Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Mind Boggled

I sit around my house in the afternoons with a textbook open, pen in hand, and I try to focus, I really do.

It's just that I love this space that I've created so much, that my brain is bouncing up and down inside with all the fun and interesting things I can do here at home, and to just pick one, especially the one I'm sort of obligated to pick (homework's due, test is coming up), is so. . .confining.

I am surrounded by books. In every room I either have piles of books, shelves of books, or stacks of opened books in progress tucked under here and there. I want to read Gottman's marriage studies, and I also want to study the knitting books. I need to refine my peacemaking skills, and I'd also really like to plan out a space-efficient garden design, and reading the novels that my friends are writing calls out to me, and then, oh, yeah. . . back to Plato. Focus, Jenna, focus.

I would like to try that new recipe for Thin Mint Cupcakes I saw on Real Mom Kitchen yesterday. And I would like to plant my traditional red geraniums in the bright blue ceramic pot on the front porch. I would like to do some yoga practice (well, I'd like to be done doing my yoga practice), and I'd like to make Gratitude Kits for my family and the families of each of my siblings. Just for fun. I would like to work on the key change (on the piano) in Josh Groban's You Raise Me Up, and figure out how Billy Joel's hands can possibly stretch far enough to play the chords in Piano Man, and still play them at the tempo necessary to properly rock out. I would like to write a chapter in my book.

And then there's the list of things I should do, like clean the bathrooms, wash the blinds, clean the oven, write in all the kids' journals, organize the digital photos. But I'll let you in on a little secret about me. I have a very hard time doing things that I should do, when there are so many other more interesting things that I want to do. So, if given the chance, I'll usually pull a book off the shelf or try a new recipe long before I scrub a toilet. Guilty.

I must discipline my mind! I am not surrounded by good examples of this, so it's extra easy to let things go. I am motivated by the way that I feel when I am successful at self-discipline, and I have to recall that feeling and let it nudge me onward, forward, back into the books. The ones I am supposed to be reading.

By the way, Plato's Republic is nothing like I thought it would be. It's actually quite interesting, and not as difficult to digest as I'd feared, coming off of Aeschylus. In fact, I think Plato was a visionary.

Now, back to figuring out moles. (And not the little brown ones, either!)


Hannah said...

I'm exhausted just reading about all that you want to do Jenna. I don't think I got the same genes in this case. There's so much that I have to do but I'd rather just sit outside and watch the garden grow.

Oh and hey, what's the gratitude kit?

Heidi said...

We could be twins. BTW, making a date to write a chapter of a book works really well. I wrote a whole book that way (and it's published) and now I am writing the sequel that way. So, every Tuesday I give myself permission not to clean the toilet, make the bed, shower, shop or make dinner (or anything else that can wait) and I write from about 9:30 to 6 with a break for lunch and picking the kids up from school. It really works! (of course the kids and hubby need to cooperate--that's essential)

Jenna said...

Hannah, are you kidding me? You make my head spin with all that you accomplish! You have so many talents and varied interests too!

The Gratitude Kit is an idea I saw in Family Fun a while back. It's a Thank You card kit, basically, with notecards, stickers, pens, and markers, stamps, fun stuff all in a 3 ring binder. I thought it was cute and that I wanted to do it for everyone's family for Christmas or something. Having gracious children is so refreshing these days, and I thought the kit was a cute way to encourage gratitude for kind things others do for us. So don't make one!

Luisa Perkins said...

Um, did I write this? It sure sounds familiar.

I have half an email drafted to you on this very subject.

C can play Piano Man as you describe. Of course, his hands are the size of hub caps.

Josi said...

If only we could buy extra time in a day, right? I'm impressed with how many great things you WANT to do. Too often the wants for me are entirely frivolous.

Misty said...

ok... i want to try that recipe too. her blog is fabulous!

I want a space so fullfilling. I had one in my old house, but this house and I just don't get along like that. I think it's the lack of color on the walls...

Rachel Sue said...

I don't have homework, but I so know how you feel. My house is disaster, pretty much every room needs to be cleaned. But here I sit, blogging. And you know, I don't feel to guilty about it. I really should. But, I don't.

Julie Wright said...

YOu are amazing with all you want to accomplish. I love it.