The Art of Letting Go

I feel like my entire state of being can be summarized by waiting and wondering.

An internship/job/something to do after I graduate is at the top of my list. I've interviewed for several positions and am- you guessed it- waiting to hear back.

I'm chugging away at my thesis, but it's still a long way from finished. Long way. I do think I've finished all of my interviews unless something else pops up.

As for my term paper? Funny you mention that... If I could just research and not start writing, I'd probably be in pretty good shape. But part of what a term paper implies is actual writing, thusly I need to put fingers to keyboard and start hacking out something vaguely resembling and beginning, middle, and end.

I am still eating, which is unusual given the past, say, decade or so of my life. I am frequently stressed to the point of being nauseated, but I push through it.

My pile of work is just ridiculously high, I almost have to laugh. I have a 15 page draft due on Thursday (the above mentioned term paper), and an entire book to finish for the same class. Both of those aren't going to happen. The book will be skimmed, since it's much harder to turn in a fake draft than mumble something quasi-intelligent when called upon. I'm trying to remember that this will bear little resemblance to anything I do for a future career, so screw it. If I fail to comprehend the exact politics of the banana republics (not the clothing company, though I can go into detail about how and why the clothing company has the name it does. Should you feel some insomnia coming on, let me know and I'll fill you in. Should clear that sleeplessness right up.) and the US and the environment, I'm pretty sure I'll live.

I still need to learn the art of letting go. Of accepting half-assed every once in a while, just to save my sanity. I'm not good at that. The all-or-nothing thinking is a big shortcoming of mine. I want things in order, in their place, all nice and neat and ready to go. Not stacks of crap piled around my desk, a cacophony of books and papers and Post-Its liberally dusted with cat hair. Of a dishwasher filled with clean dishes that I can't be bothered to empty.

I am, somewhat miraculously, caught up on laundry.

I read, I think on Christine Kane's blog, of the idea of not having a to do list (or not just a to do list), but of making a "ta da!" list. This is a list you make at the end of the day, where you fill in all of the things you have accomplished. I fed the cat, changed my sheets, worked on my term paper, transcribed an interview, watched my friend give a public reading of her work, read an assigned newspaper article and two chapters in a book. It's said to be more positive, mentally, than crossing these items off of a list. Given my state of busy-ness, I need to write a list out in the first place so I can have something to write down on my ta da list. Which makes me feel a little asinine and redundant copying everything out again- except I always end up doing a load of stuff that comes up that doesn't make it onto the master list.

Still, I intend to venture into the strange world of positivity. We'll see how much I like it.

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mary said...

I like the sound of a ta-da list! I almost never make a to do list though I ought to try it. I'd rather make a list for others.
We spent the last couple months working our tails off and with our twisted sense of humor we kept commenting that we could just do a half ass job. In the end we did a marvelous job but it sure made it easier to lighten up in our approach.
Make sure you get enough rest in there Carrie. Pace yourself and do take a moment to play or at least have some music on. You are a harsh task master of your own work! I've always heard that mastering the art of laziness is a gift in itself. Bet that ones too hard for you!

samsi77 said...

I thought that it might be a good time to pull the pocket size version of Steph out that plays "very effective" as a reminder to take one day at a time and do your best in this moment which it really sounds like you are doing!

disordered girl said...

Staying positive... some days it is hard but I know you can do it. I used to have to focus on knowing that a day would come when all that work would be done. It just somehow would!

Hang in there,

Hope said...

Here's to learning the art of letting go. Something I need to do myself. But, I love the idea of the ta-da list, too.

Keep taking things one step at a time, one day at a time. I know you'll make it; especially when you take care of yourself. Keep pushing through those hard parts.

Sending hugs!!!

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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