Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Starting now

July 2006 is not officially nothing but a memory.
Hip, hip, Horray!
I am now officially starting a new month, a chance to start with a new attitude.
Which makes me wonder why do we pick arbitrary numbers for ourselves to start projects?
“On Monday I will start my diet.”
“My New Year’s resolution is to exercise every day”
“When school starts I’m going to get up and clean the house first thing in the morning”
And for two or three days we do really well, eating vegetables, setting the alarm clock and walking around the block, making the bed and cleaning out the dish washer.
Then something happens to derail the plan and we are back waiting for the first day of School or New Year’s to get to work again.
I am a fine example of this fool-yourself form of procrastination.
I had plans for this summer, oh yes I did. I was going to paint the living room, refinish all the lawn chairs, bust out piles of scrapbook pages and enter them in every contest, publishing cattle call, and design team out there.
But on Monday, June 20 while I was in the shower I hit a bump in the road and never managed to get back on track.
What happened on that fateful hour, you might ask? That was the moment my Mother called and said she was going to come for a visit.
Now a visit from my Mother is a rare and wonderful thing. She never leaves her home to travel to parts unknown. I do mean never.
We put aside the schedule for the week and scurried around like ants getting ready for a visit from the queen, getting our house in order and arranging for our royal visitor. Shortly after she left we went on our little vacation, returned to the termite infestation, etc. etc. etc. and never really got our feet back under us again.
I don’t know why I didn’t just pick up my schedule and carry on in spite of the bugs, the visitors, the death of my cat and the month stretching on long after our money was gone. But I didn’t.
So here I sit at the beginning of another month with resolutions swirling around to:
get the laundry done first thing every morning,
and scrap the pile of commissioned pages for J ~ who will pay me for my work,
and ask my newspaper if they can give me more work,
and make up some projects to be presented for scrapbook classes,
and put together a flyer so I can pick up some more clients,
and get school shopping done,
and plan a weekly menu so I don’t spend all my cash going out to eat,
and pay the bills as soon as they come in the house,
and get in some exercise,
and back up all my photos,
and order some more photos so I can have them to scrap with,
and remember to pray, read scriptures and find time for myself.
The trick, I suppose (besides paring down the list a little bit) is to make the resolution to do this long list of things a little at a time a day at a time: without calling the game on account of rain, or heat, or phone calls from friends who are having troubles and need to talk.
I watched a program on TLC called “The Messengers” while the show itself didn’t impress me, one idea from the program did. Several people were sent to work on a farm then do a two minute speech on the topic “struggle.”
They all went different directions with the topic, but my mind went to the struggle of birth, of life, of death.
I thought of plants ~ as found on this farm, struggling to grow from seeds, poke their head out of the ground and grow in spite of less than ideal conditions.
I thought of the farmer who struggled to keep his plants alive, struggled to harvest them, struggled to sell them and struggled to feed his family on the small profits.
The show spoke of the struggle of emigrants who picked the crop ~ a backbreaking labor, for a chance at a better life. And I thought of Leonardo, a native of Ecuador, who recently opened a fabulous restaurant in our town. I interviewed him for a story about his business, and marveled at his tale of working 18 hours a day with two different chefs, and being thrilled at the gift America offered him of employment. “Since I was 17 I was trying to find a job,” in his own country, he said. But when he came to America he had no problem finding employment.
In spite of an accident that left him on crutches for four years and sent him back to his country, he returned, worked, and bought supplies for his dream restaurant until he could open it in a most unlikely location, in a tiny diner just off a round-about in a small town in Utah.
But his cooking is truly phenomenal, the best shrimp scampi I have ever tasted, (and I have tasted plenty!) He continues to struggle, working from 9 a.m. to midnight in his little dream restaurant. But it is his dream.
Today I get up with my long to do list and my short list of resources.
But I have a lot more resources than Leonardo of Ecuador, and a lot less in the way of obstacles.
Certainly if he can continue the struggle and the dream of raising his four children in America while owning and operating his own restaurant, I can continue with my own struggles and dreams.
The trick is, keeping my eye on the prize, and starting each new day as if it were Monday,
or the first day of August,
or the first day of school,
or a new year.


Karen said...

I'm sorry my lack od pertinent info added to your July of woe. I really do think I'll have to throw a HP party for the kids in SV!

Tawnya said...

This is a very awesome entry! I was wide eyed and bushy tailed while reading -- I hope you life becomes a little less hectic and a little more balanced. We all struggle with this stuff in life-- :) hope you have a fabulous day

horseygal said...

Wow, A, I just loved this ! Great reading!!
I have been feeling that way in relation to what you were saying about Leonardo. I've been upset over my lack of a kitchen floor, and then I think of the homeless folks who have no floor OR roof, or the folks that have to dig through the remains of their homes lost to Katrina. It really puts things in perspective. I know that you will come through this slump triumphant!!!! I'm sure you are still dealing with grief and it takes time. It's hard to do anything in the mist of grief, so try to just give yourself time to heal.

Big Sis said...

I am in the same perdiciment almost all the time. My list resembles your in lenth although not in should dos. I see the list, panic, do nothing, beat up on myself. Soon the cycle starts again. I am a firm believer in THROWING OUT THE PLANNERS! Being a "real" person is so much better than a slave to planners. Yalking to a distra8ught fcriend is so much more important than Cleaning the bedroom for example, in the eternal scope or things. The bedroom cleaning will wait for qnother day. The help you give a friend in need may have eternal consequences. Go by the spirit.

Wyo sis said...

Wow! You are truly mind boggling. I will never worry about you so much again. You've got the right idea. Keep up the good work.

~Debby~ said...

I feel the same way.. I always have good intentions. I love your goals. They are almost the same as mine...Here's to a happier Month for both of us!
Keep me posted.