Monday, April 4, 2011

Checked out of the Blogosphere.

Not that anyone cares but me, but I'm back.  And honestly, I don't care that much, but something happened last week that I totally want to remember.

For spring break, I thought Duane and I could go to the tail end of spring training.  Or we could go to Napa.  Or San Luis Obispo.  And then I had a genius idea that instead of spending money on a hotel, we could make our room look like a hotel.  Or at least not like it looked.  (Our bed's been sitting on the floor since we moved in.  Long story.)

So Duane took a few days off.

Unfortunately, although I wasn't teaching, I still had plenty to do.  On Monday, I had to finish reviewing chapters from a textbook.  I had planned on doing it over the weekend, but forgot I would be gone to the women's retreat.  We did take some time off to go look at furniture and bedclothes.  Finding the right things is pretty stressful.  Especially when the budget is quite small, but you want your room to look kind of rich.  As a result, I didn't finish the review project until Tuesday.

At that point, we went to Lowes to find paint color.  We painted and moved furniture all day long.  Except when I was reading a chapter from New Threats to Freedom and trying to figure out how to respond to it and doing some preliminary research.

Back up.  On the Thursday before the women's retreat, I came across a scholarship.  Read an essay.  Respond to it in 2,000 to 3,000 words.  Doesn't sound too hard.  Deadline is March 31.  First prize is $5,000.  No problem.  Lots of time.  Except that I'm redecorating a room and trying to spend time with my husband.

We got the room painted on Tuesday.  Except that the color was a little off.  (Turns out we painted the room essentially the same color it used to be.)  We got bed lifts to raise our bed up off the ground, and it turns out we raised it too high.  And we bought two drape panels.  One was 84" in length and the other was 95".  Ooops.

Wednesday we started fixing things.  That requires running to the store to return and replace them.  All along, I'm reading research for the essay I'm supposed to write.  And I'm thinking.  And taking notes.

On Thursday morning, I realized writing this thing was totally a long shot.  What was I thinking?  If I had three days, I could do a good job, but I've got less than a day.  I felt like I should at least try.  And by "I felt," I mean that I really felt the Holy Spirit nudging me to do this.  Don't know why.  But I did.

So I asked Duane if he would mind, and said if he wanted me to spend the way with him instead of writing, I would be happy to do so.  It's not like the odds of winning--or even finishing--were very good.

Plus, an acquaintance let me know of some community college positions that would be opening up and suggested I get my application in right away.  I really needed to get on that.

Duane said I should do whatever I thought I should do.  Incidentally I didn't tell him about the Holy Spirit piece.

So I wrote a diversity statement and a cover letter and filled out an application.  That took all morning. We got lunch, and I decided to see if I could get an introduction written.  It was worth a shot.  And if I couldn't get it done while Duane was off at a meeting, then I would give it up.

Remarkably, I did get the introduction done.  I wanted to quit lots of times.  I kept looking at the word count. I checked Facebook and email every 15 minutes.  I craved pizza.  I prayed.

And at 8:54, six minutes before the essay was due, I emailed it to the New Threats to Freedom people.  I was pretty happy with it at the moment, but the next day I started thinking of things that I needed to add.

It didn't matter.  I had set out to do something, and I did it.  I didn't quit.  I accomplished a goal.  Multiple goals, really.

Now, this story would seem really significant if I won the scholarship.  Incidentally, second and third prizes aren't too shabby either.

But to me, this story has significance even without the money.  (Not that winning wouldn't be absolutely lovely.)  Too often I set out to do things and give up when they get hard.  Or I analyze the odds of success and when they seem stacked against me, I back off from the challenge.

I didn't do that this time.

All that writing and reading made it so I didn't blog all week long.  I haven't wanted to write anything since then either.  I have just wanted to bask in the glory of completion while we take a few minutes to choose a new paint color.  And while I get the strength to return to writing and finishing my thesis.


kflewelling said...

you keep getting bigger & bigger.


Erin Flew said...


mom2themonkeys said...

you keep getting better and better too. how do you do that? seems a little unfair that you are hogging all the bigger AND better. :)