The list looked something like this:
- do dishes
- sort through 5 bins of summer clothes
- write blog post
- make contact with other life forms
- make sure all the kids’ school paperwork is in order for the week
- finally made a google spreadsheet of all the kids’ family-friend contact lists
- Prep for writing gig for the next day
- eat ice cream
- have sex with husband
- laundry (natch)
- go for a walk
- make friends
- find myself
- be a better person
- free the world of injustice
- join my husband on the sofa to watch “Fringe.”
At 8:05 p.m. daily, I get an irrational surge of energy that creates temporary madness in my mind. I suddenly am sure I can do all manner of things before 9:30, when Colin really would like me to get to the last one on the list.
This Fringe-like sense of time and determination leads to a daily experience of failure for me. It’s somehow easier to see the pile of things I didn’t get done — and wish for the time to do them — than to remember and give myself credit for the things I did get done.
I am not sure it is all that American, this constant drive forward. Instead it seems more evolutionary. Or maybe we are just following the pendulum on its usual path.
What does seem particularly human is the feeling that just how I am is not good enough. If I move forward, I’ll find the more that I can be.
It’s hard to be still in the moment and be OK with that; better to get caught up in the habit of filling time to overfull with activities that deaden that sound of voice.
Regardless, it is safe to say that just as I am always deeply disturbed when it is 9:37 p.m. and I’ve only gotten 2-3 items checked off my list, this morning I looked at the calendar and realized:
September is gone, and I am not done with it yet.
This post is one of the obviously now mis-titled “month-long” BIG QUESTION series “What Does America Want?”
Look for at least two more posts, one by Guest Contributor, Author Jennifer Wilson, on October 11, and a final post in October 13.