Take one thing and make it beautiful

by Traci Teraoka


Years ago, I had a wonderful next door neighbor in Bernal Heights, a hilly San Franicsco neighborhood. He had a beautiful, thoughtful home, lovely garden and a sweet dog. He had already lost a lung to cancer when he shared the news that he had been diagnosed with cancer in his remaining lung  - and didn't have long to survive.   His strategy was to enjoy life as much as possible  - he wanted to see funny movies and enjoy his ability to laugh with friends. 

A few weeks later I saw him and marveled  that while short of breath-  he personally maintained his small garden and that he was able to walk his dog a little.  I asked him how this was possible.   He looked at me and said words I'll never forget that I continue to apply to my life.

 "Take one thing and make it beautiful."   

I thought I'd shared this with you - because it seems to come up time and time again for me.  I apply this thought to the long list of "To-do's", daunting projects of any form. even tax time. Whatever you must tackle -these few words can help get you underway.  It worked for my courageous and kind neighbor and has helped me countless times. 

 Life can be complicated - physically and mentally. Whether you're moving to a different home, overwhelmed by the amount of stuff you have (wishing you had a different home!)  looking at things you have avoided or don't want to deal with   - its a good living practice to feel brave and able, and try to make some even some part of a larger task into something beautiful.  Yes you will  have to keep chipping away and use other strengths to help complete the project but sometimes getting underway is the hardest first step.  Thanks for the inspiration Ken.