In writing, in life, I find calm in knowing what must be done.

No, it’s not the processes I’m talking about…it’s the effect.

There is peace in well-defined tasks; in knowing—and doing—what needs to be done. I gather my own life to me, and regard it with an appreciative eye.

This is an admission from the most personal part of me. A laying-bare of the mechanisms of Aspberger’s, maybe, and the thing I must place just-so. The sense of order that is satisfying and not nearly all-consuming. A consciousness and deliberateness in how we live from day to day.

Whether I execute the idea of “this is the chapter I will work on today”, or “these are the words that I’ll compare, tape recorder against manuscript”, or “this is the box I will pack” (the last two on my mental to-do list for today), I know where I am and where I am going next.

This, then this, then this. A mini-mastery of space and time. It makes me almost ridiculously happy.

In professional cooking, such fluidity and effectiveness of movement is known as “chef’s moves.” In the practice and possession of chef’s moves, one act flows elegantly into the next. No hand is empty, no move is wasted, no step from here to there is undertaken without the dovetailing of a task. It’s a graceful and lovely way to go through life.

A grace in this. A pragmatic usefulness. One need not break down the whole of Gibraltar with an icepick…one must only attack this small square foot of it. And then the next foot. And the next. Before you know it, you have enough gravel to make a driveway; tiny, manageable bits where an adamantine monolith stood.

On days, in weeks, like these, I need to remind myself of this.

A finish line that is seeable—and crossable. A sense of completion, finite and fulfilling. One word, one deed, at a time.