I had not realized exactly how much I relied on my morning ritual. Each day, after everyone else has left the house, I have a second cup of coffee, take a look at my day’s work and plan how I’m going to approach it. There’s a meditative deliberateness to this time; it’s a way in which I can make sure that all the important things get included and give precedence things according my my own priorities.
When this thought process doesn’t happen, I spend an awful lot of time running around doing things as they are shoved in my face or lurching from project to project, never really feeling satisfied with my progress. There is also the constant feeling that, when I work without a plan, I’m forgetting something (which I invariably am) and that my life is off-kilter (which it usually is).
For the past several weeks, I have lost my morning meditations and have been unceremoniously launched into the world without a second cup of coffee. I’ve had meeting after meeting and appointment after appointment and I’ve felt rather like a whirling dervish who can’t stop whirling. Couple this with the deep frustration with the reason for half of these meetings in the first place and you have a feeling of futility that won’t let go. When you usually work at home, starting the day by leaving the house, having to look presentable (no PJs allowed in public in my world) and having to have your papers and plans all organized and ready to go along with the usual gamut of lunches and kids’ stuff and dogs let out and in and all this ahead of schedule because now there’s one more person to drop off somewhere feels a little like a train wreck in slow motion.
This morning I’ve stopped, pulled out my project time-line, assessed where I should be and where I am. It turns out that the two are much the same, so I’m doing okay on the project front. I’ve missed a couple of things I ought to have done, but have done things that don’t need to be looked at for two more weeks, so it works out to be even all around.
The other parts of my life also need a good thwack. While I’ve managed to maintain a relatively even keel work-wise and the house hasn’t fallen into utter disarray, my running and exercise schedule have taken a real hit and I think I’ve only had two civil conversations with John in the past week. Katherine seems oblivious to the stress, which is great, but I’m not sure when I last actually talked with her without using the word “later.”
Apart from that, I have an interim report to write as well as a stack of revisions of a brochure for Funding Opportunities to do and a programme proposal to read sometime in the next week. Frankly, after the recent series of meetings, I’m more than happy to deal with a very quiet, non-threatening pile of paper that doesn’t say anything, doesn’t yell, doesn’t request anything of me and requires nothing more than my careful attention for a few short hours with the high probability that the outcome of my labours will be appreciated and worthwhile.
Now, on to that third cup of coffee and back to work….