find any items that make you unhappy. Get rid of them! Your psyche will thank you.