Sunday, October 10, 2010

keeping the ship in balance

It's another gorgeous day and I'm trying to keep the same sensibility I had yesterday - enjoy the day, work on the various projects I want to work on, get things done but refrain from getting stuck in the mode of "have to get these things done or I have wasted the weekend."

It's more difficult because today is Sunday and all the things I didn't get to yesterday are sitting here (figuratively) in front of me today, looking quite pitiful and needy and all seemingly having the exact same amount of "needs to get done" weight.

I feel like I'm sailing a big ship, with lots of boxes that need managing, and I'm running from bow to stern trying to keep the whole thing in some semblance of balance. The key is not to turn the "what's at stake" question into that of the ship sinking (which it isn't) but to make it what it is: this ship is sailing mostly forward, but we're on a somewhat zigging and zagging course.

And as much as I want all the boxes sorted and organized, there are helicopters landing with new ones all the time.

How's that for a nice visual of my to do list?

Things I did this weekend:

-enjoyed the gorgeous day yesterday
-many loads of laundry
-various shopping errands with husband, which gave us some time to ride a lovely country road and chat along the way
-bathed two Corgis and made sure their nails got trimmed (husband does that part!)
-designed book cover for second novel
-reformatted first novel and am very close to being done with that "final edit" I keep talking about
-made sure all humans and animals were fed (with help)
-watched several episodes of West Wing, in which the focus was on how to use the 365 days the President and his staff have left! - inspiring but there are no term limits on my to do list, unfortunately!

Things I have not yet done which I wanted to do:

-finish the equine mineral calculations
-soak some equine hooves
-read my Proust pages for tomorrow night's group meeting
-finish clearing the truck side of garage/basement
-change linens on bed
-do some ant patrol in front pasture
-organize my entire life and save the world (whoops! that is one heavy box - how did THAT get on my ship?!)

It's still before noon on Sunday so some of these things will get done today. Those that don't will not sink the ship, but they will weigh heavy if I allow them to... I'm heaving that last one overboard right now, and that has lightened the load. :)


Máire said...

Not forgetting "world peace" as they say in the beauty contests. That is some list. I am intrigued by the equine mineral calculations and I am glad you fitted in the West Wing as you contemplate reading Proust.

billie said...

Maire, a few more items have gotten done today, but I forgot to factor in taking son to his book group. I used that time to continue working on edits.

In tidying up while husband vacuums, I just found a scarf we were given at my husband's good friend and colleague's funeral last spring. It has a quote printed on it:

Don't count the days. Make the days count.

I'm trying to apply it to my chore list. :)

Grey Horse Matters said...

I have a favorite quote that may apply here: I wake up every day determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning the day difficult. - E. B. White

Maddy said...

That darn list is the "gift that keeps on giving." The tasks to be done are most certainly "looking pitiful and needy," each one begging for attention. They certainly can overwhelm and if we allow it, make us feel quite miserable and inadequate.
It really is about trying to NOT allow oneself to get stuck in the mindset that one has "wasted the day if they do not get done." That walk in the woods with the dog is just as important as "the list". Even more so. It helps me regain my perpective.
I have just recently begun to accept the fact that my life will never be organized. Aging has enable me to accept that I am not going to save the world.
I really needed this post. It made me realize that we are all in the same "boat" and the ship is still afloat.
Thank you.

billie said...

Arlene, I love the EB White quote. He puts it in a nutshell... :)

billie said...

Maddy, you are so right about doing the things that give us perspective. I try to put those things on my list so I remember that, but often in my mind those things end up being used as "rewards" for getting all the tedious things done.

I ebb and flow with my ability to manage this. Most of the time I can hurl the whole list overboard and just enjoy sailing the ship, but there are days, which almost seem related to brain chemistry levels, when I feel myself looking at the boxes again, driven to "get things done" as if by some unseen force.

It's a good thing to get the insight (and wisdom) to work with these things with a different voice. It's good to hear from you!