Teeth brushed, bedtime T-shirt on, blankets snuggled close, and sinking into day-is-doneness, I’m sure there’s one more thing—something to do with an email or an appointment. I just can’t quite isolate it from my bedtime head swirl.

I do know Charlene, one of my mindfulness students, says she heard tell of a vortex in Lake Mills, Wisconsin. That’s what I’m mostly thinking about. I wrote her information down weeks ago to look up. Otherwise, forget about it.

My husband, watching the news earlier in the evening, didn’t even acknowledge me when I said I had something to tell him, but couldn’t remember what. “I probably will when I drive away,” I said, as I kissed him goodbye before heading out to teach my meditation class. And I did.

Being in a car cued the memory, I suppose. Earlier in the day, I had cancelled the insurance on my daughter’s hand-me-down Monte Carlo that’s currently stored in my father-in-law’s garage. If a heavy-limbed tree should smash through the roof and land on the car, or if a lightning strike makes an inferno of the garage, our comprehensive coverage will still cover the damage. However, if in anticipation of garage destruction, we move the car elsewhere and it is damaged, we suffer the loss.

I can’t find the page in my notebook where I wrote down the vortex information.

Two articles caught my attention in this week’s Time magazine; one reviewed hybrid cars, and the other, on happiness, suggested that I consider life without social media and send my laundry out. I placed the yellow-stickied magazine next to my plate before supper, and thus remembered to share both articles with my spouse.

The insurance guy now needs proof that my daughter is abroad before he’ll cancel her car insurance. Days will stream past, as perhaps he hopes, before I connect my daughter, an unknown document, my scanner and his email.

I watched a video on spoken-word poetry—so I can cross that item off my to-do list. The list is always on the counter next to my purse, near the hook for my keys. Last year, I made a New Year’s intention to memorize one poem per month. By time Lent arrived, I’d given up.

To better understand the illuminated and shadow attributes of my personal collective unconscious, I pick a daily archetype card. Today, I choose the clown.

“How much do you laugh?” the vibrant card asks. “Do you laugh with joy or to mask other emotions?” I may have forgotten to laugh today, but not on purpose, there just wasn’t an opportunity.

I picked this same card—or the card picked me—yesterday. And once last week. A curious occurrence, considering there are only 48 cards in the deck. I’m trying to understand what I need to learn about laughter. The answer, I believe, rests somewhere between sticky notes, the dog’s vet appointment (uh-oh!) and expired mayonnaise.

Expired mayonnaise

I fed my spouse expired mayonnaise—although not very expired—because I forgot to check the date (I had an inkling, but never when I was near the fridge) before starting supper, and because ketchup on a BLT seems wrong.

I fed my spouse expired mayo because adding mayo to the grocery list slipped my mind, and I couldn’t recall if expired mayo was bad or, like aspirin, could be used for years (unless it smelled like vinegar). That, I’m pretty sure, is what my mom said concerning aspirin. I never buy aspirin. There’s something about a disease.

Mayo. Here’s the thing. I didn’t necessarily forget to purchase it. Mostly I wanted to avoid the dreaded mayonnaise/Miracle Whip conundrum.

I suspect, based on prior experience, that if I attempted a quick trip to the grocery, I’d stare at the shelves wondering if it was mayo or Miracle Whip that I needed—the actual miracle being that no one would know which I’d purchased, as I’m the jar opener and dressing spreader in the family. I tell them what I want them to know. Perception is everything, someone once said.

I couldn’t find my phone when I arrived at meditation. That surprised me. As it should, since I later realized I’d had the phone all along—simply tucked underneath my purse, instead of in my purse.

I rushed through my preparations for leading our mindfulness-based class. Everyone else forgot to come, or chose not to come. Perhaps they were in Lake Mills, visiting the vortex.

I meditated alone, immersed in the present moment and a new day’s supper plans. I gathered the donation I’d placed in the basket to inspire others, and felt compensated. Then I went home to my list, curious to find out what I should do next.

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