22 February 2009

The First Blog

I've had a blog for a while - on MySpace - but I figured it was time to grow up and get a real one. For one thing, I want people to be able to read my blog without having to join anything. For another, I'd like a little more... what? range? scope? Hard to define, but I supposed MySpace has a "friends and family" vibe. "Range" is good. I'd like my potential audience to have a broader range.

What's this blog about, then? Well, it depends on what day it is. I don't like limits. Boundaries, yes: I consider good manners an essential part of being human. But limits, no. I have a lot of interests, and what I'll blog about depends on what's closest to the surface at any given moment. I jump around from topic to topic; my daughter calls it the "pogo stick of thought."

Learning to manage the pogo stick has been an interesting proposition. I finally realized, after years of struggling with an overloaded plate, that I had no idea what a "reasonable expectation" looked like. For the past two months, I've been working with a personal coach - Stacey Vicari of IdealLife - to work that out, and it's coming along. Bit by bit, I'm getting a handle on that "girl thing" we all learn, the inclination to spend my days "putting out fires." And my house, my job, and my life are all becoming more predictable. (I mean that in a good way.)

Putting out fires. It's what we're taught to do, you know. In our culture, at least up through my generation, boys are taught early on to be goal-oriented. Get one job done before moving on to the next. Girls are taught to view the big picture, focus on the worst trouble spot, and beat it into submission. When it's no longer the trouble spot, we look for the next trouble spot. Remember that old bit of doggerel, "Man may work from sun to sun, but Woman's work is never done"? Well, that's why! If we focus on one job until it's done, someone will want to know why we're neglecting everything else.

I've had friends who believed they got it all done, actually. I had one friend whose house was always spotless. She did it by locking her kids out at 10 a.m. and not unlocking the doors until 3 p.m. Other friends have had beautiful, well-adjusted children - and housekeepers. For women of my generation, "getting it all done" is actually picking what's most important and hiring the rest out - or locking it out.

I'm learning another way: deciding what's most important and then doing the rest of it 15 minutes at a time. You should try it. It really works! I've stopped calling myself a "clutter magnet." I'm actually a person who loves order, just not to the point that maintaining it takes my whole day. That's not order, it's OCD.

So what's important? Family. The environment. Justice. And food. Books, movies, music. Biking. Friends - old and new. Respect. Good manners. A balanced spirit. Laughing.

No limits. This blog will undoubtedly be a lot like my life - I'll make it up as I go along.

Thanks for stopping by - come back any time!

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