Posted by: Elizabeth Anne Mitchell | March 22, 2012

March 22 Check-in Looking Back and Forward

Round One of 2012 is over!  I have given some thought to the past 80 days.  Although I failed on some goals and did better on others than I thought I would, I’m more pleased than not at how things went.

Writing: I made a very small goal for this—250 words a day, due to the uproar I knew would occur in the rest of my life.  I accomplished about 65-75% on this test mile.  Some of it was ranting; a lot was thinking through life, work, my childhood; some was organizing, and clearing mental space.

Family: This Round was abundant in its problems with parents, parents-in-law, siblings, and children. As I look back, I am intrigued by how the problems brought my husband, my kids and me closer together.  This closeness escaped my parents and my siblings, where the problems we face served to drive us even further apart.

Friends: Some socializing with ROWers IRL has been great. I was sad to say goodbye to C. M. Cipriani  but glad I had the chance to see her before I left.  In upstate New York, I have been greeted warmly by Marcia Richards  and Kat Morrissey, and have already had IRL meetings with Eden Mabee  and Shan Jeniah .  No one is very nearby, which makes the warm greetings mean even more.

Exercise: I have been walking a lot more in the new neighborhood, which is a very walking-friendly part of town.  Hubby and I walked to a bakery for breakfast last Saturday for a round trip of about a mile, and we will often walk in the evenings, to the pharmacy last night (another mile round trip) for example, rather than jump in the car.  There are so many lovely state parks and hiking areas nearby we want to explore, so there will be more long walks in the future.

Day job: I’m still in the honeymoon, where people are so very happy I’m here, so it’s hard to say, but it looks promising.

What I have learned: Although I have known this before, the friends I have met through ROW80 are almost the most supportive people I know.  Your comments have celebrated with me, consoled me, and buoyed me up.  Thank you all. I haven’t been as good this Round at replying to your comments, returning visits,  and commenting on your blogs, but I want to do better next Round.

I was reminded how writing peers into the dark spaces, presses on the scars, calls the little girl out of her shell.  Much of what I have written in the past is so raw and painful still that I have had a hard time reading it again, and I remain unsure whether it can or should be brought into the light, or might better just go back into the drawer.  There is something to be said for exposing these feelings, but I have no magic answers.

I am more and more drawn to embodying my heroine, as Gene Lempp suggested to me.  I am playing with ideas, and plan to do more with that during the break.

Looking to Round 2: I want to resurrect the blog, which will entail some editing of earlier blog posts and working on redesigning the paid site.  I need to think through my future professional writing as well as the dissertation, and to figure out the place, space, and scope of the creative writing.  Not much, eh?

If you’re not familiar with ROW80, consider joining us in the next Round, which starts April 2nd.  Details are here.

If you are familiar, go check out how everyone did this Round here.

 

 

 

 

 

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Responses

  1. Elizabeth, sorry I’ve been late to your blog, but I’m glad you have made progress in this round. I agree that Rowers are amazing and the most supportive bunch on the planet 🙂
    Keep it up and see you in round 2!

  2. Elizabeth –

    I have been doing and feeling a lot of the same things…I will just be doing the quick rundown, today, because I need more time to absorb the magnitude of this experience,,,

    I am so happy to have met you – that two hours was renewing, and I went home a sweeter person than I was when I left.

    Albany isn’t so far, for us. If you don’t mind young (and not particularly tidy or quiet, but absolutely interesting!) people around, we go to the State Museum fairly often, and there could be walking and chatting as Miah and Lise explore).

    I feel you did an amazing job of balancing your writing with all those other, messier, totally unpredictable aspects of life.

    And, from personal experience would suggest that there are good reasons why troubled times brought you closer to some people, and drove you further from others…..

    I am so looking forward to reading your Round 2 updates, and getting peeks into that mysterious world that includes things like dissertations (it’s not a world I feel I could be comfortable in, myself, but I enjoy observing it from a safe distance).

    If the only good that came from this round was meeting you, and reading your words, it would have been worth it. =)

    • Shan, I had a great time, too. I tend to hibernate in a cave too much, so coming out to meet you, and Eden earlier that week, is very beneficial for me. I’d love to go to the State Museum,and I certainly don’t mind young people!

      Your last comment touched me. I sometimes feel that I pour out too raw and unrefined things,so I’m glad you found them interesting. I’ll try to make the dusty world of academia as interesting 😉

      Have a great break, and I look forward to seeing you IRL and in the next Round.

  3. Good to see that you recognize both the shortcomings and the successes. I think many of us ROW80’ers recognize that without this challenge, and community, we would have accomplished even less.

    • Thanks for dropping by, Mike. I agree, that finding this group has been very beneficial for me. Have a great week!

  4. Wow, Elizabeth! You’re close enough that we could…could, mind you…have a Writers’ Weekend once you get settled in your new home, new job, new routines. Just saying…. haha.

    Here’s to new beginnings! 🙂

    • Thank you for the good wishes, Nadja. I’d love a Writers’ Weekend! I’m putting on my thinking cap. Have a wonderful week.


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