Monk’s Work

images-10 Monk’s work is an expression I turn to when I’m having a hard day. It tells me to simplify. Could mean sweeping, doing the dishes…sewing a button or cleaning a shelf. An easy act that will take me to a place of new beginnings where I can start again.

No small matter.

There’s something comforting about cleaning your space…making it more worthy of you. One of my favorite tasks is changing the sheets. There’s nothing like fresh linen to slide between at the end of your day. The smell reminds me of when I was little and my dad tucked me in. images-9 He too smelled of fresh air and Downy Fabric Softener.

Keep it simple is a popular 12 Step saying to suggest, slowing down. We pile so many tasks and must-dos in the course of the day it’s no wonder we’re often overwhelmed.

Let’s take lists for instance. When I start berating myself for not getting to every chore, I need to remember I created 1 through 20, there’s no one standing over me insisting I do them all. So what if I only made it to 18. Are the police going to come give me a ticket? Will my mother be at the door with her wooden spoon (God forbid)?

This is when I separate laundry or shine a pair of shoes putting my emotions back in neutral where they belong.

When did life get so fast and furious?  I live it on the edge of my chair in perpetual vigilance as if I’ll miss something, or be judged, or given an incomplete if I don’t accomplish more.

Might be time to wipe down the windows and lower the screens so I can look out breathing in spring who has to be right around the corner.

Wouldn’t want to be so hectic that I miss her knocking at the door.

“Who is it?”

well it’s about fucking time.”



About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
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11 Responses to Monk’s Work

  1. katecrimmins says:

    Since I have a yard, I have been getting a bit anxious about the lack of nice warm weather to do the cleanup. Today is again overcast and cold. Yesterday was warm but rainy. My fear is that one day it will 90 degrees and the cleanup will be a real chore in the heat. However, I do need to step back and breathe. What is the worst that could happen? As you say the policy will not give me a ticket and I don’t expect to see your mother with a wooden spoon. Good post and for me the timing was appropriate.


    • I’m not sure what a great monk I would have made, but I like the peaceful way they conduct their lives. Slowing down is very sound advice. We’re crazy with activity. You’ll do your clean-up on a glorious day with the wind in your hair and a Starbucks on a nearby cafe table.


  2. Arthur Seder says:

    As a kid I was a total slob (at least compared to my parents, my father especially, compared to whom in my own mind nothing i did was good enough). As I’ve gotten older I’ve actually become – gasp – somewhat fastidious. I do make my bed every day and I never leave the dishes in the sink overnight. I only manage to vacuum about once every 4-6 weeks, but I do a pretty thorough job. But if you saw my household I think it would be pretty apparent that I’m a single guy, desperately in need of someone to direct my interior maintenance efforts :-). And what the HELL is going on with this weather?


  3. skinnyuz2b says:

    Nice piece of writing, Susannah. I’m going to remember your ‘Monk’s work’ technique when I get overwhelmed.


  4. micklively says:

    My big brother has a germane saw: “Never do today what you can put off ’til tomorrow.”


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