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

Monday, January 2, 2012

Done for the Past Two Weeks: The Heart of, er, Family

Another week, and in this case two, done.  Another year gone. 

If I were trying to cut a wide swath through life, I might be worried at my lack of "progress."  But since I believe more in being awake for the journey than in racing to its endpoint, I am learning to be content with my small moments.

Here are some recent achievements, as I closed out 2011:

Done for the Past Two Weeks:  Dec. 19, 2011-Jan. 1, 2012
  1. Finished Christmas shopping
  2. Finished Christmas decorating, minimalist style 
  3. Packed for taking Christmas on the road
  4. Got our dog settled in his vacation digs
  5. Traveled to New Orleans--surviving a hectic departure, which included delaying a plane full of people while my husband ran for the gate
  6. Spent time with my sister and her family
  7. Celebrated Christmas with my mom, my husband and my two sons 
  8. Took my sister and her family out to dinner
  9. Watched four basketball games with various family members
  10. Held a Polar Express party with my grandson 
  11. Celebrated New Year's Eve with my daughter, her husband and two children, my husband, and one of my sons
  12. Reunited with our dog after a week away
  13. Took my dog to the dog park with my husband, and on two long walks  
  14. Watched Kung Fu Panda II, with my son and husband
  15. Continued reading Elizabeth George's A Traitor to Memory aloud with my husband--only a couple of hundred pages left
  16. Went to dinner with my husband
  17. Unpacked
  18. Biked once, walked five times
  19. Read The Dante Club, by Matthew Pearl;  My Life as a Furry Red Monster: What Being Elmo Has Taught Me About Life, Love, and Laughing Out Loud, by Kevin Clash
  20. Continued to work my two part-time jobs
  21. Published 1 blog post
  22. Continued work on current clients' projects
  23. Spent 6 hours working on recall campaign
  24. Attended 2 yoga classes
  25. Did laundry 
  26. Meditated 6 times
  27. Began moving our bedroom, exchanging rooms with my son
  28. Shopped for new bed
  29. Communicated with my mom's investment advisor; used trading authority to make needed adjustments
  30. Looked into reverse mortgage for my mom
  31. Confirmed my mom's dental insurance coverage
  32. Began sorting books, in preparation for offloading a couple of hundred no-longer-needed volumes
As for many people in this most family-oriented of seasons, my time for the last two weeks was focused on family.  The efforts I made, and the experiences we shared were the most important things that were done during the past two weeks.  Our holiday wasn't perfect, but no lives were ruined in its making.  I count myself blessed to have spent these days surrounded by people I love, who love me and each other.  As always for me, the challenge is to come off such intense absorption in family to make room for my separate existence.  I am currently reading May Sarton's A House by the Sea, one of her journaled odes to solitude, which may help in retrieving my inner life.  But then May Sarton didn't share her home with three large male humans in various (and fluctuating) stages of maturity. . .

My focus goal for this period was to make time to exercise at least three times, and to meditate daily.  To be clear, that goal was meant to cover the first of the last two weeks.  Since I didn't get around to blogging last week, by extension the goal targets should be doubled.  

I did manage to get some exercise in, and in the process to baptize my new running shoes.  With the New Year, it is time to kick it up a notch, and to resume, gently, a more strenuous training regimen.  My tri training partner opened 2012 with a lovely e-card, and a separate email detailing all the races she wants to do this year--including one I haven't yet warmed to, a muddy 5K obstacle course slog called the Dirty Girl!  But my injuries are mostly healed, and my excuses used up.  So it's back to the track, and the pool, and the bike trainer this week.  My focus goal?  One session each, running (sort of), biking and swimming. 

As for my meditation goal, well, I did take lots and lots of college math so I know that daily meditating for two weeks would have resulted in a few more than 5 sessions.  The first week, however, was the crucial one, with all its built-in challenges and demands.  I meditated four times that week (twice while squished into an airplane seat that was a tight fit even for my diminutive self), but only two times since returning home the middle of last week.  

My New Year's resolution is still in draft stage (stay tuned), but is going to require regular meditating. 

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