Not everyone arranges their spices in alphabetical order, I’m told. I do, but not owing to OCD or having too much time on my hands. Quite the contrary. When you’re in the throes of cooking, knowing exactly where to reach for that ingredient saves both moments and frustration.
Organizing is cheaper than therapy, too. Unable to establish world peace or forecast the economy, I can at least gain mastery of small household domains. Holiday decoration storage? Suffice it to say that descriptive labeling and color coding are involved. More than organizational tools, these devices are coping strategies to counter end-of-year anxiety.
Reading choices accomplish the same goal. As 2010 approaches with employment insecurity and the inevitable Questions about Life, I’m armed with empowering selections that also happen to be compelling narratives. The first two, Edward Rutherfurd’s just-published New York: The Novel and Jung Chang’s Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China, encompass multiple generations, demonstrating the wisdom of the big picture and affording an immense panoramic view.
The third book features a different but equally comforting chronological scope: Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.