I have been off of spring break now for four days and with each day that passes, I come home to find  a new pile. They are showing up all over the house. They don’t care that I am tired and desperately wishing they will disappear. They wait for me. I have piles of colored-coded clothes waiting to be washed, piles of papers waiting to be filed or filled out, piles of coupons waiting to be chucked or clipped, and small piles of folded scarves or sweaters waiting to be hung. I came home after work last night, walked past all the piles with a sigh and went to my closest to choose the least wrinkled shirt to iron for work.  I had dinner, talked on the phone, and made more piles of papers. This time to-do lists that would need to be consolidated and check marked. Then I sat and planned a pile elimination plan. The pile elimination plan seemed impossible, so I took a walk. I walked to the end of my street to clear my head.  Instead of hearing, “Take one step at a time,” I heard, “Bird by Bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.” This is what Anne Lamont shares as advice for her writing students and her readers in her book, Bird by Bird. I liked the bird analogy because it helped me to imagine each of the piles as a little bird flying away.  A little bit of stress would fly away  too. I would feel lighter and become encouraged to set free another pile, and then another, until all the piles fly south for winter. But it’s spring, and the piles aren’t going anywhere.

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