Life is much too short for many things

When I first noticed the title “Life’s Too Short to Fold Your Underwear” by Patricia Lorenz, I knew immediately that was a book I had to own.
That’s my philosophy exactly!
When my children were young, we ate our dinner by candlelight every night. I set a formal table in the dining room and always used a tablecloth.
I thought it was important to talk to each other in a relaxing setting, and it also was helpful for teaching our children table manners and how to be comfortable in any setting.
One time, I told a friend at work about our pattern and she asked if using a tablecloth was an awful lot of work.
I replied, “No. I use a lace tablecloth and the crumbs fall on the table. Then, I shake out the tablecloth every Saturday.”
My friend was horrified. So, I told her about some of my other labour-saving practices!
When the children’s socks were inside out, I folded them that way. No one minded. And the next time the socks were in the wash, they would be right side out!
To this day, we never fold washcloths. We have a big drawer in the bathroom where we stuff them.
Yes, life is just way too short to do such frivolous things as folding washcloths and underwear.
And life is also too short not to do the important things.
At the same time I was shaking out my lace tablecloth to save time, my mother and I went out for coffee or lunch three or four times a week.
We had wonderful conversations. We laughed a lot and caught up on each other’s lives.
My mother would tell me about the lives of everyone who had been in the little gift shop she ran and I would tell her about my work and family.
I was very busy at the time. But by the time I retired and had a more flexible schedule, my mother was gone. No coffees or lunches or laughing—only wonderful memories that still make me laugh inside.
Lorenz’s book makes a person think about what really is important in life.
Some things on her list are just preferences, like shaking a lace tablecloth every Saturday. But others are universal, like making time for your mother or a special friend.
For Lorenz, life is too short to cook, get knotted up over housework, or have a chore list.
“I’ve hated housework for more than 40 years, ever since I was a little kid and my mother taught me how . . . to pick me up after my little brother and sister,” she said.
Her wish is to some day have a live-in housekeeper. “But, alas,” she says, “that dream will undoubtedly never come true.”
People are different. Some people love to cook and bake, and keep a sparkling clean house–with matched towels and washcloths neatly folded on a shelf.
That’s their talent.
But some of the things Lorenz cites are more than preferences, they are universal principles.
Life is too short to fear change, give up, say no to an opportunity, or worry about getting old, says Lorenz.
Yes, life is too short for many things. So why not make your own list today—and then live by it.
Marie Snider is an award-winning health care writer and syndicated columnist. Write her at or visit

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