“I’ve Got a Lot of Work to Do”

So says Trip Tucker, from Star Trek: Enterprise.

I can relate.

Everything I want to get done is all bunched up together. It’s been that way for me for months now – first it was my seemingly ever-increasing role in Jim’s nascent hot-sauce business while attempting, at the same time, to move my own writing career to the next logical level. Then it was Jim’s illness, and attempting to care for him as his condition deteriorated while at the same time preparing the kids and I for a life without him.

Time bunches together; it seems nearly impossible that the entire process of dying was encompassed in a day less than two months – leaving my head spinning, with a bunch of what I’d intended to accomplish still left undone as those last weeks brought a rapid, crashing decline that began with the literal crash of Jim’s body hitting the dining room floor when he could no longer reliably locomote.

And then he was gone – and it was like the bunches of undone tasks were breeding like tribbles – a new litter every few hours, and no concerns whatever for things like inbreeding…

I feel like I’ve been scrambling for a long time, trying to find the right blend that lets me address all the things left undone when Jim died – like that life insurance policy I never found, so had to do an end run by finding the withdrawal on our bank statement and going from there – and those things that move our family life, each of the kids’ growth, and my own professional and personal development further…

I’m still scrambling.

But the life insurance claim has finally been submitted, two and a half months after Jim’s death. Last night, I filed our income taxes. I’ve helped the kids connect with their far-flung friends, and there are more plans. As spring blooms, I’m cleaning, decluttering, and planning for some desperately needed home improvements. Jim was going to do these – but that didn’t happen, so I need new plans.

Planning my goals for the next quarter is among the bunch of things I still want to finish before a new month dawns at midnight (not literally – literal dawn will take another few hours).

And when that dawn comes…

I’ll be embarking on two new writing challenges, and the first of four months of intensive writing pursuits:

I’m far less prepared for this than I normally an. For my April project, I’m working on finishing a novel I began last April. I’m not quite halfway in rereading, as I type this, and I haven’t even glanced at my outline. I’m hoping to do both before midnight – but I have to accept that I might have to choose between winging it, or waiting to start writing till I’ve caught up…

I only have a rough idea where I want the A-Z posts to go, when I prefer to write them ahead of time, revise, and schedule all before April starts.

And, in the midst of all this, I still have two major and one minor writing course I’m in the middle of…


It’s a bunch.

It could be stressful if I chose to be stressed.

Instead, I’m trying for a different approach. Rather than trying to force myself to do everything perfectly and to completion, I’m going to see it as more experimental. Can I begin from where I am, and move forward without indulging in insane amounts of stress? Can I focus on growth, passion, and the joy of creation? Can I find the balance point between all the many aspects of a transitioning life, and ride it like a wave, or will I end up choking on a bunch of sea foam?

Only time will tell….

This bunch of words is my entry for Stream of Consciousness Saturday, where this week’s prompt is “bun,” used however we wish. Wade in yourself – the water’s fine!


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