So we’ve just had an itty-bitty fall break. No classes Thursday or Friday. Considering that Thursday is my big class day and Friday is the day I get to facilitate a colloquy group for the class I’m t.a.ing… this is a break. And given that this break was coming, I was able to stay home on Tuesday as well and part of what I did on Tuesday was to look ahead to all the work that remains this semester and start thinking about how it might get accomplished. I realized a few things that it would be helpful to get done over the break.
I babbled on about these things I’d like to get done- mostly household things, some school things, some church things- to Kev as we drove to campus on Wednesday. I didn’t mention as I babbled how tired I was (that’s a given) and that I was also hoping to sleep in (as much as is possible with a baby, who still isn’t a great sleeper) every day of the break. Though I didn’t mention that desire for more sleep, we fell into a rhythm not unlike C’s early days. She has been consistently waking up ready to go at about 6 a.m. each day. As I’ve been awake on and off with her all night, I’m happy to let Kev take her out of the room for awhile in which I try to get another hour plus of sleep, in whatever position I desire, without a need to present my breast every so often. Eventually Kev brings C back to me for some more milk while he showers and then we have enjoyed a later breakfast together. Yesterday C settled in for a good long nap after this renewed nursing and we had breakfast just the two of us.
On Thursday morning I grabbed an old envelope and made a list of my hopes for the break and asked Kev if there was anything he wanted to add. I was feeling like I wouldn’t remember everything and lists always make me feel better. This is what was/is on the list (with commentary:
- Sermon Revisions- Gulp. I’ve agreed to preach at Living Church on November 8th. I’ve been terrified at this possibility for the year plus we’ve been worshipping with them. But an old sermon with the possibility for becoming a new and fitting sermon came to me the morning after I asked the pastor for 48 hours to pray on the invitation. And I had to say yes. But, realistically, normal weeks in this semester, especially given that I need to get to work on final papers, don’t allow for sermon tweaking. So… needed to get done this break.
- Finish Reading for Monday’s Class– Wanted to get this done on Wednesday. Didn’t. It was at the top of the list. The prof knows the author and while he relieved us of our required on-line post about the book he urged us to e-mail him questions that he could pass on to her. So writing up an e-mail was a task attached to this that didn’t make the list.
- Read “Being As Communion”- This is the last book for my Monday class, which we’re supposed to be reading while we write big papers, etc. I thought if I could get this done now… ah… the relief later. Plus, I suspect the approach of the author of this book might help me think about my approach to my final paper. Um… this is a nearly 300 page book. But I had three days, right?
- Review the Research Already Completed for my Augustine Final Paper and Make a Continuing Research Plan- Because I planned for my research in this class to build on the work I did in my guided reading, I have a head start. But it has been MONTHS since I’ve thought about it directly. Need to get my head in the game. This prof doesn’t care when I give him the paper. I’d like to get it done by the end of Thanksgiving to be able to focus on my other papers in early December. But must. get. moving.
- Dig Up Garden– Remember that beautiful and productive garden I bragged about so regularly when I was celebrating things I love (how do such good practices fall away so easily?!)? Well, we’ve totally neglected it since the semester began, or maybe since even a bit before then. And it became a fenced in jungle. Tall grasses bending over and dying… weeds entangling with tomato plants, dead corn stalks bending over… a mess. Before we get a freeze… we needed to do something about it.
- Dig up Tree Growing Up Under and Through the Deck- I swear Kev said this would be no problem to get rid of. And I’ve been waiting for him to get rid of it as it has gotten bigger and bigger and pushed up through a crack in the deck. Again, needed attention before it became seriously destructive.
- Harvest Pears– There is a great big pear tree in our back yard. Someone stole all our pears last year (no joke!), but this year they survived. And we’ve harvested a few here and there to supplement lunches or whatever, and we’ve encouraged friends to come pick. But we wanted to try doing something with the pears. And the break seemed the perfect time.
- Make Pear Stuff– See above.
- Get Box of Clothes Integrated into C’s Room– My mom sent along a box of hand-me-downs a month or so ago. We went through it then and most of the clothes were a bit big yet, so it’s just been sitting in her nursery waiting for attention. Well, mom said on Wednesday that she had just sent another box. This one needed to get worked in… and soon.
- Get Elements for a Halloween Costume for Caroline- We want to make her a monkey costume. A friend gave us an idea how to do so simply. We just needed to find a brown sweat suit, some felt, and figure out how to make a tail.
