Since that day, we've been working through the process of getting the basement back together. I find the task overwhelming. Where do we begin? Do we get a dumpster? Do we haul out everything? What can stay? Thankfully, I handle most of our day to day jobs, but my husband is the king in crisis. He's ready to dig in and get it done. He's just waiting on the green light to toss all of the items that rest below our first floor.
To get the ball rolling all I really need to do is walk downstairs and inventory. What can be saved? There are so many items of memory downstairs: photographs, books from when the kids were little, Christmas decorations, furniture that has been passed across generations. It's impossible for me to walk down the steps without feeling the need to turn around and race back upstairs so I'm telling myself to take thirty minutes.
Thirty minutes seems to be magic. Truthfully, once I begin a task I find that at the end of thirty minutes I'm either finished (many tasks take much less time than anticipated), close enough to being done that I want to continue, or so interested in what I am doing I can't stop. Thirty minutes writes a Slice of Life post (right now this one has taken 17 minutes), sorts through the overwhelming mail stack, cleans a room, and weeds at least one flower bed. By telling myself I'll commit thirty minutes to a task I get a lot more done. The secret to those challenging tasks, it seems, is simply getting started.