Friday, May 28, 2010

Operating at an 11. Watch out.

It's been 13 days since my last post. And I don't have much to report. If working all day at a computer and then going home and doing the same thing counts as "sitting with myself" then I've achieved my goal for May. Otherwise, I have failed on a grand scale.

I did manage to meditate after my last post. And it was easier than I expected. My mind wandered a few times, but I re-focused on my breath pretty quickly. I sat in a patch of sunlight on the floor of my hotel room with a candle on the table in front of me and tried not to try not to think. Because I read that you're not supposed to do that.

The time went by quicker than I expected...I thought ten minutes would be really hard. But I'm not sure it really did anything for me. I didn't expect enlightenment with one try or anything, but I guess I sort of expected that feeling you get after a good yoga class. Maybe if I had meditated for 60 minutes, I would have gotten that.

My intention was to do it every day for the rest of May. But May has presented a few challenges that I did not rise above. Work is...ridiculous. I really mean that. You know how I was telling you about that exercise class where I found out that I was supposed to be working out at an intensity level of 9 on a scale of 1-10 and I usually only do about a 5 or 6? Well, if we apply that same scale to work...I typically work at about a 7, at least in terms of my capacity.

But lately I've been hitting a ten pretty regularly and I might have discovered an 11 last night. It's the kind of week/month where everything seems to need attention and devotion at once. Everything other than meditation, that is.

Last night was a perfect example. We were on duty. We had dinner duty. We had to drive the girls to the grocery store at 9 pm. There was a roommate negotiation gone awry.

And there were these damn Nice Lists.

You've all read the email forward about the teacher that asks kids to write a list of nice things about other kids in their class and 30 years later they are at the military funeral of a classmate who had his list with him when he died in battle, and several of his classmates share that they still have their lists too.

Didn't that email make you wish you had a list like that about yourself?

So last year I started a new Nice List tradition in the dorm. Everyone wrote down one nice and true thing about each other student in the dorm. And I spent a truly ludicrous amount of time proofreading them and compiling them into beautiful, font-happy collage works of art. Here's a sample:
I even did them in their favorite colors. And the girls freaking loved them. There were surprised and happy murmurs and fond noises of remembrance as they read them. The project took more than 40 hours to complete though.

So I was going to do the smart thing and skip it this year.

Only then we got all that negative dorm parent feedback and I remembered how much they meant to the girls and it seemed like maybe one of the few good investments of energy from last year. So I asked the girls how important they felt they were. And many of them started exclaiming about how they still had theirs from last year and how much they loved them. And the new girls in the dorm saw the ones from last year and got all excited.

So I decided to do it again. Only I was going to start WAY earlier. Only that didn't work out so well. I decided to collect the comments via an online survey tool to simplify the compilation, which did work. Unfortunately, we apparently don't teach spelling, grammar, or punctuation at this school because it is taking HOURS to proof the comments. Travis made a brilliant word merge to sort the comments by length and automatically insert them into text boxes for each student. But Word sucks ass and so it took forever to change the fonts and make them fit in the text boxes properly and there were apparently so many spelling errors that Word couldn't display them. Who knew?

So I went back to photoshop. My old friend. Only the newer, CS5 version which is admittedly a bit cooler than the old one. But not magic. It still takes an hour to do each collage. I swear I've tried to let go of my perfectionist tendencies to just GET.IT.DONE.

But I still have 23 left to do. In a week. And we're headed to NY to visit with my family this weekend.

So I'm really starting to panic a little.

On top of that, we're deep into a publications project at work. Which is fun for me. At times. But it's turned into a mess which has mostly resulted in an unhealthy amount of work to be done by me in an unrealistic amount of time. Which I predicted would happen but was somehow unable to prevent.

So here I am. Operating at an 11.

Watch out.

1 comment:

runningwiththejig said...

I'm really glad you posted. I've been missing it!!! Sorry things are so hectic. Maybe as part of the project you could have each girl make the collage for another? Rather than as a gift from you? You could supply a bunch of craft things for them.

May be too late. Anyway, good luck! Enjoy your weekend.