30 November 2006

Be Done

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” - Emerson

I’ve been a little bit disappointed with myself lately. Last Thanksgiving I ran my first 5K, was dating a hot doctor and was preparing for my first upper-level undergraduate course. This year I was knitting knee socks.

I suppose my year-end reflection period is kicking in a month early. I’m starting to feel that knitting is getting in the way of living. Or perhaps it's better to state that I'm using knitting as an excuse for not living. The problem is not giving up a Friday night out on the town to settle in with knitting and Netflix. It’s the random weeknight that I choose to spend knitting rather than going to the gym. Or more accurately, it's the night I skip the gym and plan to have a night of knitting but end up foofing around the apartment and doing absolutely nothing, crafty or otherwise. It’s the hours I spend absent-mindedly reading blogs rather than engaging with life, on-line or off. It’s planning projects, or just day-dreaming about them, rather than planning healthy meals.

Granted, last year's doc was a dud, my 5K crawl would’ve made many of you real athletes cringe with shame, and I’m not sure my students learned a darn thing, but as last year came to an end, I was excited and happy. I had things to be proud of and things to look forward to. I know that to a degree that’s still true. Things are moving on my dissertation and I've had several successes professionally lately. I just don’t feel the thrill that I felt a year ago and I’m trying to address why and most importantly, how to get it back.

I suppose I'm writing this only because blogging felt a little 'off' last week when I was in Missouri. I was obsessing about all those things I should've done, said or written, emails never sent, workouts never completed, friends never called. And to no surprise, obsessing over what wasn't done left me zero motivation to do anything about any of it.

Today at the office we cleaned for an upcoming move and in a matter of hours we filled a small dumpster with student papers from 1987, edited drafts of newsletters published in 1998, and disks full of materials prepared on obsolete versions of WordPerfect. There was a spirit of glee as we pitched, even from the most notorious of hoarders (ahem, that would be yours truly).

I keep this Emerson quote on my nightstand as a reminder to stop my obsession and guilt but as I start the last month of the year, I feel like I need to be reminded of this a little more strongly. Here's to ending the year on a high note.

2 comments:

Kelli said...

Leslie,
As one who regularly looks back on the last year and shakes my head, let me just say, STOP. Seriously. I've done so much harm to myself in 2006 wishing it was 2005. I had a great boyfriend (two actually, part of the problem) and was thinner and blah blah blah. Well, I've had to teach myself to live in today. 2005 was great but tomorrow could be MUCH better.
:)
I hope this isn't too pushy. Email me when you get a second. I need to send you your Kaffe Fasset book!

Lone Knitter said...

Hi, Leslie. I often feel as if knitting gets in the way of everything. I have a tendency to really go nuts when I love something. I'm trying to find a balance in my life right now. I think I have a system worked out. I'll email you about it!