Today is a much, much happier day. I feel like I have struggled my way back to a place of calm and something approaching acceptance of the present moment. And keeping my focus on this moment and no other, the action I can take now, and no other, helps me to feel far less overwhelmed with what, looked at as a whole, complete situation, is utterly and completely overwhelming.
This moment, and no other. This action, and no other. So here I am, writing my 750 words, because that is the action I am taking in this moment. And, after, I will return to some tidying in the house, then maybe try another method of getting the kids’ quarterly reports to the school. Later, when it cools down from the 90 degree temperatures we have right now, I’ll hook up the printer, because submitting the reports in writing may indeed be the route I end up taking, much as I disagree with it.
Deep breaths. Short bursts of activity. Letting things go, or just working on a small part of the whole, in short bursts, helps me to remain calm. Giving myself the time and space to just be, to leave things undone, to decide for myself what is worthy of my time and attention and energy. Understanding that sharing a home with others means there are both others to help me….and others who sometimes do things that trigger unpleasant emotions in me.
Understanding that those emotions might very well be responses to old, entrenched patterns I am not yet even aware of. Learning to slow down, get still inside myself, and attend to the feeling and the associations it brings up. Going into those, until I get deeper than the surface emotion, to the place where I can find what I need in this situation – or if I need anything. Often, all I need is to acknowledge the feeling and its source, and all the perceived wrongness and angst of the moment just fades away.
When there is a need, understanding what it is is hugely helpful, because none of us can fill our own needs if we don’t understand what they are. That’s evident in our society, and very prevalent in my family of origin. Buying things and doing major home additions and renovations, as stand-ins for the need that goes unacknowledged and untended to.
So I am learning to understand my needs, and that it falls to me, and no one else, to tend to them. I an responsible for meeting my own needs.
How I do that depends on the situation and the nature of the need. Sometimes I am at a loss, in the moment, on what to do, except that I need to accept this moment just as it is, and surrender to it rather than fight it. Then, anything I choose to do will be from a place of acceptance, and all my energy can then be channeled to productive measures rather than flailing against life as it is.
This has been particularly difficult for me over the last three or for days. I’m hormonal, and it is very, very hot, and we have been busy, and the kids seem to both be getting ready for pretty major growth spurts.
If I can remember that all of these things tend to lead to a feeling of imbalance for me, separately, I can perhaps be patient with their combined disequilibrium.
If I can remember that it is also disorienting for the children, and that they really need my stability, calm, and patience, perhaps everything else will flow more peacefully through our lives.
Of course, in order to be in a state to provide that calm for them, I do need to nurture myself. There are in fact no housework police arriving on a daily basis to evaluate my daily portion of household chores. The world will not, in fact, come to an end if I choose to skip cleaning sometimes, or do the minimum amount I can live with, if I just am not up for doing more.
There are so many things that are of greater value than housecleaning. Creative expression, hugs and kisses and tickles and cuddles, putting one’s feet up and enjoying a cool day, feeling peaceful and happy to be just where I am, just now. Bliss. Laughter. Joy. Discovery. Time to ponder. Time to wonder. Time to embrace my own passions, and time to help the children embrace theirs, and Jim his. Time to be kind, and courteous, and generous – to myself and to others.
Round 2 Goals:
- Read at least as many books as the number of the month (4 in April ; 5 in May; 6 in June) from my bedroom To Be Read piles.
- I have finished book 4 of 4 for April, Hold On to Your Kids.
- I have now completed my April book reading goal!
- Read at least 3 articles a week from my To Be Read files on computer, and categorize those I choose to keep or share.
- I read this article on forgotten discoveries on Cracked.com.
- This post on vulnerability was another gift in my life from Tiny Buddha.
- I have completed this goal for this week.
- Read at least 5 blogposts a week (not including my own), and like, comment, and/or share as I am moved to.
- I have read Laughter of Children and Clouds, commented,and am sharing here.
- I have read the deep truth and courage in Words…words,words,words, written by my dear lifelong friend, Eden Mabee.
- Because she is my friend – and so much more – I wrote two long comments.
- Because this post is incredible, I am sharing it to Facebook.
- I read the poem Shame, commented, and shared on my Facebook Writer Page.
- I have completed this goal for this week.
- Create flash fiction, short stories, dialogues, character sketches, alternate scenes, and poetry for Chameleon’s Dish and Blood and Breath. Wander cow trails, and learn these people and their lives more fully.
- I now have 489 words in the group dialogue scene for Chameleon’s Dish, and a much better sense of where this piece is headed.
- Pull material from 750 words posts not part of the Chameleon’s Dish first draft.
