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

Monday, October 18, 2010

Done for the Week: All This, and San Francisco!

Last week didn't exactly go according to plan.  Mainly because Plan A was jettisoned, and Plan B taken up just past midway.  But then, in my experience, a week with only one major shift is actually pretty rare.  I've known many weeks where I was flirting with Plan Z before the end.

Here's what I got done, on one plan or another, by hook and by crook:

Done List--Week of Oct. 11-17

  1. Continued off-season triathlon training, temporarily tailored to prepare for 5K in 1 week, and to accommodate hamstring strain--swam once, biked twice, ran once
  2. Finished When Things Fall Apart:  Heart Advice for Difficult Times, by Pema Chödrön; In the Presence of the Enemy, by Elizabeth George
  3. Continued significant support to transitioning nonprofit organization
  4. Worked my two part-time jobs
  5. Published 5 blog posts
  6. Meditated 10 times (see #19)
  7. Wrote 4 Gratitude Journal entries
  8. Wrote 2 Morning Pages
  9. Spent 4 hours working on my novel
  10. Spent 1 hour cleaning "Snoopy Room"
  11. Continued removing laundry-from-hell from basement floor
  12. Finished reading aloud Elizabeth George's In the Presence of the Enemy with my husband; started In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner, also by Elizabeth George
  13. Attended 2 yoga classes
  14. Celebrated my daughter's birthday with my family
  15. Walked my dog 2 times, including 1 trip to the dog park
  16. Attended board meeting
  17. Attended Issues Strategy Night
  18. Worked and read outside, storing up sunshine and Vitamin D
  19. "Attended" online weekend meditation retreat, Smile at Fear, with Pema Chödrön
  20. Helped son study for psychology final
  21. Sent birthday greetings to my sister, and to a friend who shares her birthday
Last week's focus goal was to spend six hours on my novel.  I managed four (#9 highlighted in green), keeping to the recently inaugurated routine of using the time between dropping off and picking up my grandson at preschool, two days a week.  I had planned to write for two hours on the weekend, until I decided, at the last minute, to devote Friday evening and most of Saturday and Sunday to online participation in a weekend meditation retreat.  In my view, however, it was a worthwhile tradeoff.  As you can see, the meditation retreat is in red text, above, indicating my assessment that it was the week's most important accomplishment.  Life-changing?  That remains to be seen.  Although in some respects, applying some of what I learned and re-learned this weekend, everything is life-changing, since life is change.  

A side-benefit to my online attendance was the opportunity to virtually visit the San Francisco area, a destination that has eluded me despite its draw for most of my years on this planet.  Each time I have had an opportunity to travel there, something happens to prevent it.  I have come as close as holding a plane ticket and hotel reservations, and packing my bags, only to be turned around the day before by one of my parents' three emergency bypass surgeries.  This weekend's event was held at the Craneway Pavillion, a "stunning venue" (if they do say so themselves) which "features a soaring, industrial-chic interior, breathtaking waterfront views of San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley, and state-of-the-art infrastructure."  I didn't leave the building--which is to say, the camera providing the live video feed for the 2,000 online participants didn't leave the building--but I did get to see 3,000 in-person participants milling about, and sitting on chairs and cushions; the two main speakers, Pema Chödrön, and Carolyn Gimian; and a glimpse of the ocean waves and a sailboat or two behind the podium backdrop.  Ah, San Francisco. . .

My secondary focus, last week and until I feel that these essential activities are well established, was/is to continue devoting significant time and energy to exercise, meditation and housecleaning.  Of the three, I admit that housecleaning is getting the shortest shrift.  (What is a "shrift," anyway?  I seem to remember looking this up before.  In this context, however, I find the World Dictionary meaning particularly apt:  "brief and unsympathetic treatment."  I definitely struggle with being sympathetic to housework in all its many forms.)  

Activities related to this trifold intention are highlighted in green.  Meditation, good.  Exercise, pretty good, considering my need to baby a knee inflamed by too much running in a two-day period on Sunday and Monday.  Housecleaning, passable, all things considered.  

For this week, my focus goal remains the same as last week--
to spend six hours working on my novel.  And . . . to keep exercise, meditation and housecleaning in the foreground.
I'll keep trying until I get it right.  Smiling at fear all the way.

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