by Alyssa von Helms

April 3, 2019


As I write this, I have a slice of raisin bread in the toaster. It’s a Saturday morning, I have the house to myself, the sun is shining, the air is cool, and—ding, my toast just popped up, warm and cinnamon-y. I’m full of good things.

I have to remind myself of it. In the quiet of the empty house, I feel free enough to take a breath and say it out loud. I am full of good things.

This week I have simply felt full. Stuffed, actually. My schedule has been packed. It’s crunch time at work; no matter how late I stay or how early I come in, someone else is there later or earlier than me. Weekends are crammed with social events and flanked with chores. My bathroom hasn’t been really, truly cleaned in . . . well, I’m not allowed to say. Last Saturday I managed to slide in a forty-five minute nap and even that had to be written on my To Do list. I’m trying to schedule an evening with friends I haven’t connected with since January. I owe my sister a letter. Two, actually. I’m already full and still more things seem to get pushed on my plate.

What if I told you that this morning—yes, the idyllic one with the raisin bread and the birds chirping outside—is also a hectic morning? The washing machine just signaled the end of its cycle, I need to dry my hair and put in contacts, I should be heading to the car wash before it gets crazy out there, and I have two items on a mental grocery list that I’ll probably forget if I don’t write them down. (Hold on while I do that.)

But it is the same morning and I repeat the same phrase: I am full of good things.

Because these are good things—laundry, toast, overtime at work, taking time for friends. It’s easy to forget when they are so bountiful, when you’re in the thick of a season that leaves you dog-paddling even though you know you could make some headway if the waves would just stop for one second.

So, stop. For one second.

Taste what you’re eating. Look at what you’re filling yourself with. Is it good? Even the vegetables of life: chores, appointments, To Do lists. Are they good? Do they nourish you? Sometimes they aren’t. Sometimes they are and you only need to be reminded of it.

Just like me, ignoring the washing machine for one more minute so I can really savor my last bite of toast. Sweet raisins, crunchy crust, a swipe of butter.

Definitely a good thing.

Alyssa von Helms is bonding with her coworkers over her first tax season at an accounting firm and vows to scrub that bathroom as soon as the laundry is done.

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