I have two timelines posted on my computer, one that shows how many days until San Diego State Graduation next spring, (for those counting with me it is 327 days). The second is a countdown of summer, which upon my estimation of going back a little early to get things done, I have about 60 days. Why put these counters on my laptop you ask, because days matter. How we spend our days, our minutes matter. I have gotten in this habit of creating list after list, color coded even to try to rein in all I want and need to do. I finally figured out that the process of listmaking is important in some respects, so I can have that sense of accomplishment when I finished something. But in reality, it is simply a way of avoiding those very things I need to do.
But this countdown calendar thing? Well, that is helpful. My writing partners refuse to look at it, it stresses them out and they feel that it is way too soon to begin the graduation countdown. But for me, it is a constant reminder we have limited time. It serves as a beacon that I will actually finish this doctorate, and that if I don’t make the best use of each day then I am going to struggle to get there.
My calendar is pretty planned out for someone who is on the first official day of summer break. But the first thing I did was put in all the travel we are doing this summer, some for work and some for family time. Then the rest of the days were blocked out to write and to plan for fall. Every. Damn. Day. Why? Because that is what it’s going to take to get this done. And writing includes blogging here, because this is where my writer’s voice began to grow louder, and so it brings me the confidence to ramble on here awhile. And if I calendar blocks of prime daytime to write, my summer nights can be mine, and that is such a break from the school year where you work all day and struggle to write when tired at night.
So today I got up, went to the gym, set a timer to get some house chores done and sat down to finally write. I cleaned out the office one more time from the end of the school year dump and created the space I can lock myself away and feel like a writer. This showed up on my Facebook feed this morning from a student a few years ago. If that doesn’t inspire, I don’t know what does. Happy Monday writers and artists.