I can’t remember who it was that said ‘life is too short to stuff a mushroom,’ but I do know that she’s my soul sister. Oh, and that isn’t just because I detest mushrooms. It’s because she recognized there are things in her life worth taking the time to do and others that just aren’t ever going to be important to her, and that it’s okay to just say no to those things.
We all pile stress on ourselves. It’s part of the human condition. Left to our own devices, it’s easy to get caught up in an eternal hamster wheel of worry about things that aren’t all that important in the longrun.
This isn’t to say by any means that there aren’t things worth spending time and care over. There are. The key is to know which things you do care about putting that effort into, and which ones you can safely ignore or slide by on.
So what are some mushrooms I won’t be stuffing? Here’s a list of things I’ve decided my life is too short to include:
My life is too short to watch TV I don’t like, no matter how popular. I know everyone else loved Raymond. I didn’t, and I’m at peace with that.
My life is too short to apologize for liking the occasional trashy movie, even if it does show on the Lifetime Movie Network. Death of a Cheerleader makes me giggle, and I don’t care who knows it.
My life is too short to own clothes I don’t enjoy wearing. Whether it’s an odd fit in the crotch, a scratchy seam, or a color that makes people ask me if I’m feeling sick, I don’t have time for it.
My life is too short to worry about whether there are dishes in the sink or some clutter in the room when a friend comes to the door. I’m going to come right out and say this: I am a lousy housekeeper. I’ve decided that as long as people can get in the door and get where they’re going, and the dishes aren’t actually growing legs and attacking people, I can live with it, and so can my friends. If it bugs them too much, I can go to their homes or meet them somewhere in the middle.
My life is too short to own anything pink. I am not a pink person. I don’t like most pink things. I look terrible in pink, and it doesn’t usually make me smile. Purple, orange, blue, green, yellow, red…there are plenty of colors that do make me smile. I’m going to concentrate on them.
My life is too short to spend a lot of time actively avoiding pink. Despite that last statement, I do love the bright pink curtains in my bedroom. I particularly love that Mr. Twistie chose them. And the reading glasses I’m wearing right now have a touch of bright pink in the frames. I got them because when I tried them on, Mr. Twistie looked so delighted I wanted to keep him smiling. Making Mr. Twistie smile is far more important to me than avoiding pink.
My life is too short to stuff a mushroom. I may have time to make my own lace, watch silly movies on Lifetime, and daydream about feeding Tim Gunn my homemade scones (call me, Tim!), but stuffing things drives me up a tree. If it’s smaller than a bell pepper, I don’t intend to stuff it, no matter how delicious it would be when I finished. Okay, maybe I’ll stuff a ravioli. Maybe.
My life is too short not to take time for myself. I don’t want to get to the end of this ride and discover I spent all my precious time on people who aren’t me. Sometimes taking time for me happens to be nice for others, too. After all, one of the things I love to do for me is cook great meals for my friends. Another thing I love to do for me is sing, which a few other people have said they enjoy hearing. A neighbor has asked me to tutor her son a bit in writing skills, and I can’t wait to get started. But I also take time for a bubble bath once in a blue moon (well, when we aren’t in drought mode out here in California), or to read a good book, or to pull out my lace pillow and toss my bobbins.
My life is too short to live in ugly rooms. My house doesn’t look at all like I want it to look right now. I’ve decided this is not okay. And so it is that I’m starting to save up and bargain hunt. By this time next year, I want to stop dreaming of my Yellow Submarine kitchen. I want to be cooking in it. Oh, and I’m finally putting up the living room curtains I bought three months ago. All they need is a quick ironing and to be hemmed. I can do that in the coming week, and like my living room much better than I do right now. Then it’s time to clean up and paint the walls after eight years of threatening to do so.
My life is too short to eat bad food. I’m not talking about moral weight, here, but flavor. I’m going to get the best ingredients I can afford, and cook them with care and consideration. Then I will eat them with relish…but the pickle kind will only come out when it actually compliments what I’m eating.
My life is too short not to tell people that I love them.
So what is your life too short for?