This week, I was faced with a task that seemed simple on the surface, yet my repeated attempts to execute it somehow resulted in one failure after another.
Over the weekend, we’d gone through our clothing, gathered together three bags of donations for the thrift store, and put them in the trunk of my car to drop off after work. That simple chore—running an errand on the way home from work—ended up being the hardest thing I’ve had to do in the last month (not counting turning off the shower).
After work on Monday, I got in my car and made a mental note to stop at Goodwill. During my eleven-minute commute, my favorite song came up on shuffle, then some idiot cut me off in traffic, then I thought about that conversation I had earlier with a coworker and how I needed to handle it. Next thing I knew, I was sitting in my driveway.
It wasn’t till I opened the trunk to retrieve my gym bag and saw the bags of clothes still there that I realized my mistake, but by then it was too late.
I mean, what was I going to do? Walk through the cold all the way back to the driver’s side door, get in, crank the car, drive way the hell* to the Goodwill and back again? Or was I going to simply walk up the stairs laid out right in front of me to be greeted by my sweet cats and husband? I think we all would have made the same choice I did, faced with those options.
Tuesday, it was raining. I hate driving in rain. It can wait, I thought. I was lucky to make it home alive and in one piece.
By Wednesday, I had “Goodwill” written in black ink on my hand. No way could I forget.
After work, I went to a Zumba class taught by a girl whose classes I haven’t been to in about a year. All her routines but two were new to me, so I spent the hour struggling to catch a glimpse of the instructor through the throngs of students and figure out the steps while simultaneously trying not to fall into the steps from the Monday instructor’s class, who uses all the same songs but completely different routines. I stayed after for a fairly intense twenty-minute ab attack class. Those two activities generated more than enough sweat to erase any trace of ink from my hand and either exhausted my entire brain’s capacity for thought or caused enough oxygen deprivation to damage my short-term memory, because by the time it was over, I totally forgot about the errand and went straight home.
Thursday evening was yoga, so I was extra mellow and mindful and focused after class. I saw the bags when I put my mat in the trunk. I was definitely going to stop on my way home. For sure. No way would I forget this time. Then I turned into endorphinated robo-Maria and mindlessly automatic-drove home as if the car were a train on tracks.
By Friday, I knew those bags had to go. We’re going to need all of my little car’s trunk space for a weekend project. That stuff had to be evicted from my life, once and for all.
At the crucial intersection, when going straight would lead to the thrift store and turning right led home, I somehow maintained my mental focus and allowed no distraction to deter me from doing what had to be done.
I went straight. I made it to the Goodwill, and, finally, I unloaded those bags.
I headed home with a car and a conscience that felt like they were floating above the air, finally released from their burden, twenty pounds lighter.
Now I have available to me a full weekend of free time and a few inches of empty closet and drawer space. The possibilities are endless.
*There is a Goodwill 0.5 miles from my front door.