In progress

I have a “real” post somewhat almost-done for today, but I couldn’t get it actually done, any more than I could get my office renovation done by the end of the day yesterday (something I hoped on Instagram* that I’d be able to do).

Wait, scratch that: I could have gotten both done, but I made choices that kept me from getting them done.

What did I do instead?

I fell down a rabbit hole of writing–but not far enough to finish the post. I pulled myself up out of the writing hole to attend to painting chores the room requires: repainting the bottom of the open section of the cabinet we built (because we didn’t build it right the first time and had to re-build, which messed up the paint) and painting the door to the room.

I could have done/faked the room tidying I need to do to be able to finish the post (because the post is about the room, but I need some different photos than I’m able to take with it in its current state), but I decided to do the things that really need doing.

And then I spent some time gathering and delivering a bag of treats for a colleague who is home sick with Covid, taking care of her daughter who is also sick with it. I did that because one of the things I’m writing about in the in-progress post is about values I want to live by in the coming school year, and connection with others is at the top of the list. I’ve gotta tell you: Strengthening that connection felt so much better and more meaningful than having pretty office photos and a complete post would have.

After that I took a nap. I’d had a low-grade headache since Thursday, and even though it’s not the kind of headache that disables me, three days of that kind of pain takes it out of me. It makes me tired. There is something so delicious about climbing under cool covers on a sunny afternoon. That sensation might be as healing as the actual sleep. (Health is another value I want to prioritize.)

And then, well, it was time to make dinner. Time to sit at the table in the early-evening light and talk and sip while the carrots roasted. Then it was time to take a scooter ride to a nearby neighborhood where we like to walk and look at houses and study the choices those homeowners have made to help us make our own.

Photo of modest white bungalow with black flower boxes under the windows.

At that point, of course, the day was nearly done. No time for anything but watching an episode of our current series (Hanna on Prime), snuggling the dogs to sleep, doing a bit of a Times crossword, and falling back into bed.

It was a good day. Progress on multiple projects was made. As I head into my last week before returning to work, I know that I am going to end my summer with more things in progress than finished. More and more, I think that’s how it should be. I think progress, rather than accomplishments, might be the measure of a life well-lived. Isn’t a life in progress a life grounded in hope, growth, and faith? I hope, on whatever is the last day of mine, that I am still in progress, that I leave this place with work of all kinds still to be done.

*I’m just about done with Facebook. I’ve taken it off my phone again, and I’m happier for it. I’d love to see you on Instagram, if that’s a happy place for you.

12 thoughts on “In progress

  1. Skye Leslie says:

    Good for you on progressing vs finishing.

    I left FB 3 years ago. I had grown entirely too enmeshed in it – particularly the political – specifically Trump. I have never missed it.

    Enjoy this last week. Give yourself permission for all kinds of self care.

    With love,

    Skye

    • Rita says:

      I missed you when you left Facebook, and there are others I will miss if I leave it entirely, but it’s really been getting to me over the past few months. I took the app off my phone and iPad, so if I want to see it I have to use a browser. Really not missing it. Too much on there that is just depressing–I just can’t with the political memes (both from those I agree and disagree with), knowing how they have been used to divide and weaken us.

      Sending love right back to you–

  2. Marian says:

    Did you and Cane build the cabinet? It’s gorgeous! I’m so glad for you that you were able to make such good progress this week. I’m looking forward to the post where you show us the rest of your home office—from what you’ve shown so far, it’s going to be a beautiful space.

    May your last week before the start of school and work be a good one, Rita.

    • Rita says:

      I think it would be taking too much credit to say that Cane and I built the cabinet together, but yes :-). I am co-designer, painter, and holder of things when more than two hands are needed. He did all the real building. Before, it was a nook with two sizes of mismatched shelves that clearly weren’t original, and on the lower set side rails just stopped partway up the wall. We think there used to be a built-in desk there. It feels really good to make something that looks like it was done on purpose and might have been there from the beginning.

      Wishing you a good week, too. While I have plenty of anxiety about returning to work, I have to say that I’m feeling ready for fall. We had rain this weekend and it just felt like autumn and I really liked it.

  3. TD says:

    I absolutely love your in process work space as this seems to me that this fall will continue to be exactly that; in process! As you actually are in the real work mode, you will be able to tweak this are move that!! I think it’s great!

    Your south window will nourish the day to day. It’s beautiful!

    Lucky you to have a Cane to share life!! I’m envious; I must admit.

    I found it’s funny that you said that you fell down a rabbit hole because I said that same thing to myself Saturday. I started one thing that took me to this, to that, then to some task other. ADHD attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, yep. This usually doesn’t describe me, so I decided “rabbit hole”!

    I’m much better today and I’m feeling good in my space. Leaves are falling… settling in home.

    Glad to hear that you even took a nap!! You are absolutely correct that there is something very healing slipping into and under covers. Me too!

    Big breath! Last week of summer! I love summer!! The long days of sunlight, the heat and my summer shoes (barefoot indoors).

    Measure of life well lived is so different for everyone, but if progress is yours; take it as it comes.

    • Rita says:

      I can feel summer slipping away from us–cooler in the mornings and evenings. I, too, love the long days of sunlight and lighter clothing–and all the fresh food–and I feel sad to see it going. (The heat, not so much.) But I also love fall. I woke up one morning recently to rain, and it felt so good. I know rain won’t feel that way in January, but some change is always nice, isn’t it?

      As for ADHD and tasks: I almost never progress in a linear way. Used to drive my ex-husband nuts. I used to like to tell him that just because I didn’t do something his way, that didn’t mean I was doing it a wrong way. As long as you get to where you want to go in the end, I think it’s all OK. 🙂

  4. Kate says:

    I love your choices. Progress and connection and health are wonderful values to live right now and definitely worth prioritizing. I’m very much looking forward to seeing the writing and the office when you’ve finished them.

    Your picture with the needles, brushes, and bingo card is gorgeous!
    Kate recently posted…Friday FindsMy Profile

  5. Ally Bean says:

    I so agree with your positive take that progress is more rewarding then accomplishments. It took me years to figure that out. I wish you well with your office. Everything in its own time.

    • Rita says:

      It’s taken me years to figure out all the most important things. Which means I now sometimes torture myself with wondering what I still haven’t figured out yet and currently have all (or at least partly) wrong.

  6. Kari Wagner Hoban says:

    I love this. I love that you are making these choices. I love that you have a scooter. I wish I had one too. I feel like I would get around town more.
    I took facebook off too. I won’t give it a capital f. It is just too much. I won’t ever go back. I made that decision on Sunday. Long story. May write about it. Not sure. But I won’t deactivate. I think I need to write because there are layers.
    But I am glad it brings you relief too.
    Kari Wagner Hoban recently posted…There’s No In-Between With MeMy Profile

    • Rita says:

      It’s not really my scooter. It’s Cane’s, and my hands are not strong enough to shift the gears, so I am never the driver. It’s pretty sweet to be the passenger, though. I’m also probably not strong enough to hold the dang thing up. Earlier this summer I got mad at it for cluttering up my garage and tried to move it and had a hard time wrestling it to where I wanted it to go. Back in college I had a Honda Spree. (In fact, I still have one in my shed.) That’s more my speed–except, I can’t drive it anywhere around here because I can’t get it to go even 25 mph. That’s why it’s in the shed. There’s probably a metaphor here, but I don’t want to look too closely at it.

      I appreciate and validate your decision not to capitalize the book of faces. And to leave it behind. I still have my account. I check it about once a day. As soon as I start to feel scritchy, I’m out. Always gives me a “the world is too much with us” feeling. Liking Instagram much better.

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