Sunday, March 16, 2008

Nodding Off

On my current to do list:

1. Figure out new job
2. Finish freelance project for old job
3. Get a chemistry tutor for Mike
4. Do my taxes
5. Lose final 12 pounds
6. Go to 6 a.m. strength training class
7. Walk dog
6. Update blog
7. Help Kate with essay
8. Help Mike get a summer job
9. Maintain yard
10. Pay bills
11. Teach Mike to drive
12. Get oil changed
13. Clean my house
14. Have a garage sale
15. Laundry
16. Get dog to vet
17. Summer camps for Kate
18. Fix home network
19. Laundry
20. Get healthier food in the house
21. Learn to meditate
22. Meditate on the laundry
23. Paint house
24. Figure out house drainage problem
25. Figure out how to pay for house drainage problem
26. Get out on my bike
27. Clean out garage
28. Go through attic
29. Go to Kate's softball games
30. Figure out second reconstructive surgery (who/where/when/how...I know what and why)
31. Doctor's appointments
32. Kids' doctors' appointments
33. Plan Mike's birthday
34. Organize files
35. Read work books
36. Get haircut
37. Change batteries in smoke detectors
38. Wash car
39. Join professional organizations
40. Figure out iPhoto
41. Back up computer
42. Learn InDesign for work
43. Fill propane tank for gas grill
44. Set up compost bin
45. Figure out if I can still afford financial planner
46. Get new sheets
47. Go through file cabinet
48. Finish open enrollment for work benefits
49. Organize work priorities for next three months while my boss is out on maternity leave
50. Put away last of the Christmas decorations

The kids and I for years have held an unofficial contest to see who in our neighborhood keeps their Christmas tree and/or lights up the longest. The longest was April. We would drive by the house, ablaze with colored lights, and laugh. "Ohmigod, can you believe that?" we would gasp. "What slackers!"

Well, it's official: I'm a slacker. While I took down my tree and lights before the new year, the tree globes and lights and glittery kid decorations are still languishing on the window seat. I simply can't make myself put them away.

I think the Christmas decorations have become this symbol for me. I am positively overwhelmed. There is just simply too much to do. I used to pride myself not only on getting things done, but getting them done well. These days? There is so much to do that I sometimes become immobilized.

The obvious omission on the list is my relationships. Nurturing my relationships--with God as I understand Him, with my family, with my significant other, with my friends--is the most important thing in my life. But I didn't give any a line item on the list because they will never be complete; they take ongoing focus and priority. That's another topic, however. For now, I intend to strengthen my commitment to the people in my life.

In focusing on my relationships (and the key items on the to do list), I hope to soothe this anxiety that is bathing my cells with adrenaline and avoid the depression that is encroaching upon my happiness and sense of peace. Life is short. And anxiety and stress shorten it.

So what I've decided to do is to let some things slide. Including my blog. When I can't do my blog well, it makes me anxious. And depressed. I want this to be a place where I can create, express and heal myself. Not a place where I feel pressure. I hope to find the time to check out other people's words in the next few months. I also will be thinking about the words I've already read.

For now, I'm nodding off. And putting away the Christmas decorations.


Much love.

PS: My dog Ruby (aka Rubella), a pit mix who was living her last days at the Milo Foundation animal sanctuary up in Willits, recently died. I can't write about it now. I want to write about it when I can give Bella the tribute she deserves. We love you Bella, baby. You were the best. [postscript: someone asked me if Ruby is dead in this photo. good grief, no, is my answer. she was merely sunning herself in the grass]