When I am driving, I think all the thoughts and have all the writing ideas. I tell myself that when I am not driving, I will surely sit down and compose said thoughts, that very day.
But then poof! I’m making dinner, or at the gym, or doing laundry, or at work. And the composition of ideas in my head flies away, fairy-like. Creativity is ethereal, guys. You use it or lose it, in my experience.
So what shall I write, if I can’t remember all the things I wanted to write?
I will write about goals.
I set no New Year’s resolutions. In years past, my repeating resolution was simply to survive another year as Jack’s mother. I didn’t set myself up for failure with grand plans beyond that.
This year is different. And it’s not even New Years’ anyway.
Jack lives in a home of his own. He has full-time caregivers. I’m involved in his life, but it’s not the daily sensation of dog-paddling in the middle of a stormy ocean. I am one degree removed from the intensity and fatigue of being the lightning rod, so to speak. Also, I’m mixing metaphors, but whatever.
In honor of my dad, who is now pursuing eternal life and progression beyond the veil, I have been setting goals. I am determined to accomplish them.
My father was a goal-setter, even at a very young age. He desired to always be working toward something. He needed a plan, a vision, a purpose. With this as his motivating philosophy, he achieved so much in his seventy-one years on earth.
I’ve felt desolate in recent days thinking of all the years of my life that remain where my dad won’t be here. It’s the most painful part of this particular grief.
So, in order to get past this limited and limiting awareness–this tendency to focus only on me and now, I’ve told myself to once again take up being mindful. I’m looking around me and above me. I’m determining to make progress and do some good. I’m also being generous with myself when it comes to recognizing the simple things I’m doing right.
And so, behold…
The List of Some Good Things I Have Done in the Last Seven Days:
- Cooked a real dinner, twice. This is big news, peeps.
- Went to the gym…*6* times. My sorry lower back and right hip are thanking me. My mood is also thanking me.
- Spent an afternoon with my mom doing happy, diversionary things, like milling around Trader Joe’s and Target. Just being together is good.
- Felt less fragile at church. Also, experienced serious spiritual uplift on a couple of occasions.
- Finished two books. One was a YA fantasy (this is what I need to read while on the bike and elliptical. I can’t handle anything more cerebral). The other was a novel beginning in 1920’s Russia, A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles. Here are a sprinkling of adjectives which describe this book: superb, enchanting, and tender. Also, yes and thank you.
- Cut down on my social media consumption by roughly 90%. I still partake, but I do it less, and I’m more fulfilled and less angsty.
- Cleaned out a couple of cupboards and bathrooms. It’s not a lot, but still. It’s something. Yay me.
- Went visiting teaching and allowed myself to be visit taught. I love my people and am inspired by them.
- Talked with and waved to several of my former students. Became enchanted with my new batch of students. I just love them. They breathe energy into my life. And they’re just darling people.
I feel like I have more energy than I’ve had since Jack left. It turns out that books, exercise, cooking real food, cleaning up clutter, and being present with people are utterly satisfying.
I think my dad approves.