- Make Costume- See above.
- Catch Up on “Mad Men”– Two weeks behind.
- Catch Up on “Ugly Betty”– Missed the first week and wanted to be able to watch the second week when it came on Friday night.
- Clean House- Think I should have been more concrete with this one.
- Plan Meals for the Next Two Weeks- Something I did faithfully for months- and haven’t done since the semester started. Kev has taken it over, which makes sense, but I wanted to help out this week.
- Grocery Shop
- Buy Clock– We haven’t had a digital clock in our bedroom for some time. We had one in our room when traveling last weekend and I realized it was a helpful gauge of how much I was or was not sleeping with C’s various wake ups. I’m too tired usually to find and check the cell phone or iPod, but a quick glance at bright red numbers is easy.
- Take a Family Walk- This was Kev’s addition to the list. A good one.
So, perhaps some of you saw the status update on Facebook which read “is wondering if that long list of things she wanted to get done over fall break might be a little over ambitious. she is TIRED.” I received several comments indicating that probably indeed it was and urging me to rest (perhaps from some of you… though I wouldn’t put money on the fact that many people read here anymore considering how rarely I post) or pace myself.
So, on this day of rest on which I would only dare do a few things on the list where do I stand?
Well… let me go back and cross off the things I did. To be fair, Kev did most of the pear stuff (I just peeled and chopped a few pears). And we worked together on the meal planning and shopping. And the garden could still use more attention. AND each and every one of the things I didn’t cross off, well… I did SOMETHING on each of them. I did revise the sermon. It is currently five single spaced pages long which is a whole two pages longer than my standard sermon, and one page longer than the longest sermon I have ever preached. But considering this church is used to 40-50 minute sermons maybe this is a good thing? I don’t know. It will need more attention, but I have a draft. And I started that book for my Monday class, but who was I kidding? I’m glad I started it (just barely started it, but it is a start). And the research plan, well… I created a document with all the research I’ve done so far and realized it was more than I remembered. And that’s as far as I got. The garden is actually a good metaphor for the list. I did SOMETHING, but not everything. I also had every intention of getting the tree out from under the deck, but found it easier to rip down the vines that had grown up and could not figure out how to get rid of the tree- it is a pricker tree and its roots are way under the deck, accessible only be crawling under or ripping off some lattice work. I decided it was beyond me and let it go. But told Kev we have to do something about it SOON. And we tracked down some costume elements, but that proved more challenging than expected. Mamie is sending some our way and gave me a clever idea for the tail just yesterday. So that is in process. And the house got some attention. Really, should have been more concrete.
And today we will take a family walk.
I’m pleased that all my restful goals got accomplished on this break. And think some progress on the rest is better than none. And boy is my body sore after the two hours of garden work yesterday. I clearly got SOMETHING accomplished.
Several of you have been asking how I am or how we (as in Kev and I) are over on the baby blog. We’re all right. School continues to kick my butt- so. much. work. And this is leaving Kev with the lion’s share of everything at home. As of this week he has joined the drumming ministry at Living Church which means he’ll get out one night a week and for a few hours on Saturdays (though he’ll likely take C with him on Saturdays). This is good. He has his name in for another church music job. Waiting for word. There’s certainly enough for him to do around home and as C has had longer and longer periods of independent play he has gotten back to composing and playing and this has been good for his soul. So far so good on finances… some anxiety about what lies ahead, but we’re fine so far. Thanks be to God. And I’ve been navigating some real ups and downs in terms of my own self-confidence and clarity about why I am here and whether I belong here. But I seem to be in an o.k. space with that right now. I had a heart to heart with a professor who reminded me that the last ten months haven’t been easy, and not just because I gave birth, but for lots of reasons and that I should give myself some grace. He assured me that I do belong here and can do this, but also confirmed I haven’t necessarily been working up to my potential of late– and that that was understandable.
And coming out of that conversation I’ve been thinking about what I have accomplished in a challenging 10 months- taught myself German and passed an exam, taken up preaching again, achieved a weight loss goal, and have daily cared for the gift for which I have prayed for years. (And lots of other things too… much like my fall break list… many things in process.) So, I’ve not been operating at 100% academically, but I’ve been operating. And that’s a good thing. So, really, at the moment, we’re in a good place. Thank you so much for asking. (And reading if you made it this far.)