- I pulled a complete essay, which appears above.
- Create essays, stories, and other pieces based upon these writings.
- I have included excerpts from these writings as part of these updates (see intro, above), and they have informed other writing I have done since reading them.
- I will be focusing more on these as I finish the A to Z posts, then the essays and book reviews that have been queued up behind them.
- Find all chapters of Blood and Breath. Input into Scrivener; possibly begin rewrite.
- I have created a story arc for Chapters 2 and 3, as a preliminary step.
- Next, I will begin creating flash fiction as the basis for scenes in these chapters.
- In the meantime, I may shift my inputting focus to Chameleon’s Dish, because I have a completed rough draft of that novel.
- I will consider my options, and change my goal if indicated.
- Complete the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge.
- I have edited, embellished, and scheduled T is for Toxic People – Y is for Yelling.
- I have written Z is for Zoo.
- I have now completed the writing for this challenge, and have 1 post left to edit, embellish, and schedule.
- The last post may take a while longer….I found many pictures I want to include, but they will need editing and collaging before posting….and that may take an added hour or three beyond what I usually need for that process.
- Continue posting to One Minute Writer; #Friday Flash; The Lightning and the Lightning Bug; Weekend Creation Blog Hop;Unschooling Blog Carnival;Trifecta and other hops and challenges that intrigue me.
- I am composting a submission for the MayUnschooling Blog Carnival, The topic is “I’m THAT Mom”; I asked the children kind of Mom they think I am, and, after several ideas, Annalise contributed, “You’re just my natural Mommy, and I’m your natural daughter.”
- So, my post will be “I’m THAT Mom, Naturally!”
- The post deadline is April 25, so Sunday will be my rough draft day, and I will finish the text if possible.
- I have linked “Watersdeep’s Edge” to Shah Wharton’s Weekend Creation Blog Hop.
- Explore She Writes; Twitter: StoryDam; Pinterest;and LinkedIn . Use, develop, evaluate, adjust.
- I visited the Blooming Late group on She Writes.
- I also visited the Blooming Late Journal blog, in preparation for posting there.
- I explored Twitter via HootSuite on Saturday.
- Continue joining hops, fests, challenges, and other community blogging efforts.
- I posted to the Weekend Creation Blog Hop, as noted above.
- Comment on and share blogs regularly; share my blogs as widely as seems feasible, and in diverse ways.
- I read this “article” (biased, ill-informed, and rather poorly written) on unschooling. I commented.
- I have answered a few comments on this blog.
- I have shared Freedom, the 2009 post I edited on The Unfettered Life. I posted it on Facebook.
- I also shared G is for Growth and H is for Happiness, both from my A to Z posts.
- I have resumed the process of answering my blog comments – another ball I released in order to focus on the A to Z challenge.
- Submit at least 10 pieces of flash fiction or poetry this round.
- I have reviewed the submission guidelines for the Pittsburgh Flash Fiction Gazette. I plan on assessing several of my existing flash fiction pieces, in preparation for submitting.
- I have decided to make “Twice-Coupled” my first submission, and will begin preparing it in the next few days.
- Submit at least 5 essays or lists this round.
- I have reread my Cooperative Catalyst rough draft, which I had not looked at for a month or two. I will let it rest a few more days, then begin polishing it, as I finish the pieces that I intend to link it to.
- Continue submitting to hops, challenges, fests, etc.; at least 3 each month.
- I have submitted to the Storyteller Writing Challenge twice, and once to the Weekend Creation Blog Hop.
- This goal has been attained for April.
- Organize all photos on hard drive/move to organized Picasa web albums or delete.
- I synced the pictures from last weekend to my Picasa Web Albums, and deleted the file from my hard drive.
- Learn how to watermark pictures.
- I did it! I learned how to watermark, and designed one I can be happy with. It may change over time, but I like it, for now!
- This goal has been attained!
- Explore marketing articles on my Facebook Writer Page.
- I explored a free copyrighting service, and have decided not to go that route.
- I read this interview on publishing and marketing to Kindle.
- Add useful articles to my shanjeniah
- Marketing Articles page.
- I added the above article to my Marketing Articles page.
- Use this information to help define my direction; adjust as needed.
- I am beginning to see a shape and scope for my marketing efforts. Nothing more than a sense of it, yet. I will keep learning, and pondering…
- Get Scrivener downloaded; begin learning by inputting first an essay, and then Blood and Breath.
- I have begun the creation of a story arc for the remaining chapters. I am midway through Chapter Three in this process.
- Use Twitter and HootSuite at least one day a week. Learn more.
- I opened HootSuite on Saturday…and closed Facebook.
