You know, before the family left for Europe I was certain I was going to accomplish so much. Clean the whole house. Get bookshelves and shelve all 3 or 4 thousand of our books (which are mostly still in boxes). After that, I was going to set up a place for my cross stitch patterns (which are also mostly still boxed from the move). I was going to prepare for my upcoming licensing exam. I was going to clean the garage (we’ve been keeping rabbits in it). And of course I was going to socialize. I often feel like I have to pass on so many invitations by friends to get together.
Guess how much I’ve done. My kitchen and bathroom are clean. But that’s it – the rest of the house looks exactly like it did when everyone left nearly 4 weeks ago. The books have not budged and I actually ordered a few more to add to the piles tilting haphazardly all over the house (except for the kitchen and bathroom). Ditto for the cross stitch (at least no new buying has occurred, though, and I’m claiming that as a victory!). I have fallen into exhausted sleep much too late every night with the licensing exam study guide next to my pillow, where I can only hope the information will prove osmotic, seeping into my delicate brain folds as I slumber. We’re not discussing the garage, okay? That brings us to the socialization, which has gone both better and worse than I’d envisioned.
Last weekend, which according to my internal clock occurred precisely 14 minutes and 36 seconds ago, I met up with good friend Patti in Belfast. Before we both got busy with schooling (she completed an advanced degree, then I copied her and dived into my Master’s program in a different area – imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?), we used to meet monthly in Belfast for a day of cross-stitching and friendly chatter. I’m not sure how long had elapsed, but I suspect it had been a year since our last meeting. It was great to see you, Patti! We brought projects that we’d completed – it was tremendously exciting to see her HOHRH Christmas piece done, as that had been her mainstay project during our earlier meetings – and things we are currently working on. I brought too much, not sure what I wanted to work on. I eventually settled on putting a few stitches into Atlantic Cod, which I had neglected. That was, I’m sad to admit, the last time I picked my needle up.
This week that just flew by (how do you fit an entire 7 day week into those 14 minutes and 36 seconds, anyway?) featured some serious attention on other arts – namely, writing. The fabulous Iota conference of short fiction was happening. You may remember that I was there last year, a very happy scholarship student. This year, they had a couple of events open to the public and I gleefully made the drive two nights in a row to listen and participate. It did my heart good to be among wonderfully creative & encouraging people and, let’s face it, it really was much more fun than house (or garage) cleaning.
Thing Two had six beautiful babies. I didn’t really have anything to do with that (thankfully), but I do spend a fair amount of time admiring mom and babies. ;)
Local socializing has been a bit of a bust. I have tried to get together with some friends over the past weeks but that has not gone off so seamlessly. After preparing dinner for a friend last night who wound up not being able to make it, I decided that I would stop beating myself up for having to turn down invitations – hey, turning it down is better than accepting and then not showing up, right? (Especially after your hostess has spent over an hour preparing dinner, grumble grumble.) I guess the sad reality is that everyone feels too busy. I am going to admit that I don’t agree with everyone being too busy to socialize. I think we really need to nurture ourselves by setting aside some goof-off time.
I also spent a day participating in the fourth annual Poverty Institute, organized & hosted by an amazing local agency and led by the amazing & inspirational Dr Donna Beegle. It was, again, an incredible experience. Rowen has gone with me the past two years, so it felt odd not to have her beside me this year. I’ve been fortunate to attend every year and I come away with new perceptions and fresh energy every year.
There was also some traveling to and fro. It’s so beautiful here that I just have to take pictures.
Well, maybe I did manage to get a lot done in those fourteen and a half minutes after all. ;) I hope your week, however long or short it was, brought you good feelings. Thanks for hanging out with me. I’ll close with some wonderful photos that my mother-in-law has sent me of the kids. (The science museum pics are from a day at Explorado. The beaches are in Zeeland, the Netherlands.)