It is late and I am in a fog.  I have done absolutely nothing today except sit on my bed and read Dan Brown’s THE LOST SYMBOL. Like his other books, it is a puzzle to be solved.  I like puzzles. This one was thoroughly absorbing and entertaining.

When I say I did nothing else, I mean precisely that.  I didn’t bathe. I didn’t brush my teeth.  I never dressed.  I stayed in bed reclining on three pillows.  I drank Optifast, water and ate a piece of chicken and a tablespoon of chocolate chips, which is like injecting serotonin into my veins.

When I was on page 364, Tom received an email from our son, Ed, who had just finished reading the same book, to ask if we had read it.  I like this kind of synchronicity:  Ed and I reading the same book, he a little ahead of me.  It makes the world seem like a friendly place.  I imagine a lot of people were reading Dan Brown yesterday, enjoying it like I did.

I deserved this day off, because I have been full of “changing my life for good” kind of busyness.  More than a week ago, I decided I needed more structure in my life and I thought the only way I could do this was to make myself a chore chart and give myself sparkly stars for my good behaviors. It sounds dinky, but I find I will do anything for a sparkly star.

I will, for example, make my bed EVERY DAY, ride the stationery bike for a half an hour, lift free weights 3 X 10 EVERY DAY, stick to my diet EVERY DAY, clean up after myself EVERY DAY and anything else I write on my list of to do’s each morning.

Last summer (a year ago) I lost 40 pounds, and this fall I’m losing 20 more pounds.  I will be thin at Christmas and may, if I’m lucky, have visible elbows again.  My new saying is being old is better than being fat. Being a bit more organized is also terrific.  I am obviously storing nuts for the winter, when I go beserk. Surely those dark months will be easier if I am thinner and make my bed daily.

None of this comes easily. I know from long experience that I need plenty of down time, that I am slow in the morning, and that I don’t even pretend to multi-task.  Still, this week I subbed in the temple at six in the morning for a friend.  I gave myself an extra big star for that one.

Last Saturday, I was assigned my first bride in the temple, and I lost her.  I kept track of her until the very end when she disappeared from the bride’s room where she had been primping herself for photographs. I found the groom.  He didn’t know where she was. “I lost a bride,” I told everyone.  “Have you seen a loose bride about?”  Finally, one of the sisters came up to me and told me the bride was at the west entrance (the baptism entrance) and I went there.  Sure enough, she was sitting there waiting.  “How did you get here?” I asked.  And she pointed to a door that came directly from the bride’s room, a door I didn’t know existed.  Bride and groom were reunited.  I was absolved of all responsibility.

Anyway, I know myself well enough to know that if I’m going to be good with all my chores that I better plan in a vacation day for myself, or it will all come tumbling down.

Today was that day.  Tomorrow, it’s back to the chore chart.