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

Monday, October 24, 2011

Done for the Week: Another of Life's Little Detours

I'm still up to my neck in four-year-olds this week.  That is to say, I've been spending the better part of my waking hours with one very talkative, very energetic, and very dear little boy, and trying at the same time to be as much help as possible to his mother--my daughter.  Her new baby turns two weeks old tomorrow, although by rights she shouldn't really be born for another seven weeks. 

My brilliant advice to my daughter, which I'm trying to remember to follow myself, is to take this challenging period one day at a time.  It seems that's the best I can come up with.  Really.  In the meantime, here's what I got done, somehow, last week:

Done for the Week:  Oct. 17-Oct. 23, 2011
  1. Continued 5K training with my youngest son, in preparation for his first race--Finished Week 8 of 9 Week Couch-Potato-to-5K program
  2. Took my son shopping for new running shoes, and running gear
  3. Cheered my son after he came in 5th in his age group in the Fall Classic 5K, and 24th overall! 
  4. Won my age group , beating last year's time by 3+ minutes
  5. Ran three times (including race), swam once
  6. Read Where the God of Love Hangs Out, by Amy Bloom, Once Upon a Time There Was You, by Elizabeth Berg, and Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk:  A Modest Bestiary, by David Sedaris
  7. Continued to work my two part-time jobs 
  8. Published 2 blog posts
  9. Continued significant work on current clients' projects
  10. Continued to give nearly full-time support to my daughter and her family as they coped with early arrival of their baby, and my daughter's continuing health problems
  11. Helped my son purchase required laptop for school
  12. Celebrated my son's first day in technical college automotive program
  13. Went out for happy hour with my husband
  14. Saw The Ides of March with my husband 
  15. Watched first episode of Boss with my husband
  16. Did laundry
  17. Continued reading Elizabeth George's A Traitor to Memory aloud with my husband
  18. Paid our household bills
  19. Vacuumed several dogs worth of hair off our living room carpet
  20. Entertained my out-of-town stepdaughter and her two sons, and arranged a family tennis outing
  21. Took my grandson to his swimming lesson
Once again, the "most important thing" I accomplished last week was continuing to help my daughter and her family deal with the demands and difficulties of her medically complicated postpartum period and the needs of her preemie infant in a Level III NICU miles away.  We continue to refine the schedule and strategies for dealing with this temporary situation, and to marvel at the resilience of this tiny being as she matures and sheds one tube after another on her way to coming home in a couple of weeks.

I am working hard, but not minding the commitment or its requirements.  For whatever reason--probably the rewards of having had my own surprise children, and the lessons of relinquishing control when it was denied me--it is easy for me to take the long view.  This time will be here and gone before we know it, along with its special opportunities.  I am grateful to have the freedom and flexibility to be able to support my daughter in this way.

Last week's focus goal, in the midst of this adventure, was to "fit in three runs, in preparation for Sunday's race."   I managed to run twice before the race, and to swim once while taking my grandson for his swimming lesson.  Not ideal preparation for our race, given that I had only trained once the previous week, but the best I could do.  And good training in acceptance.

Next week's focus goal is to resume meditating.  Period.

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