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

Monday, December 12, 2011

Done for the Week: Not So Pretty, But Progress Nonetheless

Another week.  Another dollar sum insufficient to meet all obligations.

A recent Census Bureau report alerted us to our teetering state on the brink of middle class removal, despite our several full- and part-time jobs.  On its heels came the $15,000+ bills which have begun to roll in for my son's not-quite-24-hour hospital stay ten days ago.  Luckily, we are long past any enchantment with a materialist middle class lifestyle.  But it would be nice to be able to pay our bills.

In between bouts of worrying about money, and worrying about my mom and my children and my end-of-the-semester-overwhelmed spouse, I managed to get these things done:

Done for the Week:  Dec. 5-Dec. 11, 2011
  1. Biked twice--still healing before resuming running
  2. Read House Rules, by Jodi Picoult
  3. Continued to work my two part-time jobs
  4. Published 3 blog posts
  5. Continued work on current clients' projects
  6. Spent 14+ hours working on recall campaign
  7. Arranged, endured and paid for two sessions of piano repair and tuning
  8. Played my now-tolerable piano every day
  9. Attended 1 yoga class
  10. Continued to support my daughter's growing family
  11. Participated in church service organized by my social justice committee
  12. Went to my tap class
  13. Watched one episode of Eureka with my son
  14. Watched one episode of Boss with my husband
  15. Continued reading Elizabeth George's A Traitor to Memory aloud with my husband--we're midway now in this 700+ pages tome
  16. Made Sunday soup
  17. Went to dinner with my husband
  18. Did laundry 
  19. Finished draft of novel chapter
  20. Arranged dog care for Christmas trip
  21. Began Christmas shopping
  22. Arranged birthday lunch with my sister
  23. Began my sister's birthday jewelry gift
  24. Bought 2012 planning and purse calendars

The most important thing I did last week was to spend parts of four days working on the campaign to recall the governor of my state.  In terms of potential impact, this project is clearly the biggest thing I am currently engaged in.  And doing my small part helps me to keep at bay the shredded-social-fabric blues.  Five more weeks to go in this phase of the operation.  The numbers are looking good, but it's way too early to relax.  So this undertaking will continue to claim whatever chunks of my time I can spare--and some I probably can't--into mid-January.

Last week's focus goal--back for the second week by "popular" demand--was "to resume work on my novel."  More specifically, and accountably, I  vowed (yeeks!) "to make better use of what calm spaces there are, to more proactively protect my time, and to complete at least a chapter of my novel."  So how did I do?

First of all, what "calm spaces?"  Secondly, with the recall campaign hungry for any semi-competent and reliable bodies they can conscript, and a four-year-old grandson who can now call me on the phone to wheedle time with Nana, I have to confess I pretty much flunked "proactively protect[ing] my time."  Oh well.

But the good news is that I did manage to crank out a new chapter of my novel.  Okay, truth be told, I did so by forcing myself out to sit at Starbuck's last night just so I wouldn't have to admit defeat in this week's accounting.  But that in itself was an accomplishment, on a cold and dark December evening.  And after a somewhat scrappy week of flaring tempers, I am grateful to my husband for accompanying me and keeping me honest.

For the coming week, I will focus only on continuing this fledgling momentum.  One more chapter.  Forget calm spaces.  Forget "proactivity" of any sort.

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