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

Monday, September 26, 2011

Done for the Week: Where Have All the Hours Gone?

Last week, fraught though it was, seemed to last about 5 hours.  Or at least that minimal time frame would be consistent with my perceived level of productivity.

Here's the official list:

Done for the Week:  Sept. 19-25, 2011
  1. Continued 5K training with my youngest son, in preparation for his first race--Finished Week 4 of 9 Week program
  2. Ran once; swam once
  3. Read The Shallows:  What the Internet is Doing to our Brainsby Nicholas Carr
  4. Continued to work my two part-time jobs 
  5. Published 4 blog posts
  6. Continued significant work on current clients' projects
  7. Attended Prayer Vigil for jobs
  8. Attended NAACP Freedom Fund dinner
  9. Resurrected and read through half-done novel
  10. Gave substantial support to pregnant daughter
  11. Attended tap dance class
  12. Did laundry
  13. Took my dog to the dog park, with my husband
  14. Watched episodes of Eureka with my oldest son
  15. Finished reading Elizabeth George's In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner aloud with my husband
  16. Went out for Happy Hour with my husband
  17. Straightened out serious snafu with health insurance, affecting drug coverage for oldest son
  18. Filled three prescriptions, requiring four trips to drug store
  19. Fought with AT&T (and won!) over misrepresented replacement cell phone
  20. Began using my son's old cell phone, until mine resurfaces
  21. Found new mechanic, and arranged for inspection and adjustments to car my younger son plans to take on his first road trip this week
Last week's "most important thing" was supporting my daughter and her family as she makes her way through a high-risk pregnancy and the increasing maze of tests, regimens, and appointments.  My own pregnancies gave me some familiarity with the scary landscape she is negotiating, and I am happy to live close enough to do whatever I can to alleviate some of the everyday stress of dealing with an energetic four-year-old while going through such a difficult time.

Modern life and the so-called feminist revolution have left many women feeling like we have to fit our planned and obligatorily healthy childbearing in between the demands of our professional lives.  It has been my experience that some of us don't get to do it the easy way, and that at least this beginning part of motherhood resists compartmentalization.  We struggle not to feel guilty and/or defective because we are not able to carry and birth our children as efficiently as O-lan in The Good Earth.  

But this time of disruption for my daughter, and for me, will last at most the next two plus months.  And it is a time worth paying attention to, and giving space to.  And nothing else I am doing right now is as important.

Last week's focus goal, before my daughter's situation worsened, was to "return to work on the novel I put away last winter in the midst of my state's political upheaval."  My husband has expressed his disbelief that I would attempt such a thing with all that is going on just now.  But I have a few hours each week that I am attempting to keep sacred, to devote to making progress on this half-completed undertaking.  For as long as circumstances permit, I intend to "make hay while the sun shines."  I did manage to spend most of the scheduled time reading through what I have written thus far--material that I haven't laid eyes on since last February.  I plan to begin writing more of the draft this week.

In light of all that is on my overflowing plate at this time, my focus goal for the coming week is to meditate a minimum of three times.  As I have written before, meditation is most difficult when most needed.  Clearly, it is most needed now.

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