Wednesday, December 30, 2009

"I would give both of my hands to be a writer..."

That was a line of the poem I wrote in college. (I only wrote one, as far as I can recall.) Are you appreciating that healthy dose of melodrama/ irony/ gut-wrenching self-revelation as much as I am? I recall being surprised when I wrote it. Wasn't I applying to grad school in math? What's this writing business about? Apparently my inner poet knew (how fitting, I suppose.)

And then the first time I met my new grad school friends at Lehigh, we were sitting around having dinner and talking about what we wanted to do with advanced degrees in math, and I said I wanted to be a writer. It just came out that way- despite my better judgment.

I haven't been blogging because to me, writing anything requires 1) unlimited time, and 2) peace and quiet. As a breastfeeding mom, I NEVER have unlimited time. The clock is always ticking until it's time to nurse someone again. Peace and quiet happens occasionally, though not for great stretches of time. And you know how my M.O. tends to be the "Perfect or Nothing" approach? Since the "perfect" opportunity to write in here doesn't come along very often, you've been getting a whole lot of the alternative the past few months. The past year, really. Ever since Madelaine learned to talk. But as my blogging rate has waned, I've gradually realized something interesting: I can live without doing Math. I can live without a lot of the things that are not part of my life now that I'm a mom.

But I can't live without Writing.

Without the outlet of writing, my mind atrophies. I feel like I live each day waiting for the day to be over, instead of actually LIVING that day. I would say that there's something wrong with this on a spiritual level, except that I believe in what Jorn preached about a few weeks ago- God created us with passions, and we are meant to be using them. So the TV is on, people are talking, I can't hear myself think, but I will write in spite of it. I will publish things on here that aren't "perfect" (whatever that means) or even GOOD, for that matter. Because the only way to ever write anything good is just to write a LOT, and eventually something good will come out.


On a roll!! (Does two days in a row count as a "roll"??)

Yo, my people!! What is UP??? (I'm on my second cup of coffee. Hopefully that excuses that little outburstive greeting by my inner want-to-be-cool* 13 year old, who last spoke out in 1993.)

So I'm really liking this "goals" thing I started in the last post. Time to reorder it, expand the list, shrink the descriptions, and put it in a big bold font so I can look at it later. Also post it on my wall somewhere, I think.

In 2010, I hope to...

1) Have a regular Bible reading and prayer habit (in whatever way God leads me to do so.)

2) Teach Madelaine (and eventually Charlotte) about the Bible.

3) Limit the girls' TV time to 1 hr/day (plus evenings)/ plan a few activities each week, as needed.

4) Walk about 3 hours a week (treadmill or outdoors).

5) Read 25 books (make a list on Goodreads?)

6) Get some photos of my kids printed! and organized in albums.

7) Write in this blog at least once a week (that sounds more doable than every day, right?)

8) Go on a date with my husband at least twice a month.

9) Get a better system for storing recipes, planning meals, and sticking to a grocery budget.

10) Hmmm... need some kind of financial goal here. Would love to say "finish paying off student loan" but that's a WAY long shot (unless Nate ends up with a really high paying job for the second half of 2010.) How about, pay at least $300 on student loan each month, Jan- June? That's $1800, not bad. [This might get revised after I talk to Nate.]

There you have it! There's my list! I am super jazzed about this. And in closing, I will note that these 10 things are suggested because they are, very specifically, things that I am NOT doing now that I constantly am thinking that I WISH I were doing. There are a lot of other things going on in my life now that are not goals because I'm already doing them- church involvement, a ministry opportunity, [some] keeping in touch with faraway friends and family, math tutoring, some basic homemaking activities (cleaning, groceries, cooking, paying bills, laundry), and some activities with the girls (library, song time, playground, occasional playdates). I'm listing those things as a reminder to myself that even though I feel like I waste a lot of time, there ARE things that I accomplish each day, even if they tend to fall into the category of "urgent- not important." It's that "important- not urgent" category I've got to work on (don't we all?) which is what the above list is all about.

So what are YOUR goals for 2010?

Love you all!

*The correct [popularly, not grammatically, that is] term for this is "wannabe"? At least in 1993, it was.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The house is quiet now...

and so I will open up this window and give it a shot.

Oh, gentle readers. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I miss writing in here. I've kind of been obsessed with it recently, to tell you the truth. But I am so tired all the time, and the babies always need me, and the prattle of their little voices overwhelms my internal processor. Virginia Woolf said something about needing a room of one's own, didn't she? (Have I talked about that on here before?) Life, as a whole, overwhelms me. But we've known that for awhile now. Let me try to focus now; in general, because I can't write Everything, I end up writing Nothing. But tonight, for you (which really means, for me) I will write Something.

Let's talk about some goals for 2010, shall we?

*It's time to start doing some Bible stories with Madelaine on a more regular basis. I have flannelgraph. I have curriculum. The reason I didn't start the curriculum a few months ago, when I found it, is that it does take some prep time (and just some time to sort through all the features and activities to pick out what components I actually want to do with her). But I want to start.

*I would love to be able to limit her TV time to an hour a day most days (ie, an hour of kids' programs during the day), plus whatever Nate wants to watch at night. To do this, I think I need to plan a few activities each week that we can do together- simple crafts, etc. Certainly we can spend a lot of time just playing with her toys, but she does get bored once in a while, and that's when we're both tempted to take the easy way out (TV).

*I have a little treadmill now!!!!! Got it on Craigslist for $65. And just like everyone in America, I want to start using it...

*Catch up on getting some photos printed to go in albums

*Get my recipes organized... preferably online. Plan a menu a month at a time... figure out ways to save on groceries (buying in bulk? coupons? making more stuff from scratch? monthly trip to Aldi? online sources...? hmmm...)

*Get a reading light so I can read while I nurse Maddy to sleep at night. Make a list of 25 books I want to read in 2010. (Suggestions?)

*I wish I could write in this blog every day. For now that's a wish, not a goal.

And now I must get ready for bed...

Love to the world,