Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Leaning Forward into my Life

I'm not a risk taker. I think we've established that. But I'm learning.

Somehow today it sunk in. I need to do still more. Accept still more responsibility -and live up to it. Accept more opportunities. Stop seeing so many things as insurmountable challenges.

My house, for example. Getting it appraised for the divorce settlement has just been a ridiculous ordeal. I'm on my third appraiser -fourth if you count the one Dave chose. This guy, my third choice, will finally give me something I can use, I hope. The first one came up with numbers that were indefensibly low. Those numbers benefited me, but honestly, they were crap. The second one wouldn't share how he arrived at his probably-reasonable numbers. So, his position was really also indefensible, in a legal sense. Yesterday I finally met with someone who will give me what I need. But it was hard to hear his blunt assessment of my house. There is a LOT that needs to be addressed before I could consider selling it. And if I'm going to fix all that, I might as well live here, for heaven's sakes. It was good to have the benefit of fresh eyes and to hear his candid advice, but it wasn't exactly easy.

Step up to the plate. It is at least possible that I will get a paid-for house from the divorce settlement. If I put aside what would be even a modest house payment and use it for repairs, I'll be making progress.

Career stuff. I still don't know what I'm going to do about my current job. But it became clearer to me tonight that I need to do something other than coast through this class I'm teaching. Not that I would coast, really. But I'm not grabbing it with both hands and shaking it, you know? There are opportunities I need to grab. A conference on women and leadership in Sri Lanka. A conference in Denver. A long study-opportunity in Ireland. These are things I need to take advantage of. I need to work the rest of my life out so that I can take advantage of these opportunities. I need to figure out a way to pay for them.

Step up to the plate. Stop thinking "wouldn't that be nice?" and just make it happen.

I had lunch with the girl-child today and I was venting that I felt overwhelmed and couldn't do everything that needed to be done. I'm going to need to buy a new car soon. I have a house to fix. I have relationships with friends and family that I am woefully neglecting. I have responsibilities to my career. I can't do it.

She just calmly said, "you ARE doing it." Oh yeah. I guess I am. Now to do a little bit more. Maybe I lived such a small life for so long that comparatively little forward motion feels like it's a whirlwind. Maybe there's room for a little more oomph.

I'll sleep when I'm dead ;)


Michael said...

The girl-child speaks truth. (And welcome, by the way, to the monologue that routinely plays in my head and has been ever since I decided to see this graduate school thing through to the finish line.)

It helps, though, to give yourself permission to be a little bit like Scarlett O'Hara and think about some things another day. You do what you can today, and what you don't get done today you can think about tomorrow--because if we spend too much time thinking about what doesn't get done or what didn't get done or what has to get done, none of it gets done and we get ulcers and that's another thing that gets in the way of getting things done. I've been working very hard to become a recovering perfectionist. Sometimes it works better than others.

Nina said...

I missed something. what class are you teaching?

Renee said...

Andrea, stop selling yourself and your old life short. I know that now you are seeing things in your past that you didn't see before and having various reality checks, but let me give you one more: the woman who picked up and went to India and also went to help Hurricane Katrina survivors was *not* living a small life.

JenR said...

Renee speaks the truth, as usual.

Perspective doesn't need to diminish what you've done.