Posts Tagged ‘accomplishment’

Get ‘Er Done

August 25, 2015

Good god damn, I’m good.

Or I’m on fire.

Or I’m just hella fast at typing.

Perhaps a little of all of the above.

I just finished my third of four papers that need to be done before I head out to that thing in the desert.

I wrote a ten page, 3,226 page document in, wait for it, 2.25 hours.

How do I know it was that fast?

The professor asked that we e-mail her an empty message at some point after the retreat ended so that she had our e-mail address in her address book.

I did e-maile her this evening.

I got a response to said e-mail while I was writing the reaction paper and when I sent off my paper it was approximately two hours and fifteen minutes later according to the time date stamp on the first e-mail message she sent.

The paper just flew out of my fingers, in fact, I was about to become one of those people whom she had warned about, the person who has so much to say that they write more than the required amount.

There was a firm limit of ten pages on the paper and I wrote ten.

I could have written more.

There was so much ground to cover that I only got to a few things, the things most important to me, the things that I learned the most from, the conflict wherein i had the most difficulties navigating and all the lessons therein.

I learned a lot.

In the group, not so much in the paper, writing the paper just allowed me to flesh it out, to put the words to the feelings, to tell the story of my experience.

I don’t doubt that every single person in my group has a story to tell and a riveting experience of learning.

Or not.

Maybe I was the only one, though I am self-centered, I am not that self-centered.

I learned a lot because I put myself out there a lot, I was in the hot seat a lot, I initiated and I got into the mix.

It wasn’t always what I thought and I wasn’t always graceful, I fell on my face a lot, I made a lot of assumptions–you know those things that make an “ass” out of “u” and “me.”  Man, did I make a lot of those and I had no idea that I was making them until my fellow group members started pointing them out.

I made mistakes, but I learned from them.

I fell down, but I got back up and I got back in the dance and it was with much gratitude that I wrote the paper.

I feel really good about getting it done as well as it is one less thing on my plate before I go to Burning Man.

I am really excited.

The count down is beginning.

My bins are pretty much packed, I’m getting picked up early Thursday morning, 7 a.m. or 7:30 a.m.

Hell I would be wiling to get picked up earlier than that, I am ready to get out of dodge.

I do have one last paper to write and I will do that tomorrow.

I almost attempted to sneak it in tonight, but my head is no longer in that space and I would need to readjust my brain to get into another paper.

I’m not worried about it either, it’s a short guy and will clock in at two pages, max three.

It’s actually a two-part paper, the first part is 1-2 pages in length, the second is a proposal and is no more than one page in length.  So, en toto, three pages.

I can have that done in less than an hour and while it would have felt great to get another one knocked off, my juice for the paper writing is not there and I wanted to have a little candy left over for my blog.

Speaking of blog I am having serious considerations of not bringing my laptop to the event.

This would be the first time in many, many, many years, that I would not bring it out.

First, I am uncertain that I want to risk it being out there, I just bought this baby, my Macbook Air, and I want to have it for the entirety of my graduate school career.  I have no idea what the dust could do to it, but I know that it can frizzle electronics pretty bad.

Second, I may not have internet access.

I have worked the last six years in areas where I was able to get onto the internet via those I was working for.

I told myself yesterday that I would not take my laptop.

I told myself today that I would.

I am in a quandary.

Then I think, maybe I need to have a different experience, maybe the blog needs a break, I mean, maybe I need a break from the blog, really unplug myself and go out there and experience the magic sans internet and facecrack and social media.

I mean really get off the grid and be in the moment.

I don’t know yet, but I suspect my heart does and I may allow myself to put down this sweet baby to allow myself a new and different adventure at Burning Man.

I realized too that I am better prepared than I have been in, well, ever.

Despite having a posh ass place to stay the last two years, I really felt so compelled to work and make things happen that I did not allow myself a lot of leeway with what I brought and what I bought.

