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

Monday, December 13, 2010

Done for the Week: It Shouldn't Have to Be This Hard

So now I can literally begin to see the light at the end of this long cold tunnel.  Eight days and sixteen plus hours until we start to make our way back from this dimly lit corner of the year.  (But who's counting?)

To date, I have bought one Christmas present (online), and given only the most cursory thought to a few others.  I have sent no cards.  But I have done all this other stuff.

Done for the Week:  Dec. 6-12
  1. Continued off-season race training; biked twice 
  2. Succeeded in getting one son to gym with me once
  3. Finished Baking Cakes in Kigali, by Gaile Parkin 
  4. Continued reading The Zen Path Through Depression, by Philip Martin, and Undoing Perpetual Stress: The Missing Connection Between Depression, Anxiety, and 21st Century Illness, by Richard O'Connor; and continued adding to my library stockpile
  5. Continued support of transitioning not-for-profit organization--reached a breaking point
  6. Spent too much time stressing, and some time rethinking my role in same
  7. Worked my two part-time jobs
  8. Published 5 blog posts
  9. Wrote 7 Gratitude Journal entries
  10. Wrote 6 Morning Pages
  11. Attended church
  12. Attended Issues Night
  13. Participated in several transcontinental skype calls with absent spouse
  14. Attended 2 yoga classes
  15. Took my sons out for (nonalcoholic) Happy Hour
  16. Spoke with my mom on her 83rd birthday (having sent a gift and a card almost on time!)
  17. Watched our two favorite basketball teams play 4 games, with son 
  18. Foraged for food at the grocery store several times
  19. Survived third week with absent spouse
  20. Did laundry
  21. Saw Love and Other Drugs with my daughter
  22. Attended performance of H.M.S. Pinafore with my son
  23. Spoke with my son's high school guidance counselor twice, including my son in the conversation once
  24. Gave significant but subtle support to two teenage sons stalled on the "launchpad" 

Last week's focus goal was to "put first things, if not first, at least earlier in the day. . .  and to figure out what those first things might be, on any given day."  How did I do with this?  Highlighted in green on my list are my exercising and blogging achievements for the week.  Conspicuously absent from the list is any trace of meditating.  Not only did I fail to make time to sit at home, but sub-zero windchill and the threat of 50 m.p.h. winds cancelled my weekly group meditation session.  And I'm feeling it.  Also absent, due--in a circuitous way too tedious to recount--to Hanukkah (although I am not Jewish), is any writing on my novel.  My first things, as I have identified them for this period in my life, are, most days (not necessarily in this order):  blogging (Monday through Friday); meditating; exercising (at least four days a week); and adhering to my novel-writing schedule (four hours a week).  These four activities comprise my bottom line self-preservation strategy.  Layered over them are supposed to be family and work obligations and activities.  And whatever time is left theoretically gets divided between volunteer work/activism, household maintenance, reading and relaxation, and whatever else I try to cram in.

For the coming week, my focus goal is to "put first things, if not first, at least earlier in the day."  I will continue to try to do better.  It is unlikely that I will do much worse than this past week.

In red above is what seems to me the most important thing that I "did"/experienced last week.  I have been heading for the wall that I hit with said nonprofit for some time now.  And apparently only hitting that wall was going to force me to cut the apron strings that have kept me "mothering" this organization past the time that was healthy for me or for others engaged in its work.  I have decided that this week will see the working out of a cleaner, sparer arrangement that will promote the development of other resources within the organization, and the end of an unproductive and crazy-making codependence (to use the terminology of Oprah and Dr. Phil and company).  I am beginning to see in my relationship with this organization the pattern that has kept me engaging in heroic rescue operations, of individuals and groups, for too many years.   Time to hang up the cape.  Past time.

And maybe if I stop impersonating a bird and a plane and you-know-who, I will have time for more of those first things.

No comments:

Post a Comment