Monday, August 17, 2009

My Obsession With The Best Laid Plans

Okay, I admit it. I'm an organizer. A list maker. A compulsive goal setter. A person who always reflects on the day with thoughts about "what was accomplished." If a goal hasn't at least been attempted I somehow feel I've missed the mark.

Yesterday, moving a day bed to my sister's was our sole accomplishment. Other goals and projects went by the wayside. And it's been that way since my last post. For a person so focused, it's been a disappointment. Sweetie takes this more in stride than I do. I joke that he's perfected the art of sitting in place. He's not lazy; just relaxed and comfortable with what he manages to do each day. I'm thankful for that because his health is so precarious. I, on the other hand, still struggle with accepting my limitations. I see what needs to be done - and despite the fact that it always gets done - I still get concerned when plans are waylayed.

Between the two of us, we get a burst of energy and dive into a project. Maybe it goes along for a few days, and maybe not. In our latest effort we've been sidelined by unbearable humidity and high temps which has affected Sweetie's breathing and my arthritis. I dread humidity more than cold because it brings on swelling and pain. Give me a minus 20 degree day and I feel great. Weird, I know.

At the most basic level I am thankful. I know we've accomplished a lot. If this aging body functioned with fewer awkward movements, stumbles, falls and memory slips on any day, it's been a good day. If Sweetie and I are happy, smiled, laughed and had good thoughts of one another, family and friends, it's a good day. Gee, if we've still got a roof over our heads and food in our tummies and know one another, it's a good day!

But, still, I struggle with this overwhelming need to "accomplish."

And then, while I'm spouting off to Sweetie about my struggle with this, he says, "Well, consider this: to most people, we look like we haven't done enough!" Then he gives me a wink and a smile and he's put my whole obsession in perspective!

Why would "most people" think we've accomplished anything? Neither of us trudge off to work dressed in the appropriate attire to participate in the culture that stresses getting along, teamwork, customer service, sales goals, and a few other expectations that are basically bull, in my opinion. We don't live in the big house on the lake with a manicured lawn and the latest model truck or SUV parked in the drive. We don't dine at the best places or have our names listed as contributors to certain local charities. We don't mingle with the local movers and shakers at boring dinners, parties or golf outings. And we certainly don't have the bank account balance!

In other words, we're not part of the desperate pack who's focus is image, accumulation, belonging and rank on the ladder.

Have you ever noticed how insecure people are if they believe/perceive their turf is threatened? Have you ever met someone after a long absence and noticed how uncomprehending they are of your life, compared to theirs? Has anyone ever expressed concern or questioned your sanity? Has anyone who's supposedly "made it" questioned how you could be happy or content "with nothing" as one of my high school classmates recently said?

It's a pity isn't it?

So, I guess I'll remind myself of these things the next time I get my panties in a wringer over "what's been accomplished!"


molly said...

Lordy I could soooo relate to your first 2 paragraphs LOL!

Anonymous said...

Treesong, when I bought my place 30 years ago, my daddy gave me one piece of advice..."You never get done, you just quit." That has been my mantra, but sometimes it is still hard dealing with the guilt when my back aches and I just quit for the day. Part of the problem is because of living among the Amish and their places are so spic and span, of course, there are a bazillion of them living in the house too. Don't be so hard on yourself.
Sharon at the Meadowhouse

treesong said...

Molly and Sharon, thanks for stopping by. After reading Sharon's comment I was reminded of the fact that I'm the oldest of four children and the one who, for six years, did live in the maid's room on the third floor. My parents had bought and restored a mining captain's house. I was cheif cook, bottle washer, launderer, vacuumer and all around slave. The others got to play and take off with friends. Not too many good memories of my childhood however, I am the only one who learned how to sew, iron, cook from scratch, can food and garden well. So I guess there was a blessing in all the rigor.

Have a great day. I'm off to pick more blueberries. Treesong