A beautiful post written by my friend Shira.
I've been thinking about projects left undone lately. Not that this is exactly what Shira is writing about, but I think writing projects can be come undone projects if not tended to, which is what she is writing about.
But I've been thinking about projects generally.
There is that novel I started a long time ago. It was wacky and all wrong and needed lots of work--I'm not a fiction writer after all--but sometimes I think about it.
There is the old blog at blog.com that is begging to be copied over into a blogger platform so that I can have it bound into a book before all that writing and those memories just disappear. I would gladly pay someone to do this for me, but who? When? How? I can't even figure out how to make this person appear, and it makes me tired thinking about it.
There is the incredibly complicated peacock embroidery.
I'm tempted to frame it as is, because my God, when am I ever going to finish that?
There's all the clothes and jewelry I'd like to make and sell. There is volunteering for fine organizations and political canvassing.
There is the Science Communication faculty workshop I was going to create, the National Science Foundation career award I never applied for, the curriculum for the kids' school on energy and environment, the garden, the 50 recipes I was going to learn this year (I did come close), the plane tickets to fly my sister out over spring break, the deck that needs building, the bathroom that needs remodeling, the phone calls to make and the 60 holiday cards I still haven't sent out.
There is the grading and the committee work and the quality time with my husband, children, friends, and family afar.
Hmmm. I've been thinking a lot lately about why I get so sick all the time. I am sick a lot, yeah? This time there was the strep, followed by the typical one-two punch of the sinus infection and bronchitis. I'd like to say I might be getting better but often I get a stomach flu after things like this, and though I don't want to bring it into being simply by saying it, I wouldn't be totally surprised, either. Really, really exhausted and sad, but not surprised.
"Maybe you'll just get to rest," a friend says. "You do everything right," says another. I wonder if it's not enough protein or too much sugar or I'm not handling stress as well as I think I am. Maybe it's that trailer we lived in when I was five that off-gassed formaldehyde and asbestos from the walls; maybe it's genetics. Maybe I don't clean the house well enough or wash my hands like I should.
I don't know. Are these things related? The drive to finish things and my getting sick? Can you live a full life, even an ambitious one, and also be healthy?
Or is it nothing I've done at all? Maybe my kids just bring home a lot of germs. Maybe it's just dumb luck.
I'm surprised that I feel a little ashamed at being sick yet again. The need to find an explanation for it, too, is strong. Mostly, probably, I'm just tired, and the chinks in our armor show most when one or all of us is ill.
Can you see the sun shining through those chinks? Is my armor all aglow?