Thursday, July 5, 2018

Making a List, Checking it Twice

It's time to move again.

Life is a series of transitions. Constant motion. One thing ends and another begins. It was a great week here - I finished some big work and took some deep rest, three days of it. Tomorrow evening I'll head home for a week before another week away. There's going to be a lot of movement for me over the next few months. 

And that's not necessarily a bad thing. 

There are times I wish for settled circumstances but, for the most part, I like to be on the move. I suppose near perfection for me would be movement with islands of calm and rest. And that, actually, is pretty much how I have been shaping my life over a period of years. 

There are times I miss having a house and people to share it with. I definitely miss having a garden and outdoor space. But there's something to be said for life as movable feast. I've seen some amazing places and have had some thrilling experiences. I've met interesting people and taken roads I'd not imagined. I tend to organize times away as if I'm home. Home for me, then, has become wherever I am and whatever I am doing. I step into adventure when I can and shape everything as if it is adventure. 

I've never been terribly organized but I find that with the way I'm living these days, organization is a skill I am wise to cultivate. Hence the list. I don't want to forget anything. So I write down everything I need to remember to load into my car and everything I need to do before I go. I do that on both ends of the trip. It sounds pretty basic, but I can't tell you how many times I've said to myself that I don't need a list and that I can wing it. Right now I've got liturgical garments in the front hall closet. I'd bet $20 that if I don't write that on the list, I will forget them. And they're not something I can run to the drugstore and pick up. 

There's a kind of ritual that happens when one is leaving a place. 

It's a way to invite the roots that you've sent down into the ground to pull back inward, to collect yourself and make sure that you have all of you for the journey home.  

I've been able to spread out quite a bit while I've been here. In addition to the list, I'll gather everything I brought and am taking back with me into a central location. I'll note the kinds of things I did not use or need while I was here so I can pack lighter the next time. I like to have choices so I tend to bring a lot with me when I go. I end up wearing the same three shirts most of the time. And as I'm lugging that bag of unread books back out to the car, I'll chide myself for bringing so much with me. 

Still, it's good to have choices.

The books I brought are new purchases - some from Paris, some from Oxford, Avebury, and Glastonbury, some from Washington. I read two of them while I was here, and parts of a few others. When I get home, they'll already be gathered in one place and I can find a small table to stack them on or a bit of shelf for them. I'll know where to look when I want one and seeing them all together like that will remind me that there are books to be read and work to be done. 

Another bag will hold all the things I need or like to have when I am doing my most important writing and planning work. They'll also be gathered together in a single location for when I need them next. It really is not a bad system.  

Lists are satisfying. You complete a task, check it off, and watch the evidence that you've actually done something grow and grow. I don't like to be a slave to my to-do list, but it certainly feels good to see that I've accomplished something, especially while I'm away goofing off. 

Ahem, doing a different kind of work.

The Summer of Self-Love is a daily writing practice created to harness three months for thriving. The goal at the end is to host a dinner party. Sounds like an odd Hero's Journey, doesn't it? Most of them usually are.


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