I have a misguided approach when I feel behind and overwhelmed, when there are too many things to prioritize, because simply facing the entirety of the list is enough to shut you down. I tell myself that none of the parts are imposssible, and I just have to start them, and they won't be so bad. That part's reasonable. But then I remind myself that once I have done All the Things, I'll have time to relax, breathe, reflect—in place of all the panic-procrastinate-go-to-way-too-many-unnecessary-websites breaks that I take all day instead of accomplishing things. Just do one thing, and the next, and the next, until you've done everything. Then you can start fresh with a system and increased satisfaction from your quick followthrough. I do this at home and at work, even though I know a better way to finish everything is to admit that not everything matters, and cut the unimportant and unfulfilling out of the list.
But oh, I cling so hard to the dream of clearing everything off the list and basking in the glow of open possibility.
Luckily, today I finished a fairly deep clean of the living room, to add to the bathroom, bedroom, and reorganized (but again filthy) kitchen. The home sphere is ready for a new month.
A month of cooking regularly, to take some burden off Cooper and feel happy when I've made something, and cleaning systematically, because surely it's possible to live an easy, clean life when your apartment is under five hundred square feet. A month of exercise again, because obviously, I haven't learned this lesson about not being able to do all the things, and I strive for perfection. (Ugh, please no. But moving my body is one of the best things I can do to help myself cope with life.)
A month for cozying-up our living spaces for the dark months to come. New lighting for the improved kitchen, new rugs for our cold floors, and hopefully some good ideas for spaces Ali and Drew want help with. Oh yes, and a month for meeting and loving and cuddling Ali's and Drew's little son—arriving any day now. No one can wait!
And a month of reading—Elena Ferrante number four, I'm almost ready for you, finally!—and writing every day in this space, the things I've wanted to write all year, and whatever comes to mind now, because it's NaBloPoMo, and I've never regretted doing it before.
So, here's my manifesto. I'm not ready, but here goes.