Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Seeking suggestions

It's nearing the end of the year, a time when my thoughts turn to goals. I will be discussing my work-related goals with my boss soon, so those are beginning to take shape. I have some professional goals that are fairly well defined as well, though they could use a little more work to make them more specific and measurable. I am developing a goal for personal growth in the area of relationships that I will ask some people for help shaping and actually working on it. A few weeks ago, I got serious about setting some financial goals, and while those still need some more concrete definition, I'm good to go in that area as well.

There is another area where I'm planning to set some goals, but beyond a couple of things that I've already been doing to some extent, I'm not really at all sure how to proceed with it. I want to set some goals for writing. I'm not talking about dissertation writing, though that is a part of my professional goals and will have an effect on any additional writing goals I set. I am currently striving to write at least 30 minutes per day on the dissertation. Like it is any time I develop a new habit, it's hit or miss with that, but I know what to do and just need to do it. After the first of the year, I will need to start setting aside larger blocks of time to write on it so that I can make some serious progress. That will limit my available time for other writing, but I need to focus some on other writing to keep my soul alive. Getting the dissertation done is, in part at least, something I feel I have to do in order to get to some of the other things I want to do.

But, the truth is, I'm a novice when it comes to the whole writing thing. I want to believe that there is more for me than writing the occasional moving blog post. I want to step out a bit and develop more as a writer, but I have no idea what to do. I was a chemistry major in college. I had a composition class that was very good, but it focused on the mechanics of writing, and didn't cover anything in the way of how to develop as a writer. So, I feel a little lost. Here's what I plan to do: go back to the project I started last year and later abandoned--writing for 15 minutes a day about something I observe during the day; journal every day.

What suggestions do you all have of things I can add to this plan?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Things that make me happy two days before Thanksgiving

  • Seeing a bald eagle fly over the river and land in a tree along the path where I ran this morning
  • A chance to cuddle with my sweet cat who would NOT let me journal this morning
  • Discovering that I had to go TWO sizes smaller, instead of the one I expected, with the new jeans I bought today
  • Cold meatloaf sandwich and sweet potatoes, leftovers from dinner last night with good friends
  • Dinner tonight with the group from church that I went through the new members class with (we've added a few others since then too) where I will get to hold a baby, chase a toddler or two, try to get a very shy four-year-old to talk to me, and enjoy the company of good friends
  • Life in a place where I can know and be known, love and be loved

I'm off to my mom's tomorrow. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Upon coming home

I'm home. I drove around 1900 miles the past four or five days. To put that in perspective, I did some calculating this evening. For that amount of driving I could have gone to see Jo(e), with a detour to see Yankee T, AND made it almost half the way home. Or I could have gone to see Julie.

My back hurts from sitting for so long.

I had entirely too much time to myself....way too much time to be inside my own head. It's scary in there!

How do you know if a cat is glad to see you come home? I can't tell. With dogs it's easy. I went over to some friends' house tonight. Their dog put her front paws in my lap and looked at me adoringly, made me promise I'd never leave again, and assured me that she is mistreated by her humans. Of course, if I'd been there this morning and left to return this evening, she'd have looked at me the same way. So, who knows?

Tomorrow I run twelve miles. Who wants to take bets on whether or not I make it?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Another first

It's gay week in my world, I guess. Today I talked about care in the coming out process with the introductory pastoral care class at the seminary. I was nervous about doing it, because, well, it's the first time I've done that. It's also the first time in a long time that I've taught anything in my field, so naturally I worried about it far more than I should have and probably increased the anxiety level of a few others in the process, and while I regret that a little, I doubt I could have gotten through this the first time without that level of anxiety.

Now, I'm off on a trip for awhile and the crisis of the evening is figuring out what to do about a cat sitter, since the one I had lined can't do it. Aargh!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Movie and panel

The movie "For the Bible Tells Me So" is showing at a local independent theater. At the first showing today, the theater was full. It is a well done documentary. The stories of the families featured in the film are compelling not so much in their uniqueness, but more in their ordinariness. The film does an excellent job of showing the difficult struggle gay and lesbian people and their families have in coming to grips with the Christianity's failure to embrace their gay and lesbian members. If it comes to your area, I urge you to see it. I plan to buy a copy to share with my mom.

After the first showing, the local LGBT center hosted a panel discussion, of which I was a member. Though I didn't really think about it until later this evening, this is the first time I've told my story in a public setting. I'm pleased with how things went, and amazed at the crowd that came out on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon to watch the movie and listen to the discussion. This really is a great place to live, not perfect, but definitely the right place for me.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Today, I ....

  • Slept a lot
  • Wrote a little
  • Had lunch with a friend
  • Hiked in the woods
  • Sat by a pond to pray
  • Watched a large, dead limb fall from high up in a tree and splash into the pond
  • Checked the branches overhead to be sure there weren't any dead ones ready to fall
  • Slept a little more
  • Ate a cinnamon roll with a heavenly maple frosting
  • Punched the lights out on Slam Man
  • Watched a movie with friends
  • Stayed away from the computer
  • Stared at the cat who was staring at the wall

It's been a good day!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Coming up for air

I'm alive and kickin'! Just busy....
  • Traveling...for work
  • Not saying "no" to opportunities at church
  • Preparing to be on a panel in between showings of this film at the local independent theater this weekend
  • Preparing a lecture for the pastoral care class at the seminary next week
  • Running
  • Spending Saturdays at the farm (well, the last three weeks, anyway)
Hope you're well.