Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. ~William James

Monday, September 27, 2010

Done for the Past Two Weeks: And the Time Just Flew!

I'm still transitioning from my week away, and what my grandson refers to as our "two sleepover" weekend immediately following.  Somehow when I'm away, I imagine my life as more settled and appealing than it turns out to be upon my return.  I don't want to think of it as "back to the salt mines," but I haven't yet tuned-up my attitude as I take up the reins of my everyday steed.  

Here's what is behind me, as I head into a new week, in my old location. 

Done List--Weeks of Sept. 13-26

  1. Continued off-season triathlon training, on vacation mode--biked once, swam once, ran twice, two of these exercise sessions in New Orleans heat
  2. Finished The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson; The Moon and Sixpence, by W. Somerset Maugham
  3. Continued significant support to transitioning nonprofit organization
  4. Worked my two part-time jobs, taking one week off
  5. Published 10 blog posts, including 5 vacation reruns
  6. Meditated 1 time
  7. Wrote 5 Gratitude Journal entries
  8. Wrote 1 Morning Page
  9. Spent second 1/2 day cleaning garage--not quite finished
  10. Had new mattress set delivered, and spent one night on it before leaving town
  11. Wrote for two hours on my novel, as planned
  12. Went out with my husband for Happy Hour; continued reading aloud Elizabeth George's In the Presence of the Enemy
  13. Babysat 3-year-old grandson for 51 hours, and lived to tell the tale
  14. Took my dog to the dog park once
  15. Flew to New Orleans with my two sons, including the flight-phobic one; took the overnight train back; enjoyed (almost all of) the trip
  16. Spent lots of time with my mom
  17. Despite my hate-hate relationship with football, gladly cheered the Saints to 2-0; mourned yesterday's loss
  18. Ate beignets twice, barbecued shrimp once, crab cakes once, middle-Eastern fare twice, bread pudding and other excessive departures from regular diet (it is New Orleans!)
  19. Got my sons to clean mom's carpet
  20. Helped my brother-in-law reseat his stone patio
  21. Spent some, but not enough time relaxing
  22. Visited my father's grave
  23. Arranged transfer of my old refrigerator from my daughter's house, since our new one is no longer working
In red above the most important thing I did this over this two-week period.  As my mother continues to celebrate birthdays, I grow ever more aware of how much she means to me, and of the distance that separates us.  It was really satisfying to be with her long enough this visit that she began to relax into our time together, and stopped worrying so much about my imminent departure.  With the exception of our couple of late night talks like those of old, we didn't really do anything remarkable.  But it was great to greet the mornings at her breakfast table; to sit with her in her small patio garden when the steamy temperatures allowed; to accompany her on dog walks; to ooh and ahh at the ancient items we spotted antiquing with the boys; to join her and the rest of the family in rooting for their beleaguered area's football heroes; to sip cappuccinos at the local coffee shop; to share a pew, if not a faith, at her church; and to know that we had helped each other alleviate the loneliness of our living conditions.  I hope to go back soon.  As my husband frequently reminds me, it's not something I can afford to procrastinate about.

Highlighted in green is the accomplishment related to my modest focus goal from two weeks ago--to spend a couple of hours before I left on my novel, and to work on believing that I can write it.  I did what I planned, which was an improvement on the previous week.  And I have a plan for this week, which is to spend Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons on the novel.  This is time I can count on in the upcoming weeks, which should help in establishing a regimen I can stick to.  For the present, that is enough.  One thing I can apply from my triathlon and 5K training is the notion of building skill and capacity.  When I can consistently carry out my writing plan for the week, it will be time to consider adding sessions.  And standards?  We're a long way from that sticky wicket!

I am also hopeful that this week I will meditate frequently, exercise more, and get my house in better shape so I can stand living here until I can leave again.

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