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

Friday, May 20, 2011


Have you, like me, gone through periods when your first feeling of the day is dread?  

This spring has seen a long and difficult series of assaults on my mood, from the depressing state of affairs in state government here in Wisconsin, to concern for various family members experiencing challenging transitions of all sorts, to exceptionally dreary weather, to frustrations with work, to lack of time to dig out our cluttered home front.  Too many mornings, I open my eyes and register a sense of impending disaster, or its lesser kin, wariness and harriedness.  Not a great way to wake up.

Determined not to just take this lying down (though I am, most times, literally lying down when this dark cloud passes over), I have developed the following scheme for lightening up.

First of all, though I am not a confirmed deist, I have memorized (sort of) e.e. cummings' poem "i thank you God for most this amazing. . ."  I have gotten in the habit of reciting it mentally before getting out of bed.

i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth
day of life and love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any--lifted from the no
of all nothing--human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
After that, I force myself to come up with the following, for the day ahead:

  • Something to look forward to, ideally something fun.
  • Something to learn.
  • Something to accomplish.
  • Someone to connect with.
  • Something to be proud of.
  • Something to be thankful for.
For today, this was my list:
  • My afternoon run by the lake
  • The recommended conservative treatment for my self-diagnosed radial nerve damage
  • Planning a local jobs monitoring action
  • My friend Sharon
  • My growing web skills
  • My three relatively healthy and loving children
It helped to chase away the early-morning funk. 

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