birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.


I stand in the utility room half awake half asleep sorting the darks from the lights inspecting dirty spots or stains and trying to decide how lucky I feel today. I used to mix potions and rub and spray and soak sure that my self worth was tied up in the whiteness of my sons baseball pants. Then I began to resent them sliding into first in a close game.

I knew then that I was going to have to find another way to value myself. I smocked one dress for my daughter and when she laughingly dumped Hawaiin punch on her dress; I jumped from the chair and stripped her in 3 seconds flat reducing her to tears and fueling a rage that I didn't see coming.

I am much better now. I sort the clothing through a running list in my head about what I want to do that day and what I don't want to do but have to do. I ask GOD for a good attitude about the things that I have to do and I thank GOD for a running washing machine and the electricity to run it.

I entered a 12 Step program when my daughter was 2 and my son was an infant. I was told very quickly that stressing over perfectionism would kill me. It has taken me 28 years to agree with them. They have a great saying which is Progress not perfection. I was even able to quote it back to my nursing school instructor 5 years into the program and 2 years into the curriculum when she told me that perfection was a must for a good nurse. And because my grades were all A's, I felt justified in saying that progress was far more important.

I had a dear friend in the program that told me that some things are not worth doing well.
I believe her and I think laundry is one of those things.