So how will this work? I’m committed to writing every single day. And I will. I will post something every third day as I switch off with the Kristens. That allows me a couple of days to brainstorm and draft, and as an English teacher, I’m entirely comfortable and confident counting that work as part of the commitment to write every day. I tend to err on the perfectionist side, so it will be good for me to limit the editing process and publish something every three days. I’m aiming for some quality and quantity.
This is a picture of my planner. Newman hates to see it. It stresses him out. He doesn’t have a planner but manages to get work done well—and during work hours. I am making progress toward that goal, but I still bring work home frequently. I’ve explained to Newman that the planner is essential to save my soul: writing something down there means I can stop thinking about it. I love the satisfaction of crossing off an item on my list with my favorite pen (PaperMate in blue, of course). I don’t yet own a Smart phone or an iPad, and I resist getting one because I’m afraid I won’t be able to turn them off enough to stay connected to what’s around me in real time. My planner and lists help me organize all the stuff I have to do and even make sure I schedule time for what I want to do.
This morning, when I woke up on this last day of vacation, the list in my brain started up again. I count it as my first success that the listing feature was off for most of the vacation. Now that it’s back as a matter of course, I’m updating the way I list. I used to have one sheet of paper per day. Now I’ve changed it to two sheets per week. The hope is I can save time re-listing what didn’t get done onto the next day’s sheet. On my new sheet, I’ve added “daily” each day for my blog writing, and I hope it is to become as typical a part of my day as taking attendance and updating my Teacher Web (homework) site. That’s the first small step toward making my work include the work I want to do for me, which is to write.
As I sit here typing, Newman is shoveling snow off our back porch. Behind him, the trees in our backyard stretch eagerly toward a bright sun. Animal tracks snake this way and that way across the yard. The remnants of Free’s snowcastles seem to catch and throw shadows and light. The world is new and beautiful. A fiscal cliff has hopefully been averted, and so has my back to school depression, at least for right now. Last night, I gathered up the Christmas decorations and packed them away carefully. Newman took the lights down this morning and dragged the tree outside to be burned when Spring rolls in. Free took our vintage Elf on the Shelf down to hug and kiss before packing it away at the top of the Christmas bin. There is a new year upon us. No-one knows what it will bring. Certainly, we will follow stories of loss and sadness and tragedy, but also we will find opportunities for great joy, renewed hope and deep connection. For right now, I am shutting off the computer and heading out into the day.