Posted by: Elizabeth Anne Mitchell | August 11, 2013

Small discoveries and ROW80 check-in

In this check-in, I will only update the goals I met.  It is short and sweet, but I would appreciate your thoughts on my morning pages discovery.

One hour writing the academic article du jour every day. My co-author and I have met three times in the past three weeks. The first draft is growing slowly but steadily.

Morning Pages three times a week.  Yes, with somewhat surprising results. The majority of my morning pages are about my natal family and my childhood. I realized how much of my physical and mental strength was used to minimize the impact of the odd family into which I was born. I am finding myself drawn more and more to writing a memoir. Although Tolstoy’s quotation, “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” (Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina) is very true, I feel that exorcising some of my demons will help me, even if it does not help anyone else in that situation.

One hour three times a week going through electronic files–rename, delete, archive. I have been attacking my work email this past week–it is ridiculous how much mail I get!  I have been relying on search capability for far too long, so it is now on my list.

Walk 10 minutes a day. Yes–for next week this goal will go up to 20 minutes a day. Yay!

Family day, no working and time with family, one day per week.  Yesterday was a campus visit, with some wandering about the small town surrounding the college.  It was a pleasant drive, a pleasant visit and altogether a very nice time.

As always, please visit and encourage other ROWers.  I find Gene Lempp’s  statement very true: “Make sure to get out and support your fellow ROWers–it may be the best visit many of us get this week.”  You will find the blog hop here.

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Responses

  1. The old saying of “what doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger” is actually only 1/2 true. Because in the long run, both happen and both faster for the challenges one faces. And yes, you should write the memoir, even if you and only a few close friends read it or if you publish it… Getting it out often helps.

    And sometimes, it makes you smile more than you expect.

    • Thanks, Eden. I know there will be smiles as well as tears. I’m hoping to untangle each from the other in hopes of assessing each fully, as well as getting at some of what makes me tick.

  2. I agree with Eden – write the memoir, even if it’s just for your own sake in the first instance, and then you can work out what to do with it after. Nice work on reaching so many goals this week, and good luck for the coming one! 🙂

    • Thanks, Emily. It may well stop just with me, or it may work itself into a nerdy, neurotic character. 🙂 No matter, I’m looking forward to exploring the crannies.

  3. That opening sentence from Tolstoy is one that continues to shape our family. I’ll add my vote to writing that memoir for the whole process may help you see different aspects of your experience for that certain time and place. I too am slowly beginning to think about writing not a memoir, but a sort of family history that would combine traditional family history with photos and poems.

    I too am struggling with electronic clutter and though I haven’t set a specific goal, yours of working on this for several hours each week will help me as well. One problem I have with e-mail is those e-mails just keep coming!

    • They do keep showing up, don’t they, Beth? I am finding it freeing to declutter, almost amazingly so.
      As for the family, I’ve come to understand so much about the tensions and struggles as I’ve gotten older, but never looked at what resonances are still reverberating in my head.


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