Dear Lizzie: rules for today

- don't stew in your juices. the things to be done-eventually are clear-cut (you know they are), or will be when you actually need to do them. meanwhile, what is clear-cut right now? this morning, you've got coyote-scattered trash all over the driveway (pick it up), a carpet to dry out (leave the space heater right where it is, even though it drives you crazy), new petrol-coloured nailpolish (paint your fingernails, even though your face is broken out, even though there's a hole in your leggings, even though you are not yet thin-and-pretty), Sokal's Fashionable Nonsense at page 132 (finish it), and a "personal essay" in shameless imitation of Annie Dillard outlined (start it).

- listen to your body. chances are, it's not hungry, it's scared. remember? you just dropped a house and tenants on it. but it's stronger than it thinks; the cake in the fridge is not a source of impending destruction. not even a job in the service industry or a wet basement floor need be your undoing. maybe you need a nap. maybe water. maybe a hot shower, maybe chocolate, maybe a walk in yellow boots--almost certainly, ballet class tonight.