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It’s been a busy few days here, for me, more in areas of life other than writing. I’ve spent time hometending – something I generally do on Sundays, because I tend to take time to relax during Monday and Tuesday, when Jim doesn’t work, and because short bursts of hometending fit well with working on my update.
Monday found me answering a passel of neglected comments, editing, and reading the two books I want to review this round. I have noticed that I tend to need that day’s space, after writing these updates, which uses a lot of creative energy.
Tuesday, I worked out, then, after I came home, Jim took the kids on a Daddy Night to Chuck E. Cheese and to do the grocery shopping for the week. I had already decided to spend time in a focused effort to finish up Annalise’s floor.
I had downloaded two Paul Simon albums – Graceland and The Rhythm of the Saints– to my Kindle on Monday night, so I set the tablet on a bookcase in her room, set to shuffle and repeat. It’s worth mentioning that, while I like a lot of music, there is no other singer who comes close to Paul Simon for me, and I found great inspiration in it!
And then – I cleaned. For more than three hours, minus a few very short breaks.
During the course of that time, I encountered so many memories of a smaller, younger Annalise, who had other passions, then.
When I was a child, cleaning my room was somewhere between torture and impossibility. I was, as Annalise now is, cluttered and expansive. My things were routinely dropped and instantly forgotten as my ever-busy mind moved on to the next shiny pretty…
My mother was determined to break me of that habit, even though my father is much the same.
Her insistence came in many forms, over the years. There were the days spent, with my sister trapped in our room until it was clean enough to pass muster. When we were smaller, we played games- taking everything and piling it in the middle of the room, then jumping over it, and cleaning an item each time; role playingThe Odd Couple, with one of us as Felix, chivvying Oscar along.
Other times, our mother would become enraged, and go through our room with a vengeance. Those times, precious items were sacrificed, and there was often hitting and always screaming and berating.
Image courtesy Google.
Once, when we were teenagers, she made her point in supremely humiliating fashion, by throwing many of our items outside after dark, and locking us out of the house with them, leaving us alone in the yard.
I regret that I have done some of these things to my own children, and profoundly grateful that I don’t now.
And, while cleaning in Annalise’s room, I think I realized why I had such powerful reactions.
I was reflecting the attitude my own mother carried – that it is a child’s duty to clean up after themselves (no matter whether they are remotely able to do so). And, like her, when the mess got to be too much for me to handle, I became reactive, and blamed that on my children, even though the conflict was really based in my not accepting the reality of who my children are.
I became the put-upon martyr in my own story, and the whole family suffered.
The time I took away from cleaning the children’s rooms was life-changing. I had time to realize that I didn’t need to clean them, and time to realize that these were their spaces, and not mine to command.
Image via Google.
And now, when I clean, I am enjoying the gift I am giving her, and the memories.
As I clean each space, Annalise has moved into it, and, many times, she has expressed her appreciation at “the best gift ever!” Once, I would have been angry that she was “messing up what I just cleaned”. I would have expected her to be grateful for my supreme sacrifice.
Now, I am thrilled at her appreciation, because I know it springs from joy. And, when she spends time in the spaces I’ve cleaned, I feel joy that she can revel in it, and claim it for her own.
I’m trusting in that joy, and that, even if I spend years longer in helping her to manage her room and her things, that it will be worth it, for this delight and ownership my efforts bring her…
And, in that, I am finding my own joy and healing for the little girl I was, who never had the joy of a mother who cleaned her room for no other reason than to honor her and bring her happiness.
The view, Wednesday, out my bedroom window across the backyard.
On that note, I will give myself time to soak up that feeling, and update my ROW80 progress.
Round 1 goals post
Current Update, sans commentary
Complete rough draft of Sima Garo Provides.
Create new flash fiction weekly through prompts, challenges, envisioning WIP scenes, and original ideas.
Return to –750 words.com use this space for free expository writing, and strive to write there every day.
Write book reviews forBowlful of BunniesandFinding Esta, once I have finished reading them.
Bowlful of Bunnies – reading completed.
Next up will be writing impressions during my expository writing time.
No timeframe yet for the review itself, as I want to see what freewriting turns up, first.
Finding Esta – reading 31% complete.
Complete one essay or other piece of expository writing each week.
I wrote a piece on cleaning Annalise’s bedroom in 750 words. It is still unedited, and possibly incomplete.
I will edit and post to The Unfettered Life later in the week.
Potential Cleanliness…..some excavation required. =)
Create blog rolls for shanjeniah (writers and resources), and Trueborn Jottings (resources and inspiration).
Write at least one post weekly for three major blogs (shanjeniah; TruebornJottings, andThe Unfettered Life.
Complete all ROW80 sponsor visits twice weekly; comment, and share posts I read.
Submit guest posts, at least once monthly.
ROW8o Sponsor Post -
Visit Pinterest, SheWrites, or StoryDam at least weekly. Get a better sense of how each works, and build my presence there with sharing, commenting, and asking questions.
Continue visiting and interacting through Facebookand Twitter, especially via relevant groups, several times a week.
Facebook – Scrolling, sharing, posting, several groups.
Twitter – Followed, scrolling, sharing, posting.
An act of cleanness (and kindness) was committed here! =D
Poetry Book Project:
I’ve given some thought to the dedication, introduction, and conclusion, but, as yet, nothing is written.
Owning My Perspective and Experiences:
At least once weekly, use expository writing time to explore memories, wounds, healing, perspective, or personal philosophy.
I wrote about my attitude while cleaning Annalise’s room, as compared to the attitude I used to bring to cleaning.
I have been thinking of writing Annalise a letter about this.
Continue my eating and health goals from Round 4, 2012. Aim to get to the Y once alone, and once with the children, each week.
I made it to theYagain this week, on Tuesday, for my most intense workout of the new year.
I’ve talked with Jim about the possibility of us dropping him off at work and sharing the car one day a week, so that I can take the kids to the Y and elsewhere during his work week.
I continue to attend to my need for food -currently, I am focusing on eating soon after I wake, because I have a tendency not to eat for several hours, then to be ravenously hungry late at night.
My writing energy has fluctuated between Ebb and Slack Tides. I’ve mostly been doing hometending, both in writing (sponsor visits, editing sponsor post, reading, answering comments), and in life (general cleaning, Lise’s room, fire wood).
Reclaiming Our Home:
I nearly completed Annalise’s floor (my bonus goal), on the 15th. I only needed to do a little more on the floor, but, after a good workout and three hours spent on Tuesday, I was too sore and tired to do it.
Next up, her loft, shelves, and drawers. I’m aiming to finish these by the 25th, so that I will have 6 days left to help her sort whatever remains of her bins and bags.
At least weekly, work on an area where clutter tends to take over, such as the games cupboard, round table, my office, computer desk, coat cabinet, bathroom dresser, and my personal spaces.
So, there we have it -from the ground up, here are my goals for this first round of my second year of ROW80. I trust that I will know whether these are working or not, and will take appropriate action.
Give us a happy face, or five…as Frankie Stein, and as a cat (Miah did the cat makeup.)
A few last points:
I plan to work on each major goal every session, and work in the minor goals as my time and focus allow.
It was a bit of a hustle, and I did a few of these during the course of writing this update, which I prefer not to do. Still, it feels good to be able to say that I worked on all of my major goals!
I will evaluate my goals, progress and preferences at least twice monthly, and adjust accordingly.
My first evaluation will be included in my Sunday post.
I have several adjustments and observations in mind, so far.
It’s a BLOG HOP!