Monday, June 22, 2009

Conundra.

Today I was listening briefly to this story about sonnets on "On Point" (rebroadcast from April, National Poetry Month, also the cruelest month), and I made this list of things to do before my sabbatical is over:

1. write one sonnet a day until I go back to school.

Some other things on this list: write a poem a day (more generic); write every day (even more generic); make two films a week; read x book (this list is truly endless); clean up one part of my house so that it will be clutter and chaos proof for ever and eternity; meditate; find this one book I have frustratingly misplaced; start watching the NetFlix movies that have sat around in my house ENDlessly; ride my bike more. (This is not the end of the list--it's just all I can remember/think of/bear to remember.)

If I'm not careful, I could ruin the rest of the summer with this kind of productivity-driven thinking, which is exactly the kind of dunder-headed nonsensical self-defeating head game I have made a specialty of over the years. So, no: I will not be making any new self-improving projects (somebody HELP me). I am going to enjoy myself, dammit, and try to enjoy the same let's-see-where-this-takes-me kind of process that has been so entirely soul-renewing recently.

I remember certain summers when I basically made necklaces out of beads on fishline and tried to talk my kids into doing it with me, and scrounged change from the couch cushions so we could all go to the dollar movie. I'm pretty sure we ate a bunch of popsicles that summer, as well. (this may actually be a composite summer.)

Maybe for the remainder of this summer, I will (1) upgrade the quality of the popsicles (and wait until it actually gets warm enough for it to be pleasant to eat them), and (b) maybe I will read whatever the hell I feel like reading, and (c) maybe I will go see a romantic comedy or ten. And maybe I will write a few sonnets, as well, because it sounds fun to try. Although the villanelle I started today is spiteful and a brat.

But basically, I expect that when I go back to school, I will be my same old regular unimproved self. The main reason this is true is that there's not a chance in hell that I would actually accomplish all the stuff on that list. But there is a very good chance I could make myself feel bad about it.

(4) no more list-making or goal-setting.

Actually, and more realistically,

(e) I will try very hard to keep the goal-making and listing in check. And I will eat (6) some popsicles.



9 comments:

Counterintuitive said...

This has to be one of my all-time favorite hightouch posts.

This will be my new non-mantra like mantra:

"The main reason this is true is that there's not a chance in hell that I would actually accomplish all the stuff on that list. But there is a very good chance I could make myself feel bad about it."

And no worries here...

"But basically, I expect that when I go back to school, I will be my same old regular unimproved self."

because we will all be our old regular unimproved selves and we actually quite enjoy *your* old regular unimproved self.

Amelia said...

Exactly. We enjoy "original Lisa" who needs "new and improved Lisa, with added capacity to kick ass"? You are great just as you are.

Skankstas said...

That is exactly how I've been feeling lately. A month is already gone and what have I done?!? I need to take your advice. And besides, no matter how many Tupperwares I buy, I can never seem to achieve a house that is "clutter and chaos proof for ever and eternity"

Middlebrow said...

Dr. Write and I were having a discussion about productivity yesterday. "What happened to May?" "And June is almost gone?" "What have we done? What have we accomplished?"

Then Dr. Write proposed a radical idea, the kind of idea movements are founded on: "How about we just enjoy the summer?"

DiaNe said...

if you have popsicles, there's no way summer can go wrong.

gilian said...

amen to all of the above. and maybe sometime before you head back to school we could ride our bikes and eat a popsicle together?

Craig P said...

Not to add to your list, but I don't see "buy new Wilco album" on the list? Really, what happened to your priorities? BTW, I here it goes perfect with popsicles!

Dr. Write said...

Amen, etc. I will do away with lists but also try to write more, even though I don't, I can try.
Also, are we the same person?
Also, I like Popsicles.

lis said...

i believe making and consuming more popsicles is all you really need.

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