Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sit Down and Pay Attention

Yesterday, I didn't go to work. In the morning, I just felt tired. Not like "too bad you got a bad night's sleep" tired. It was more like "I can't move" tired. It felt different and bad. I slept the whole day. I worked from home for a little bit, feeling very virtuous -and then that was it. Bed. I think all I did was take out the trash and answer a few e-mails.

Possibly this was a message from the universe.

Then later that day, I heard that my brother had had a cardiac scare. He's fine. In the way of 40-something year old men, he is going to have to monitor his blood pressure and stress, and get some exercise even though, I fully agree, there is no time.

Possibly this was a message from the universe.

Early this morning, still sick (and now diagnosed with the flu), I heard that a friend has cancer. It's a "good" kind of cancer -highly treatable, and very slow growing. But it's scary for her, scary for her friends, and re-arranges life's priorities in the way that these worrisome diagnoses do.

Possibly this was a message from the universe. I think I have been told to sit down and pay attention.

Eliminate activities that serve neither your goals nor other people.

Add exercise.

Add meditation and reflection.

And do these things, not because I'm scared, or the universe is threatening me. Rather, I think the universe is telling me that I have important work to do, and that I need to be here to do it. To be here -to be fully present- in the things I am doing, that's my task. To do that, I have to be healthy.

So, I'm looking again at my calendar. How can the time budget be tweaked so that the important things are tended??

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Dream Interpretation

Anyone up for figuring this out?

This morning, as I struggled to come to the surface from sleep, I realized that I was having an automotive dream -sort of. I know possibly less about cars than I do about fixing bathrooms (see below). Why dream about it??

And... Dave was driving. This is wrong on so many levels. The man is a terrible driver. If anyone else with a driver's license is in the car, that person should be driving. It's that simple. Moreover, I was in the back seat. Ummm.... symbolism, ya'll???? And, we were apparently on the way to the car hospital because I had poured the wrong fluid into the wrong receptacle. Oil in the radiator, or some such thing. The fluid and receptacle were not identified in the dream, because even my subconscious doesn't know them.

Does this mean:
1) I'm not meant to be traveling in the same direction as Dave? (Really? What was my first clue?)
2) I'm getting sick and it's messing with my dreams?
3) I should learn more about cars, because mine is getting ready to blow up?
4) I just need more sleep?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Call the Men in White Coats...

... and just tell them to wait outside my house. It shouldn't be long now before their services are required.

Everyone knows about NaNoWriMo, right? It's National Novel Writing Month, and the idea is to write a novel in November. There is no obligation to write a good novel in that time. Rather, just sit down -you, the computer, and your thoughts- every single day in November and get a novel-length bit of prose. You say you want to be a writer? This is what it takes. Show up and write.

Now, I have no interest in writing a novel. I am quite possibly the least creative person on the planet. There are, however, things I want to write -things that have gotten no attention from me at all. So, really, in what sense do I want to write them, if I never sit down to, you know, write them? Fair question.

Thing the second - I have this list of 101 goals in 1001 days. I started the list in July, and I have made astounding strides on it -by my standards. Yet, some of the goals are goals I've only spoken quietly, lest the gods hear and laugh so loud I can hear them from Olympus. Those are, by and large, the ones I am afraid of. What if I'm not good enough? Smart enough? Organized enough? Writing is just such a goal. I keep track of the goals I've achieved by changing the typeface on my little list to bold; there is very little bold-ing in the writing section of my goals list.

And thing C -only apparently unrelated to the other two things: My friend Jill and her friends at other blogs have crafted a variation on a theme - NoNaShoStoWriMo. The Not-national Short Story Writing Month.

I think possibly the gods aren't laughing. I think they're saying, "Would you get a bloody clue, already??? Shut up and write."

"Yes," she said, quietly and humbly and with quite a bit of trepidation. I will write. By the end of November, I will have one knitting essay completed. If other people can get a novel, surely I can get an essay.

