Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Painful accountability - The Plan: Month 1

I got distracted from my infatuation with The Plan, but I'm trying to get it back. So this is going to include a little progress and a lot of "um, not so much"-ness. If you're in need of non-academic reading (because that's what I typically provide), you could offer some sympathy to someone who is breaking my heart over a truly awful variation of my recent pain (which was only pseudo-awful in comparison). Or you could go the other direction and laugh shamefully over Mulgrew.

As for me? OK, let's evaluate.

Problem 1. Location
Progress 1. The weather grows cooler in my southern locale, so my misery has eased in that regard. I can open windows on some days and let the fresh breeze blow through the house. I miss the amount of daylight that summer brings, but I’ll gladly trade it for the cooler temperatures. Fall means there are cookies to bake and sweaters to wear. And winter - with actual 'I can see my breath!' cold. Ah...

Problem 2. Health
Progress 2. Ew, not good. The physical happened and I appear to be healthy. Physically, anyway. I like my doctor and look forward to talking with her again in a few weeks. As far as mental health goes, I believe I’m doing better. I’m not where I hope to be, but the idea of therapy remains strong, though still scary.

The walks have remained consistent – I go every morning, alternately dragging or chasing my canine companion. The aerobics haven’t fared nearly as well. My new goal is 4 nights a week. I think I needed something more specific to achieve.

The food goal remains undefined. After not eating at all, then eating only what was quite tasty and comforting, I need to ease into more fruits and vegetables and away from ‘pizza, hamburgers or Chinese?’ I’m staying vague here though – it’ll give me something to deal with in month 2.

Problem 3. God
Progress 3. Oh, dear. Another not so good one. This merits another post or two on its own, but in short? I’m doing the devotionals though my prayers are not strengthening at the pace I’d like. I feel like I’m phoning it in, trying to force the focus, but changing my heart isn’t all that easy.

One problem? When I think of a choice – everlasting peace and joy versus momentary pleasure – why do I stop to deliberate? I know God’s plan is far better than one I could devise. I realize I haven’t done such a good job at finding peace of happiness for myself. But I still want to try! I recoil when I keep reading that I need to surrender my thoughts to His control. Keep the hateful, lustful or otherwise bad thoughts away so that I can focus on Heaven. Ah, I can’t get into it. It freaks me out.

I bought The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis, at the used bookstore. I think it’s going to be an important book to read, so it’s on my list of things to do soon. I can’t decide whether to continue to attend my current church, in spite of the fact that I’m less than impressed by the new preacher, or if finding a new church is worth the time and energy. Darn Methodists and their rotating clergy. I liked my old pastor!

Problem 4. Professional
Progress 4.
Project M – I have a plan, need to copy and paste said plan into a grant application, ask some questions tomorrow, then submit said application to two different groups.
Project X – Got the money. We’re under review by one more group. Recruitment should begin by January. Except I need to fill out another form. I'll do that tomorrow. If I remember.
Project P – Absolutely no progress at all.
Project H – H is apparently for Hell. The new analysis I did yielded exactly the opposite of what I expected (though the trend wasn’t significant, thank goodness.) and I’m afraid of acting on the last idea I had because I don’t understand what’s going on with the data. I’m not sure what happened with the paper that I wanted authorship on, though I just sent a gentle inquiry. (It's been ignored for other pursuits, but only briefly, I'm told.) I am presenting this data at the upcoming workshop, so perhaps someone will advise something brilliant and I’ll pull off a paper in the end. Or not. We’ll see.
Project F – 1. Published! I’m even in PubMed! 2. Submitted revisions with no new news. 3. Submitted with high hopes but clenched muscles in anticipation of rejection.
Project B – coming along. Initial work is done and needs to be checked. Then I should ask for further instructions.

Problem 5. Social
Progress 5. I went to a single football game, got a minor sunburn on only one side of my face and was largely unimpressed by the bleacher seating. Are we animals? May we not use chairs with backs? Please? I think I’ve missed 3 games now, which leaves 2 left. I don’t even know when they are. I shall endeavor to make one more, which leaves me at 33%. Oh, well. We're not so talented, so I'm fine with it. I did look at animals and see a moderately decent (really - there are better out there) museum exhibit. Unnamed Friend helps me out.

I did the eHarmony thing – it’s how I know it’s been a month since The Plan was initiated since my membership runs out today. It was fine – I answered the closed-ended questions, then the open-ended, clicked the right buttons at the right times. There was one particularly charming man and I fluttered over him the tiniest bit – enough to assure me that the flirting instinct was alive but dormant. I’m glad it’s over, but I could see trying again when I’m more ready to deal with dating again. [I wrote this yesterday - per your wise advice, I wrote a casual email to Neil today and am fine with whatever happens next. I believe this is positive.]

As far as doing things by myself? Well, there was only room for me on the bathroom floor, so if you count that, check this one off the list.

Problem 6. Family
Progress 6. My parents are coming for over a week starting Thursday. Part of the problem is missing them, so having them here is sure to be helpful. In two ways, actually. First, I’ll get to have the love and attention I miss so dearly. Second, I’ll remember that a bit of distance isn’t always a bad thing. The noise and mess and constant talking – it’s going to get old, much as I eagerly anticipate it.

I talked to Brother the other day. I went for dinner at Cousin’s. I want to do much, much more, but as the holiday season approaches, I’ll get to spend time with them. I look forward to that.

Problem 7. Selfish
Progress 7. I am. It’s a bit shameful still, but I wasn’t doing so well for a little while, and things got pushed aside. It’s not completely my fault – it’s been terrible trying to schedule a meeting to pick up the tutoring materials. We’ve been trying and canceling all month. I’ll either find time when I return from my trip or start tutoring without the handy lesson plans – we can go over homework problems and talk if nothing else. Deadline for beginning? The week of October 23. Enough screwing around with that one. [I scheduled a meeting for next Wednesday. Cross your fingers.]

Overall? I survived. There were moments - many of them - that I just wanted to endure a particular day. I did that. But I hope to see much more "check! Did that!" next month. We'll see.


trillwing said...

This post--and your entire process--is an inspiration. Thanks for sharing your journey!

JustMe said...

but changing my heart isn’t all that easy.

I know, that really is the hardest part.

i love your plan and progress, and you really have accomplished a lot!

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