Getting life together takes hard-fought action

Oh, how I relate.

In a TV commercial, a young woman is having her nails done when she notices someone eating potato chips. The other woman puts the chip package down to answer a phone. Next thing you see is the woman’s still-wet fingernails covered with greasy, salty potato chip drippings.

That could so be me. Well, not the fingernail polishing, but the potato chip loving.

I don’t use fingernail polish because I don’t like to feel the weight of it on my fingers. Yeah, quit scoffing. I can feel it. I don’t like it. But how I do like potato chips. Plain ol’ chips that are both greasy and salty at the same time.

That’s what a guilty pleasure really is.

That’s mine.

Everyone needs something in her life she knows she should give up. And I’ve given up a whole lot of those somethings, but I cannot get over the aroma of a freshly opened sack of chips or the taste of this salty snack. That’s why guilty pleasures are guilty pleasures. They’re no good for you.

What’s really not good for me is trying to get myself turned back to normal-world hours. With several early morning activities on the horizon, I had to wean myself off staying up till 5 a.m. and not getting up till noon. No way to do that but straight through.

So I kept staying up later and later, until one day I didn’t go to bed at all until 11 p.m. That way I was so tired, it was easy to sleep through what normally are my happiest awake hours. And it worked. For three days I arose with the normal folk and went to bed with those same folk. Well, not with them, you understand, but at the same time.

During that time I learned that yellow cabbage butterflies fly about 15 miles an hour. Yellow cabbage butterflies may not be the correct term, but it’s how I’ve always known them. They’re those plentiful yellow butterflies that make summer so much fun to see.

Anyway, I raced one of these butterflies out on the ultra-curvy gravel road that follows the Dragoons trail south of Lehigh. I love driving that road not only because it’s so beautiful but also because other drivers don’t race up behind me wanting to drive where I am.

My husband and I were out for a leisurely drive, going 15 miles an hour to hold down the dust and to take in the scenery, when I get passed by a yellow cabbage butterfly. The little bug left me in her wake, which might have been embarrassing had anyone seen it.

This does, however, show that I’m evolving. I didn’t get angry at being passed on a country road. I am getting my life together in that way.

Getting your life together encompasses all sorts of capitulation. Like not getting angry when you’re passed on a country road. Or giving up a guilty pleasure. Or getting up with the world because you have day-time stuff to do.

Aye, matey, therein lies the rub.

So long friends, until the next time when we’re together.

Sandy Mickelson, former lifestyle editor of The Messenger, may be reached at