"It's as if a great bird lives inside the stone of our days and since no sculptor can free it, it has to wait for the elements to wear us down, till it is free to fly." Mark Nepo

Monday, August 30, 2010

A Change of Plans

I had a plan for today, Monday, the beginning of a new week, the semi-official end of summer. Walt starts with kids on Wednesday, had to be in his classroom today. So I was going to start my new schedule. Today.

I spent much of last week getting ready. My desk is organized, my piles sorted and put away. Friends have been visited, my calendar cleared, days carefully laid out for the next four months. Walt and I had one last perfect and delicious day at the beach. The collage of themes that will be the focus of my book is done and ready to be hung.

Nothing was going to get in the way of today's new beginning.

Except I slept later than I planned, because I couldn't get to sleep last night. I didn't want to be busy at my computer while Walt left for work. The floors needed sweeping. The cats needed petting. Toby needed to play. There was laundry, and the litter box, and dinner to be planned and  shopped for. Returned phone calls that couldn't wait. And as I was putting Walt's clean hankies away I found myself sorting and tossing until the drawer was more organized than it's been in maybe forever.

I have a list of tasks to accomplish - starting the rewrite of my book, advertising fall online memoir classes, reading student pages are at the top. Cleaning hankie drawers is nowhere on the list. I have a daily schedule set for myself where writing gets my primary energy in the morning and everything else waits until afternoon. I answered e-mails this morning, which is exactly not what I was going to do on this new schedule. I have the next four months free and clear to focus on my book and teaching. After that I need to add a job of some sort to the mix.

Four months. Such a huge gift in so many ways, and such a short amount of time, really. I've held the possibility of that time in eager anticipation  for weeks now. "As soon as Walt goes back to school," has been my mantra.

In fairness to myself, I did anticipate a time of transition this week. What I wasn't counting on, and perhaps should have, was the siren song of busy-ness. My floors need mopping. The linen closet could use an airing and organizing. And all those books I didn't get to this summer need to be restacked in order of need-to-read.  See?

Perhaps if I adjust my plans for a start date of September 1, the day many schools begin in this area, the first day of a new month - perhaps with one more day to get the busies out of my system - perhaps then I'll be ready to start this second year of my new life in the way I have planned.

For now, Toby and I are headed to the river. Where I'll breathe, and pray, and let go.


Wander to the Wayside said...

If you let yourself go with the flow of finishing the busy-ness of floors, drawers and closets, you will eventually run out of excuses for not starting your schedule, and your mind will then be free to begin...unless you start inventing things to postpone the beginning! Eventually it will happen.

kario said...

Isn't it funny how we find things to put in our own way? I hope that your walk with Toby clarified your priorities to yourself and gave you some insight.

I've heard it said that just because you faltered one day doesn't mean you failed. I love the idea of 'starting over' on Sept. 1st.

I know you will eventually heed the call of the inner voice that reminds you that 'need' is subjective (mostly to your ego).


Anonymous said...

Busyness is my addiction as well.

Breathe, pray and let go sounds like excellent advice:)

Wanda..... said...

Your decision seemed right to me, your desk may be ready and your calendar clear, but maybe you needed a day at the 'river' before you start, so it won't be calling to you over and over!

Barb said...

This might be called procrastination. I have drawers to clean if you need some more. Good Luck!

patti said...

Felt like humming, Shall We Gather at the River?"

I planned to rise at five and HIT not one but two deadlines.

Can you BELIEVE that our electricity went off at midnight and did not return until seven? So we jogged early.

God had a different plan than both of us, huh.

Love your dog.


Linda Myers said...

As you've said to me, "Be patient with yourself."

My to-do list is mostly just a guide. When I run out of the little things, there are the big guys, waiting.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

I'm much too familiar with how that goes. Sometimes it is exactly what I need though to get back on track. To putter with a little of this and a little of that until finally I settle. Or force my butt into the chair with a mind less muddled.

Enjoy your time, Catbird Scout. There is a reason for the word transition.

Wanda said...

Plan for Tuesday: Continue transition.

Amber said...

HA! THIS has been my problem forever. Kory will say,'did you write today?' Um, hello, I have been cleaning all day, who do you think does the laundry, shops for food, works in the classroom..?' So, ah...no.
I have a big case of the As Soon As-ies. so yesterday, seeing you and Carrie in my head sitting down to Start, I headed to a cafe to write and left the mess alone in the kitchen. I get over there and, wow...it is really loud in here...I can't really write. So I go to costco, and come home and do homework, cook dinner. blah blah. Blah.

I do realize that I have to leave the house to find a place to "go to work". Because otherwise, I'll end up busy. Maybe you should try that too.

Today is a NEW day!


Amber said...

By the way, Mercury in retrograde is not the best time for an amazing start on a writing project... So we should just let it be what it is, and trust it will all start to click if we just keep showing up.


M said...

I just sat here and chuckled as I read this...not at you, but with you. I find myself in that same place so often - putting "other" things ahead of what I have really set at my priority. Should I mark September 1 on my calendar...and follow-up with a phone call?

I love you


Gammary said...

hah! I was thinking of you on your first day....yippee! Deb is mortal!

Thanks for the reality check. Thanks for your writing. Thanks for your honesty.

You're the best and Toby is one lucky dog.


Terri Tiffany said...

Life gets in the way but then that is life and a good part of it:) I have those days and plans too--today was one of them. And now it's almost over and I haven't done what I'd planned.
I bought a yoga tape today. LOL I wanted to see if I can stretch again and also relax. So my morning was filled with that unexpected pleasure. But oh my am I going to feel it!

Janna Qualman said...

Sounds like a little procrastination seeped into your day... Sometimes it's so easy to see other things to do, not what you'd really planned.

I agree, there's a transition. I had to work through it, too, after my girls started school.

Don't let it intimidate you. You'll get there.

Carrie Link said...

Breathe, Play and Let Go should be the name of Liz Gilbert's sequel!

I had 2 glorious hours alone in my house yesterday and what did I do? Vacuumed and mopped and BOY, did it feel good. I am calling it pre-writing. We need some time to hear ourselves think, so we can get under what we're thinking. WDYT?

NEHBM of this, "And as I was putting Walt's clean hankies away I found myself sorting and tossing until the drawer was more organized than it's been in maybe forever."

Jessica Nelson said...

Oh man, I always get sidetracked by chores! Because there's always something to be done. *sigh*
Thank goodness I've honed my ability to ignore certain things. lol
I hope your schedule evens out.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Maybe the key word here is flexibility vs. schedule. Maybe after LABOR Day? :)

Suzy said...

Be kind and gentle and kind to yourself and know it will happen.

Love you


colbymarshall said...

I need this SO much right now! I have been worrying myself silly over movie stuff and how it is messing up the rest of my schedlue...how I'll never get things done on time. You know what? It'll be there when I get back. Hooray!

She Writes said...

ah, the letting go and letting go!

chloe said...

Great to see you name in my inbox!

chloe said...

Do we really need a sequel??
I miss you guys!
AG is coming to town for a weekend workshop ; )

Doing SledgeHammer this weekend, will I see either of you?

Jerri said...

Breathe, Pray, Let Go. Excellent prescription for life.

Kathryn Grace said...

Since I'm way behind in reading your posts, I'm finding this only today and wondering how you feel about that day at the river now, and cleaning those drawers and what not. How is the writing going today? And the schedule?