I spent the day, in fact the better part of two days, organizing paper for LEND and all its separate topics and for Quest. The paper pile has been growing since the beginning of the month and it has been hard to figure out where what belonged. Then, today, after the plunge of the last few week, it was all clear enough to separate, tab, hole and put in binders. Now, it feels like the work, the real digging work can begin.
And I swear that I noticed yesterday that a few trees has a bit of a red glaze on their outer most leaves and today, there is a lot of color in the leaves. Slow, slow, slow, and then very quick.
Just a few thoughts:
- During the first workshop with Andy Paulsen, he stressed the importance of sleep and I dismissed his message. Lately, the last few weeks, I have been abusing myself in that regard. I stay up late, most of the time wasting time, and then drag myself out of bed to get Julia to school. During the tough days after David died and even last last year when the grief was the muckiness, I had many sleepless, or near sleepless nights and send Julia to school in the morning and go back to bed. This weekend, I realized that I am heading in that direction again. I need to sleep sometime and if I don’t do it at night, then days are the only option. Except that, I have a list a mile long of how I want to spend my days and the only reason that I am not sleeping is my own reluctance to go to bed. Some of that was resolved during the retreat. I was so exhausted each night that I went to bed as soon as our programming was finished (I was not the only one who did that.) and slept hard. I have been living on 6 or less hours a night which leaves me with an awful headache in the late afternoon and some very restless nights. This weekend I slept 7 hours both nights and I am getting close to 8 since I’ve been back. It is strange but it feels like some part of health is returning. What is strange to me is that this lack of sleep has been self-inflicted.
And dreams are coming back. I can almost breathe a sign of relief. I was beginning to believe that I would never remember my dreams again. Since Saturday, I’ve remembered something when I awoke in the morning and on three of those mornings what I remember was dreams with David in them. They were not “visiting” dreams by any means -- last night, David was the grumpy, dissatisfied younger man from 10 or 15 years ago. When I woke up, I remember how much he has changed during the last few years of his life.
- Julia and I worked on her reading homework which includes answering teacher generated questions. The questions are getting harder and especially for questions of inference, Julia struggles, but she is able to stick with it and although I still feel like I am pulling the answers out of her at times, she is able to do more of the mental gymnastics. A slow climb to be sure but a climb nonetheless.
- And Julia is reading to herself. She has been getting closer to it for more than a month. Sometimes she has read softly or reads slurring over some of the words, not as if she does not know the words but like she is rushing because she wants to read faster. I’ve noticed in the car that she has gotten softer and softer when she reads, and today, she was silent. She probably really began doing this in school where silent reading is built into the day. How incredible to see her get to this stage. Her love of reading is such a ticket for her!
- I used a notebook and wrote by hand during the retreat as was strongly advised. I’d say required but that might be an over statement. At one point on Saturday, my left hand began to ache. I wondered if arthritis was getting the better of me -- I have a few aches and pains which are harbingers of the condition but on Saturday the whole hand hurt. Then I realized that what I was feeling was a hand that has not written extensively for a long time. Typing has taken over and to the extent that my hands are tired after typing, it is both of them. Handwriting puts a lot of pressure on that dominant hand.
And I enjoyed it -- the writing -- which, of course, makes me think of David who hand wrote all first drafts. I still don’t intend to abandon me keyboard, but I will take the idea of writing some by hand under consideration. I have allowed myself to fall out of the habit of daily writing because it was time to do that. Now, as the urge to write comes on again, I will pay attention to the mechanics. Perhaps some by-hand scribing would be of value.
- I have been working on a new blog now and then. I started something on Blogger and then on Wordpress. I am not completely satisfied with either but I need to just take the plunge and then work from within.