Monday, October 6, 2008

Still working on pacing

Beloved members of my family (Michael and Shea) have the absolutely amazing ability to open a package or letter and leave the packaging sitting on the counter while they move on to the next thing. Apparently, the packaging becomes invisible in the joy of reading the letter or using the item in the package, because even with a garbage can directly underneath the counter, it can sit there undisturbed while other activities proceed. I’ve never actually been able to measure how long such items remain invisible, as my patience with the clutter is shorter than the time it takes the item to re-materialize. I was thinking about this ability to overlook excess items this weekend, as I overdid it again. An ability to overlook things might be just what I need to cultivate, along with my patience. I wasn’t too active, I just worked too hard on grading: there were both regular weekly papers and mid-term papers in front of me, and since they were there, I graded them all. Now I’m tired, and the week is only beginning.

The surgeon says it takes two to three months to recover from the assault to the system that brain surgery (or any major surgery, for that matter) represents, and between the wise counsel about pacing myself everyone is offering and my own intellectual understanding (though not, apparently, much beyond understanding the concept) surely I can make progress on this.

This must be related to enoughness, which if I could only get traction on the concept, likely would offer illumination. How much is enough, anyway? Do you have to think about it in advance, if you don’t have Shea’s ability to recognize it in real time? Apparently so for me, as I do not recognize it in real time. Back to the drawing board. My current idea is to set boundaries in advance and to talk about them, using the principle of commitment to help reinforce their actualization. Thus:

Today brings occupational therapy and my law class. And rest. Only.

The leaves are turning here and it’s beautiful. At the beginning of a week, I wish you balance and peace. Cheers.

1 comment:

  1. So it occurs to me, Tina, that your approach to this experience is the living embodiment of the ADULT LEARNING LOOP!! (Anyone who has had the great pleasure and benefit of taking a course from Tina, or like me, teaching one with her, knows what this animal is and how central it is to her pedagogical style--not to mention her life philosophy as far as I can tell.)

    You've captured it perfectly here, Tina. You undertake the task or tasks of the day, then look back at how your endeavors worked out, extract what went well and what not so much, and then make a concrete plan for how you will amend what you do next time to account for what you've learned! Viola!--the adult learning loop.