Many December thirty-firsts ago, my wife Gretchen and I decided to shift our yearly resolutions into a more productive direction. No more dwelling on the negative habits we disliked about ourselves. Instead, we’d focus on one simple way to do life better. Since then, each year we choose a word or two to live by which becomes our mantra for twelve months, a lens through which we examine and improve our lives.
Our first year it was ‘Maintain’.
Due to our binge-and-purge style of house cleaning, the apartment we shared was in a constant state of upheaval. We’d wash no dishes and launder no clothes until we ran out of everything clean and then we’d spend days procrastinating the inevitable. Once the piles of mess started to reek and move suspiciously on their own, we’d dedicate an entire hellish weekend getting load after load scrubbed up and stored away.
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