Wednesday, July 22, 2009

non-thematic noticings and thinkings

I spoke with a special investigator today, vouching for someone I know over a potential job. I had had many conversations in my head beforehand about just how skillfully I might suggest to the investigator that if they (the government) needed a humble, innocent housewife to take on any special missions - delivering an envelope to a jogger who casually sat down on my bench while my daughter played at the Kiddie Park, passing numerical codes to someone in line behind me at the grocery store, that kind of thing - I'd be their woman. I've got a mean poker face, I'd tell the investigator, so think about it; you've got my number. But since I got myself so worked up about the repercussions of being revealed by a traitor who had access to Top Secret files, and since, despite the approachable nature of the investigator man, I was a nervous wreck just answering basic questions, I thought better of my little side career notions. Still. In the words of Simon and Garfunkel, "Be careful; my bowtie is really a camera."

Been thinking about my fears and how they drive me to act. That's from reading The DNA of Relationships by Gary Smalley, a book my father was profoundly affected by recently and wanted others of us to read. Fear of failure, fear of humiliation, fear of non-perfection. I read some of it before bed last night and tossed and turned all night over my fears. I kept remembering that perfect love casts out fear but forgot to actually let it. I think the room was too hot too.

Tonight I walked around the meadow with Zoralee. Grasshoppers by the millions fled before us, and when they landed on the dry grass a few yards away, they sounded like popcorn softly popping when the bowl is nearly full and the pieces are landing on other pieces. Down by the pond, two adult turkeys and a dozen or more young ones tried to stay hidden in the tall weeds. Molly Girl scared them up, and they flew in all directions - toward us and away. The sun was low and highlighted the horses' backs, and their long legs were reflected in the pond. I lamented the unusual experience of not having my camera along. I was wearing a pocket-less skirt.

To-do lists. Oh my word. I want to talk about to-do lists for a minute. On Saturday, we walked around downtown, going into whatever shops we cared to, including a book store. A long time ago, I had read a suggestion in a magazine to pick up random books at stores or the library and just browse, picking subjects you usually wouldn't. Learn a little something. Just for fun. Well, I normally would NOT pick up a whole book about organization. It's not that I have organization down, but I have a fundamental problem with entire books dedicated to simplification. Kind of like Jason the other day noting the irony of the magazine called "Real Simple" being the thickest magazine you've ever seen. One article he read, in fact, gave like 15 things you can do in the shower to be multi-tasking, like de-clogging this or that set of pores, de-callousing your heels, and so forth. It made the inherently simple task of showering into a tiring mission.

ANYWAY, the book I picked up was called, It's Hard to Make A Difference When You Can't Find Your Keys by Marilyn Paul. And the couple of pages I read was about to-do lists. She said that it's fine to have massive lists of everything on your mind that needs doing, but that you shouldn't carry that list around daily. It's too draining. Look at it once a week to pull selected activities from, but make a very short, concise list each day (or the night before), including how much time it will realistically take to do each thing. So, this week I've been doing that. Just a short little list, see. Keeps me focused.

In related news, I am continuing to develop routines for Zoralee and myself. Why, after her mid-morning nap, we go upstairs and sit at the table for lunch. We've done that two days in a row. In my life, that's a pattern.

Okay. It's night-night time for the likes of me. Thanks for reading my non-thematic noticings. I don't usually blog this way. It's fun. I hope I haven't failed anyone.


Rena said...

I just finished a mini-blog on facebook about my to-do lists, in response to a suggestion from Jane. It's funny that I probably have a shelf full of organizational and time-management books (if I could find them.) I'd always buy a new one if I thought it had some new, magical solution for me. And I subscribed to Real Simple because I thought it would actually help me simplify and organize my life. Hasn't worked yet. (And reading "The DNA of Relationships" is on my list too.)

I loved your post, and I too wish you had had a camera to capture that scene. I can imagine it by the way you described it, and it sounds beautiful.

Rachel Clear said...

It's funny, being me.

I was raised by THE MOST organized mom in the world. Anyone who knows her can vouch for the that. But then I had the MOST UNORGANIZED sister in the world, teaching me things as well. This makes me the most insanely organized unorganized person you ever did know. But Lori. I must say that since you had Zoralee, I have been amazed how much more organized you've already become, without even noticing it. I mean, when you come to Portland, you've got all your little diapers counted out, your bath supplies for Zor, blankets, chairs and playthings... not a year ago, you'd be hardpressed to remember to bring a change of clothes for yourself anywhere, and now Zor goes no where without several outfits to select from.

Little by little, you really are becoming a very efficient person, (to us on the outside) even if it doesn't seem that way on your end. You are. I mean, you've never forgotten Zoralee anywhere like a video store, have you? (Like dad forgot David)... ha!

Tamie said...

You haven't failed anyone and you are beautiful. I love the way you write, just love it. I write random blogs like this sometimes,a nd it's fun to read someone else do the same.

Anonymous said...

Love you Love you Lori-lou! This post makes me miss you. Kind of reminds me of our conversations...seemingly random with a common thread...lots of thoughts to get in there and mull over. You will get better every day at the organization thing. My organizational journey is neverending, but I know I get better every year cause I get comments from old friends and fam like your sister gave you. I think that we always arrive at the place we are supposed to when our situation necessitates it. You are awesome and wonderful and lovely just the way you are :)