- For WordPress, create a running list of questions; work on finding answers!
- I remembered that I joined a SheWrites group for WordPress Bloggers. I will be checking it out during the next week or so, to learn more about how to use this blog platform.
- Begin learning about how to publish ebooks.
- I have saved two articles that deal with this topic, and will be researching them through the coming weeks ( they are long; I will read them in sections).
- Edit all 2009 posts on The Unfettered Life. Consider layout and design changes.
- I edited and updated the first of my Unfettered Life 2009 posts, Freedom.
- Take clips from first Penzu notebook.
- I have moved another entry to my LibreOffice clip files – a stream-of-consciousness essay that wanders interestingly.
- I have deleted the file from my Penzu journal (as I do with each entry as I mine it for clips, because I am not ready to upgrade to Penzu Pro. This keeps my single free journal from becoming unwieldly as I add to it.
- Add JOY to every day!
- Thursday: Staying home; lawnmowing; reading; writing; working in my room.
- Friday: More lawnmowing; finished April book reading goal; old blogpost reminiscing; coffee with Jim
- Saturday: Listening to Jim and the kids assemble and fly a wood glider plane kit; lingering coffee, with Jim and alone; the rain we so needed; saying yes to Lise in the rain and in my library; saying yes to the candlelit invitation….
- Sunday: Old picture editing; coffee with Jim; time with Miah looking over the typical course of study for his “grade level”; time playing and snuggling with Lise; hometending; warm clothes on a chilly,damp day.
- Add movement to every day, too!
- Thursday: Lots of mowing. Hometending. Yard cleanup.
- Friday:Lots more mowing (including the steeply pitched hill; a real workout!); Hometending; climbing dome flipping; yard cleanup.
- Saturday: A bit of mowing (ahead of soaking rain we desperately needed); hometending; other stuff.
- Sunday: Hometending (too wet to want to be outside). Played with Corki-dog and Annalise.
- Add self-decorating to every week!
- I decorated myself this week with sunkiseed skin, windtossed curls, and many dimply smiles. Oh, and i wore the prettiest color – blue – every day.
- Add more of my passions to each day, in as many ways as I can manage.
- Thursday: Working in my library, home, and yard. Reading and writing. family time.
- Friday: Working in home, yard, and my library. Reading and writing. More family time.
- Saturday: Jim. Candlelight. All the above stuff,too.
- Sunday: One-on-one time with each family member. Hometending. reading and writing. Listening to the rain and the train whistle.
- Add all these for my beloved others, too!
- Jeremiah: Grown-up conversations; exploring and learning together in my library; coffee and snuggles together.
- Annalise: Tablet coed arrived, and I got to watch her begin to claim the tablet for her own. It was mine, and is loaded with lots of goodies like a 3D Brain, painting and light art programs, YouTube App, and a keyboard….I need to check to see if i left anything important stored on it (she lost the previous cord when I loaned it to her, so I couldn’t do it before I gifted it to her at Christmas. She is loving it!
- Jim: His heart’s desire; a cleaner house; a happily thriving family.
- Write and submit third quarter reports for both children. These are due on June 1, 2012.
- I have completed the Reading section of Jeremiah’s third quarter report, to date.
- Cleanup email folders/organize, move, read, delete, act upon as needed.
- I winnowed my Homeschooling items folder from 60+ messages to just 19.
- I will return at a later date and designate new homes for the remaining messages.
- Input two writing practice notebooks to Penzu.
- I am up to page11 of 120 in the first notebook.
- Pay remaining balances for summer trips to Unschoolers
- Rock the Campground and Northeast Unschooling Conference.
- I woke in time to call the campground Friday – but forgot to do it! I seeem to be going to sleep a little earlier (about 3am; pretty early for me!), and rising earlier. I plan to get the number and post myself a note so I remember tomorrow…
- I was nominated for my fourth blogging award today. I will reveal the details when I have a post ready; since I am in the midst of my Z post, this update, and backed-up reading, commenting, and essay-writing, that may take a week or three, but I will get there (this is an award I have quietly coveted since seeing it on a blog I really enjoy). This is a new award for me. =)
- I will be contacting my prospective guest bloggers before month’s end. If anyone else is interested in guest posting, or hosting me as a guest blogger, feel free to drop me a comment anytime!
- I will have an announcement of something new coming by the end of May, so stay tuned!
- I forgot to introduce any of my followers with Wednesday’s check in. Oops!
I remembered this time, though, and so…
May I introduce you to….?
And now, for the Link Treats:
- To follow other ROwers.
- To learn about ROW80.
- To follow other A to Z April Blog Challlengers.
- To learn more about the A to Z April Blog Challenge.