In addition to working what amounts to three jobs, taking care of classes, taking care of my house, working out, and loving my children to death (which happens in the background of all activities, so it sort of doesn't count as a time-consumer), I will write for a few minutes every single day. One essay. One stinkin' essay. I can do that.

The men in white coats just asked for a cup of tea and have set up camp on my front porch. Should I be worried?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pulling the Goalie

It's a hockey thing. There's no law that says you have to have a player defending the net. You can pull the goalie, and play with an extra skater. It's a high risk maneuver, but when there's not a lot of time left it might pay off.

And it's pretty much my only option. I have a crapload of work to do, school is out of control, my house looks like a tornado went through, there's a conference this weekend, and on the same day a dear family friend is getting married. I'll be changing clothes in the bathroom of the conference, and breaking a few speed limits to get to the wedding.

So... yeah... we're pulling the goalie.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Just for fun

I gave the child of my brother and his wife my camera. The poor little dear was bored, and Auntie Andrea and Cousin Victoria decided to take this person on a photographic adventure. Guess the gender of this child. I'll give you two guesses, but you're only going to need one.

I don't know what to tell you. There are literally dozens of these photos. Lug nuts. Hood ornaments. Dirty tires. Wheels, wheels, and more wheels. He didn't get it from me, that's for sure.

Meet the photographer-artist -my esteemed nephew Carter Lee Buford. You knew him when -just remember that.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Home Rescue

I do love this old barn of a house. I also worry that it is too much for me to manage. And I daily confront evidence that Dave had checked out long before I knew it. Everywhere, there are unfixed and unfinished things he just ignored; there are still other things fixed in a completely uncharacteristic (or so I would have thought) half-assed way. And now she who can knit anything but is not entirely clear on which is the business end of a hammer gets to tackle some of this stuff.

I'm thinking this view of the trim in my bathroom is a problem. That's mildew or mold or some other black ooze of death. My friend Terri (who helped me clean my gardens last year) apparently thought so too, because she showed up with tools and expertise and patience. She gently pointed out that this was probably not great news, either.

Four trips to Menard's later, we had, well, this. It's a bit of a mess, but we're calling it progress. Because it IS progress. The tub is re-caulked and the drywall is patched. My tasks, as I understand them, are to get some replacement trim, sand down the drywall mud a smidge, get some paint, possibly paint the trim, and get a new exhaust fan. We didn't talk about this, but a new shower-organizer-thingie and a new ceiling light would be good too. If I go back to Menard's today will the entire staff suddenly and mysteriously be on break?

But here's the thing. When you add this weekend to the weekend when my sister helped me to take down the shower doors (and why can't I find that blog post?), the bathroom hardly looks like it used to. With help, I'm making my mark.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

All right, all right, all right....

I'm still alive and still floundering around trying to make a life. It has been two years -almost exactly- since I drove into the sunrise. OK, technically, I drove west as I left my marriage, but that's a lousy metaphor. I drove into a dawning new day, thanks to family and friends.

I think I will always have to acknowledge that day -perhaps someday with some gratitude that I found the courage (or desperation) to actually do it. But today is not that day. Yet, on the other hand, it is time and past time to change that song.

I stopped blogging, though, because I didn't yet know what the next song might be. I still don't, quite. But weirdly, I think THAT might be the song -making a new life in mid-life. Acknowledging -and humbled by- the fact that I have friends and family struggling with HUGE issues, I get to think about .... what do I want? How hard am I willing to work for it? Is this house too much for me to manage? Will I ever be in a relationship (THAT kind of relationship) again? Do I want to?

And those big questions have a thousand attendant little questions that support them? How do I schedule my time to make those things happen? What kind of environment supports the life I'm trying to build? For crying out loud, should I get pink sheets or white? You KNOW I can obsess about anything.

So that's the new plan.... thinking about life at mid-life. A new life. The one I get to make -not all by myself. In concert with a small group of thoughtful, SMART, LOVING citizens. Maybe there's something that other people might learn from watching the process. If not... I'll obsess quietly, over here in the corner, where I won't bother anyone.