"I once listed all the good things I did over the past year and then turned them into resolution form and backdated them. That was a good feeling." Robert Fulghum
My friend Judy, who is the queen of quotations, sent this quotations to me attached to her yesterday’s e-mail. I laughed out loud, not so much at the quotation which I find brilliantly pragmatic, but because I had just done something similar myself.
The week between Christmas and New Year’s has been a dead zone for my husband who is both a judge and a student returning to university to acquire a degree in counseling. Not having many “must do’s,” other than pay bills, we both made lists of what we wished to accomplish during this free space of time. Mine was about ¾ of a page long.
Halfway through the week I took a look at it. Jeez, I’d accomplished only “pay bills.” I knew I hadn’t been lazy, exactly, so I wrote down all the things I HAD accomplished, like taking out the garbage on garbage day, making photo albums of our trip to Alaska three years ago, and my trip to Boston with my friend Janis in 2008. I even typed out all the poems I’d written during our Alaska trip and placed those next to the photos they referred to.
I had written my thank-you’s (Thank you, Mom, for teaching me that piece of etiquette!), watered the plants, and cleaned out Miss Emma’s kitty litter box.
I wrote a new blog.
Now my list took up the entire page and part of the margin. The page reminded me of letters I received from my Grandma Georgia who wrote not only on the front and back of every sheet of paper, but also all the margins, so that reading a letter from her was an exercise in 3-D, somewhat akin to figuring out a moibus strip.
Then for pure enjoyment, I crossed off all the new accomplishments I’d just listed. With a flourish. Some things like GARBAGE and PAY BILLS I put a rectangle around and then X’d out and some things I drew TWO lines through. “Work on novel” I merely checked because that’s an ongoing to-do. Still, the check showed that I had made a stab at revision. Same for “practice mandolin.”
By the time I finished, there were only four items remaining on the page. I felt so much better about my week. You know, there’s still a space on the page left, and I did watch three movies, which is like work for a writer, right? Wait a second. OK. I have that written down. Wait another second. OK. I crossed it out with only one line because that work is partly fun and inspiration.
I feel absolutely wonderful now. There’s one line left and I’m going to write down “Take a luxurious bath” because I deserve it after working so hard all week long.