Sunday Check-In: Excuses and Qualified Progress

This week, I think I made some progress in thinking realistically about my ROW80 goals. I wrote for 4 nights this week. My goal is 5 nights of 7, so I fell a bit short, but I did blog three times in addition to my check-ins, so I’m pretty okay with not writing that 5th night.

I’m not real keen on the excuse I used not to write that night, though. I was saving for the weekend two exercises from The Pen and the Bell that would require me to be left alone by my children for an hour and then write about it. That’s not specifically what the exercises said. The one was a contemplation exercise in which you pick a place in your neighborhood (your front porch, your front step, or a bench in a neighborhood park) and sit there doing nothing for an hour. The second exercise was to write about what stood out to you (me) during the hour of observation.

Doing nothing is tactically challenging for me. There’s the issue of the kids, which I’ve mentioned before, and there is the problem of there being nowhere to sit on our front porch that affords me a view of anything except the bushes in front of the porch. I had a compromise planned in which I would sit at the warehouse store food court doing nothing while my husband and the kids did our shopping. Ideally, I would have stayed home while they shopped, but the shopping was going to take place on the way to apple-picking, and I didn’t want to miss that. But as it turned out, I forgot to do nothing.

I could have just written that night anyway, but I used my not having done nothing as my excuse to read about Appalachian Trail thru-hiking (The Barefoot Sisters: Southbound by Lucy and Susan Letcher) instead of writing. Even this was short-lived because my son recently acquired a cold, which triggered his “whoop” cough again (see this post for the background on our pertussis adventure), which led to a lot of angry toddler crying interrupted by coughing fits and gagging, during which I tried to grab a towel fast enough to catch mucus-y vomit (I’m pleased to report that I succeeded, but only because the sounds he was making were apparently just a test for my response time to a mucus-vomit emergency).

Now that I type it all out, I think it’s a better excuse for not writing that fifth night than I thought it was.

The excuses the other two nights involved being out late for the volunteer activities with which I’m involved.

I hope that these check-ins don’t just turn into a series of posts about how much I have to do. Because that’s really not interesting at all.

I will say that the writing that I did was a very pleasant experience. I still resisted doing it, but the resistance isn’t quite so strong as it was last week. And when I did finally put pen to paper, I felt…not ridiculous. I even kind of felt a tad of that writing playfulness I’ve been seeking. I’m looking forward to seeing where this will go in the next few weeks. And to seeing how I’m going to fit in writing between my regular activities in addition to sewing a kangaroo costume for my daughter. How I got involved in sewing a kangaroo costume, I’m not sure. I just hope she appreciates it. And that my son wants to be a kangaroo for Halloween 2016.

My son who just ran in long enough to wipe his nose on my shirt while pretending to hug me. Yeah, he’s going to be a hand-me-down kangaroo for sure.

2 comments

  1. Ryan King · October 14, 2012

    4 out of 5 certainly isn’t bad, especially if you add the blogging into it. Oh my. I’m not sure I can do nothing that long. I’m one of those people who have to be doing something or I feel guilty. Feeling that resistance is natural. I think we all want to do any thing else besides writing when it comes to actually writing. It’s that whole “I love having written but not the actual writing.” And yet we do. lol.

    Like

    • CJ · October 14, 2012

      Doing nothing for an hour would be okay for me, I think, but the doing nothing for an hour where people can see me made me a little nervous. I’d planned to have my journal or a book there so if I started to feel like people were watching me, I’d be able to pretend I was reading/writing. I don’t think I’d ever be good at that kind of public performance art stuff.

      I did a project the beginning of this year in which I meditated for 30 minutes in the morning and 10-30 minutes later in the day, and I did okay with that (although it, like writing (and exercising and finishing really any project), is something I’m resistant to doing).

      Thanks for the comment!

      Like

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