I’ve been feeling the call to write again. Although I’m too busy to write–aren’t we all?–I need to take some time every day to process some things in writing. The sporadic entries in my journal aren’t cutting it. So I’m back with a new look and hopefully some new insights.
We had an amazing trip to Torrey in August–one of our best vacations ever. Lots of good bonding time with the kids and each other (me and Sean that is). And we had some great hikes. One to Upper Calf Creek. I’ve decided that one day I want a vacation home in Boulder. Or if I can’t afford that, perhaps retire there.
Then we came back to the reality of school starting: Maggie going into 5th grade, Jake into 7th (junior high), Sean into his 2nd year of Nursing School, and Becky into her 11th year of teaching (and back to full-time in the English Department). My summer student has yet to take his final, though he has contacted me so I know he’s alive 🙂 I’ve had a fun Intro to Fiction class this fall and am looking forward to teaching American Lit again this spring. My community-based learning class is coming together; I’ve got several community partners interested in working with my technical writing students. Yay! But I’ll be teaching 5 days a week, so no more of my precious Thursdays at home. And I may not have many more this semester…next week is busy with meetings and appointments, then the following week is Thanksgiving. Perhaps I can retreat one more time on the 2nd?
Several things going on…monthly migraines, for which I’ve started taking daily Naproxen (hoping to stave off the next attack); some disillusionment with the UUCO (perhaps I’m just burned out on board, religious education, choir, social justice, and communications committee duties); lull in my 12-step work (though I did find a sponsor this summer)–still on that 4th step inventory; indecision about Thanksgiving (Portland? Kayenta? Torrey? Draper?).
As for the first thing (migraines), I’m a bit freaked out, because last month I had 2 and both occurred on the 4th day of my menstrual cycle. They were bad enough to lay me low. So I saw my internist last week. He suggested several preventatives: Naproxen, Magnesium (already taking it), Frova (have samples, but it’s really spendy to take preventatively especially if my cycle isn’t predictable), hormones (neither of us like that idea), and if none of these work…neurologist. Sigh. I knew there’d be no miracle cure. Less stress would probably help. October was a particularly crazy month with something every weekend: AA/Al-Anon Fall Fellowship, Mountain Desert District conference, Fall Break in Snow Canyon with the entire Gesteland clan–everyone but Sean :(– and Halloween, which in Utah means we celebrated on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Anyway, I’m optimistic that the Naproxen will help and that November will be good to my head.
As for the 2nd thing (UUCO), I’m feeling a bit dissatisfied with the spirituality of my church. I do enjoy singing with the choir, listening to the sermons, teaching the kids, and chatting with some of the folks who attend (especially Holly L). But the board responsibilities leave me empty. And the committee work feels less than fulfilling. Am I just burnt out? I hope so, but I have this sense that I’m discovering something I didn’t expect to find. Okay, this may sound weird to those who’ve known me for a while…I don’t understand why left-wingers need to be so extreme, why some UUs need to act so righteously, why we imagine that we can control things we can’t? I’ve had this growing awareness that UUs embody the qualities of many Al-Anon members: controlling, co-dependent, obsessed with other people’s business, hyper-critical of everyone else (not ourselves), intolerant of failure, resentful, continually disappointed, prone to feelings of guilt, and so on. That said, I’m not sure I can handle being around all of these people all of the time. Or am I meant to learn something from people who are like me–or at least like the old me? Do I have a choice about the religion I choose to become involved in? Did I come to UU as a default? Maybe I’m meant to be Buddhist instead? I’ll have to interrogate this one for a while.
Okay, on to the 3rd thing (4th step), this dovetails nicely with my work on the UU stuff. Just the other day, my sponsor reminded me that I can’t just jump ahead to making amends when I haven’t finished my moral inventory. Always looking for shortcuts, that’s me. Time to dig in and get back to that Blueprint for Progress. I believe I’m on “Guilt” 😉
Last, the 4th thing (Thanksgiving), doesn’t bother me as much as it could. A couple of years ago I’d need to know exactly what was happening and when. I may just wait and see what the weather does. How’s that for taking things one day at a time? Yes!