A place for family and friends to see what I'm up to. Visitors welcome here.

Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Monday, February 21, 2011

This day

did not go as planned.

I guess that's OK.

I'm getting over this strange virus that's been sort of hanging on for a couple of weeks.  Honest.  I feel fine.  But what I would call a minimal effort slaps me back the next day.

Dancing by hank101

Like today.  Yesterday was a minimal effort day.  Yes, I did drive a fair distance to Roger's.  Yes, I did more than my share of talking (thanking my companion for the great therapy).  And yes, we did manage to cover pretty much all of that 7-acre nursery.   And yes, I did drive the fair distance home again. But really?

I was supposed to plant all those flowers today.  YES, all of them.  I must stop buying plants and letting them wither away.  Two years in a ponypac is a trial for any living thing.  And I didn't buy all that many.  Seriously, a couple of hours would have done it.

But the day - a Monday holiday - didn't cooperate.  I overslept.  Then I wrote.  Then I checked email and facebook.  (Facebook is a curse, an addiction.  I can't talk myself out of it.  My family lives there.)  Then, just as I had delivered my weeding tools and stool to the location for the new flowers, DS2 (now fighting The Virus from Hell)  in his miserable self wandered out.  And I heard myself offering to go to the grocery to get something for dinner and was there anything he wanted to treat his illness while I was there?  Gallons of orange juice.  Cold medicine.  A freight car load of tissues.

Once I got back and unloaded the car, I realized no flowers would be planted today.  The gym would have to survive yet another day without my attendance.  That little effort did me in.

So I've been writing.

A few days ago I downloaded an app for my ipod called "Live Happy."  I'm loving it.  It gives me gentle nudges each day to do something - some exercise - to focus on the positive in my life.  I store something - a picture, a story - every day and am slowly building a place to visit and smile.

The exercises are selected based on answers to questionnaires.  Today's set my weird-o-meter to clicking.

Weird-o-meter.  Need to back up here.  Last summer I went through a tough time.  In fact, all of 2010 (and a bit of 2009, now that I think of it) had a rough edge to it.  One of my concerns was that I just couldn't face going back to teaching as burned out as I am.  I was desperate to find some way to spark something creative for the next few years.  Then, in June, just after my dad died, a friend suggested Julia Cameron's Artist's Way.  I only had to read the introduction to know that this program had my name on it.  I worked it faithfully and diligently (and felt myself emerging) through the summer and into the fall.  Part of her teaching is that 1) the universe is constantly at work for me and 2) there is no such thing as coincidence and 3) I have to pay attention.  What I started to notice as I paid attention is that my life has been and still is full of weird coincidences that lead me to things better than what I would have chosen without them.  I learned to pay extra close attention to those events that were super-uber weird.  That's when I say the weird-o-meter is clicking.  Like today.

I set Artist's Way aside this past fall.  The friend who had recommended it managed to hurt my feelings pretty badly and it has taken a long time to reach some kind of equilibrium.  Enough to get back to facing this program, anyway.  That happened at about the time I reached an Artist's Way  writing exercise where I was supposed to visualize goals.  But one of the problems I'd been having through the previous year was a death of dreams, and to develop goals, I needed dreams again.  And finally - conveniently for my conscience, anyway - I started a writing class with fabulous Los Angeles writer/actor/teacher Jack Grapes .

I used the two-pages-a-day writing assignment from Jack as an excuse to set aside the Artist's Way exercises (although I kept up the Morning Pages pretty well).  But really, honestly.  I was afraid of that dream/goal thing.

Over the weekend I was complaining to my mom that I never finish anything.  Garden projects. Housework. Craft projects.

Artist's Way.

So I pulled the book last night to see what I still needed to do, and was reminded of the goals thing.  THEN, this morning I pulled up Live Happy to see my daily assignment.  It was almost word-for-word the same prompt as the Artist's Way prompt.  Visualize myself in a few years.  Everything that I wanted has come to pass.  Describe myself.  Set goals.  Divide them down into steps.

It was time.

So, today I finished that domain from Artist's Way.  I was able to pull up some dreams and some goals.  They may change and that's OK, but at the least I feel better having moved out of that chapter.
I then went on to the divide them up and calendar them. I will finish this program.

On a roll now, I realized that one "goal" I had not included in the exercise was to write a grant proposal for a teacher award program in our county.  I've won a half dozen of these over the years but haven't submitted for a while.  I really liked something I had the kids do last year (they liked it, too) so I knocked that out and sent it online.

Actually feeling pretty good about accomplishments today, all things considered.  Now, if I can manage to get the dishes washed and my laundry folded, I should be able to start the week feeling pretty confident.

Which is growth.

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