So, I finished my first two week cycle this summer and now am beginning the second two-week cycle. I think I’ve mentioned on here that I’ve divvyed up the 18 questions I’ve written (6 for each of three major exams) into 6 sets of 3 and assigned each of these sets to a two week time period this summer. Every fifth week is slotted for catch-up tasks from work in either of the two sets covered in the four weeks prior (or, I suppose, as the summer unfolds I’ll be catching up from even earlier sets, perhaps!) Anyhow… I covered a lot of material in those first two weeks, but I have quite a list of catch up tasks waiting for me when this next cycle wraps up. If you follow me on facebook then you know that I had a day last week on which I set unreasonable goals for myself. I’m happy to say that out of 10 days, only one was an extremely bad case of this. I’m happy to say this because there is no better way to put me in a foul mood than when I set myself up for grand disappointment. I can tell myself “But Sarah, you made major progress!” all I want and still feel like I failed. I’m a girl who likes my goals. (If I set the bar too low sometimes I have trouble mustering energy for tasks not on the list for the day! But when I meet my goals and they are just right… happy, happy day!)
Anyhow… I came home from this day a bit sour though doing as much self-talk as possible to get over it. Caroline wanted to go out and see the garden and I thought that sounded like a good idea. Maybe I’d even do some weeding.
Lord, have mercy. Hadn’t been out to the garden in about a week and plenty of thunderstorms and hot days had resulted in lush, green, tangled weeds EVERYWHERE. I set to work, focusing in closely on a few particular areas and made major progress on those areas. I was thinking “This is a good thing to do today. I am seeing tangible progress for my efforts.” And then I stood up and surveyed the whole and felt like I had accomplished NOTHING because there was SO MUCH more to be done. Went right back to the sour spot in a jiffy.
Then I went inside and did some house cleaning, laundry, etc. while Caroline watched half an episode of Thomas the Train on netflix instant streaming (wow. what a gift.), we then ate dinner, and while she watched the other half of the episode I set to cleaning up the kitchen. I attacked that filthy kitchen with gusto. Her show ended and she came out and played in the kitchen while I continued to clean. I made major progress and was feeling pretty darn good about that kitchen. I then looked around the extraordinarily messy house and my heart sank again. ”Damn it!” I thought “I have in my household activities replicated all the frustrations of this day!”
I was so busy weeding that I failed to pick and eat one of the newly emerging sugar snap peas. The next day I asked Kev to bring one to me. As I savored that pea it dawned on me exactly why gardening is so good for me… even when I don’t stay on top of the weeds. Even when there is so much more that needs to be done… there is produce. Delicious produce. My efforts, no matter how minor or incomplete, yield produce.
And so it will be with my studies this summer. So it will be.