Last week I was in the Chicago area and spent time with my friend Annie. Whenever we get together we always tackle a project in her house. Most of our projects could spin into episodes of I Love Lucy. Annie has Attention Deficit Disorder, and though I haven’t been officially diagnosed, I suffer from Being Blonde Disorder. God just gave us inordinate amounts of creativity, and to do so, He had to make extra space up there.
We once assembled a fountain in 50 degree temperatures in the pouring rain for hours, and managed to plug in the pump at the exact moment the hose was pointing down her shirt. We repeated this comedy routine twice. Like it wasn’t funny enough the first time.
For one of our gardening projects we filled her SUV with plants and forgot to close the back hatch. When we finally looked behind us on the busy four lane road, we saw cars dodging rolling pots of perennials. There were only two casualties. No humans were harmed.
We laugh a lot. We lose our lists. We lose our tools. We lose our train of thought. This time I was looking everywhere for my iPhone so I could make a note of something. (I started keeping notes on my phone so I wouldn’t lose them). I looked in my purse. I scanned the kitchen counter. Annie stopped me on my way to the car to look for it to point out that I was talking on it. Yeah. Okay, so you can’t SEE a phone when it’s on your ear.
In our defense, we work hard and we work fast and we drink plenty of wine till the wee hours. There’s always so much to do. This visit we decided to paint some inexpensive cabinets in what used to be her laundry room. They were Home Depot clearance cabinets with a cheap finish we planned to change with my favorite paint technique. We hoped to paint them last time I was in town, but like always, ran out of time. This was the last item on our list of things to do, and since it was the only item on the list, we were pretty confident we wouldn’t lose it.
We’ve been working on this room for over a year and a half, along with contractors, and it’s finally done. I never feel like we accomplish enough. I leave town in a swirl of dust or pile of lawn debris and unfinished projects. See ya Annie. Have fun filling twenty lawn bags without me. There’s just so much more we should have done. More gardening. More painting. More laughing. More wine. But then it occurs to me, and it’s even more obvious than the phone on my ear, that I’m missing something. Wait for it. This is my blonde epiphany. If we only look ahead to what we aspire to, only look at what we still need to do, we forget to look behind. We will not see all we have accomplished and how far we have traveled. If we don’t look backwards, we will miss seeing cars swerving to dodge rolling pots of perennials. You want to take note of that stuff. It’s just too good. In fact I’m going to put it in my phone.