Today is Day 37 of Mississippi’s Governor Tate Reeves’ plan for flattening the pandemic curve. We were given a slight reprieve a week or so ago, but as Reeves said, “We are not out of the woods yet.” So I was grateful to have a reason to get out of the house two Saturdays ago to replace our broken foot-operated kitchen trash can. I tried shopping local at both Westend Hardware and Tupelo Hardware but neither one had the slim size Patti wanted, so it was off to Lowe’s for a replacement.

While I stood gloved and masked in one of Lowe’s long, sometimes well-spaced lines, other shoppers (many sans gloves and masks) were mostly buying items for a big project. American ingenuity and Southern know-how are making Mississippi beautiful one wall, one flowerbed, garden, bathroom and kitchen trash can at a time.

All those ambitious shoppers got me thinking about those who weren’t out shopping – those who were still stuck at home in these not-so-normal times. For them “COVID-19 Time” is slowly creeping by, leaving them with idle time on their hands.

If being stuck at home is a fair description of your life now, pull out your “I’ll Get Around To It Someday” list and shake the dust off it. There are probably scores of small things listed there that you’ve put off fixing for months, if not years. Don’t beat yourself up about the uncompleted things on that list. It’s entirely understandable. Normally time speeds by without our noticing but these, my friends, are not normal times. During COVID-19 the things that vied for our attention scant months ago have all but disappeared. We’ve lost all sense of normalcy and that’s very off-putting. Many, as my mentor Ron Richardson would say, are grieving the loss of normalcy.

That’s where the KISS Principle can help. If those big uncompleted projects on your “To Do” list have got you feeling down, then complete one surprisingly simple, small little thing on your “I’ll Get Around To It Someday” list – something that will take a just few minutes to finish or fix. Why choose something small and simple and not something more difficult? Well, large projects can be complex and confusing. And let’s face it, life in “COVID-19 Time” is confusing enough already.

Try this today. Focus on a small, mundane thing you’ve been putting off. Do one now. Another later. Another tomorrow. Take your time. You’ve got plenty of it.

Re-glue a loose wallpaper seam. Replace a lightbulb. WD-40 that squeaky door. Rub candle wax on a sticking wood drawer slide. Loctite the treads of a loose cabinet knob. Realign a misaligned cabinet latch. Tighten the screws that are slowly backing out of that light switch. Change the batteries in your unlit thermostat. Re-glue a wobbly chair. Slice off part of a wine cork and glue it to a wobbly table leg. Silence a squeaky floor. Fix a twisting bedpost that’s stripped and loose. Remove an unsightly furniture scratch by rubbing it with a walnut. Clean the hard-water deposits off your shower heads and faucets.

There’s magic in taking care of little things in your life. Knocking off an “I’ll Get Around To It” item will put you in a much better place mentally. Completing a surprisingly simple item will clear your mind, bring a quick a burst of energy, and you’ll have a cheap win you can pat yourself on the back for finishing today. You’ll feel a nice sense of accomplishment and that, my friend, is a beautiful feeling.

Live well – live in beauty!

STEPHEN THOMPSON creates tasteful interiors in north Mississippi. For consultations, comments, or questions contact Designer Connection, P.O.Box 361, Tupelo, MS 38802.

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