Plus, I have accumulated the stuffs now, I have the things that I are nice to have, but not necessary to the experience, but still really nice to have–a shoulder harness, a utility belt, a furry blanket (I need to bring a pillow and I am wondering if I will sacrifice one of my bed pillows to the cause), lots of socks–I mean lots, I have more socks than there are days on playa, but it’s always nice to have extra socks and if I decide I need an outfit change I will have the matching stripes, polka dots, hearts, flowers, argyle, checks, or solids, to do the outfit due justice.

And most important.

My tea kettle and favorite tea are packed as well as two bags of really good coffee.

I’m ready.

I’m almost done with the paper writing and having knocked the big gun out-of-the-way tonight I feel I can breathe a little easier and enjoy the rest of the time here in Glen Ellen with the family.


Burning Man.

I’m coming for you.

I’m ready to get dusty.

A Sense Of Accomplishment

August 20, 2015

I did it.

I wrote my first paper stemming from the classes at the retreat I was at for my graduate school program–the ICPW Intensive program at CIIS last week.

I wrote my first graduate school paper!

I sited lectures, articles, and excerpts from the text-book.

I interweaved experience from the class and my own personal histories.

My first paper is done!

Not just a sense of accomplishment, but fuck, a sense of relief too.

The damn thing is due the 23rd of this month, today is the 19th, and as I looked over the various syllabi for my courses, I realized two things, first that I did not want at all to write this particular paper and second, fuck me, it was the first one that was due.

Due before I leave for Burning Man, which is basically in a week.

Due like really fucking soon, and I did not want to write it, it was the most challenging of the papers I felt.  The paper that I thought was going to be the hardest, the one that freaked me out the most when I was given the parameters to be held to and what I had to discuss therein.

The feeling of relief is huge and also that I did do it, and that it did not take me as long as I thought it would.

Six pages.

1,864 words.

I write that every day.

Granted, not in the format I used and when I went back and re-read it out loud after I had finished spell checking it, I was pretty impressed if I do say so myself.

It reads like graduate school work.

There’s some smart stuff in there.

Of course, I may get back a poor grade and change my mind, but I believe I wrote a really thoughtful, cohesive, intelligent paper.

And now I have three left to go before I hit the dust.

My aim is to have all the papers I need to have written before I go to Burning Man.

It’s a tall order, but if experience plays out the way it has tonight, I can extrapolate forward that I will be able to get them all in.

I have to write, like have no option not to, it’s due the 26th, one other paper before I go out to the playa on the 27th.

That paper is probably the second hardest to write and I will attack it tomorrow.

I am also pleased that I resisted the impulse to willy nilly send out my paper to my Human Development professor tonight.



Go back and re-edit, make sure it makes sense, that it reads well, that I don’t have any glaring, silly mistakes or misquotes.  I don’t want to send it off just to have it sent off and out of my head.  So tomorrow, I will take another look at it with fresh eyes, probably in the late morning or early afternoon on my break and if it stands, I will then send it out into the ether.

I have found a little routine that is helpful with my pattern of working with the family.

Up two hours before I need to start with the boys, read, pray, write, eat breakfast, check some e-mails, make my bed, dress, put on my face, gather myself and then off into the wild wooly world of the three-year old and the five-year old.

Today was a day of much imagination and love and I felt really blessed to get to work with them, which so often was playing with them or sometimes sitting with them and talking about what they are seeing.

One of the things we did today that just made my heart sing, was sitting on the front patio overlooking the valley and watching the birds fly by.

Both boys had pretend cameras–some sort of peg board for an old-fashioned lawn game–that they used to capture the birds as they flew across our line of sight.

A bird would fly by, they would take a photograph of it and I would tell them what kind of bird it was–vulture, red tail hawk, humming-bird, nut hatch, raven, gold finch, blue jay–and then the oldest would tell me a story about the bird and where it was going.

Who needs to watch videos?

Then lunch–homemade quesadillas with jack and cheddar cheese and the leftover bacon from breakfast, fresh avocado, carrot sticks with humus, grapes, and milk.  Afterwards the boys went for a hike with their parents and the dog and I prepped for dinner–spaghetti and meatballs, pan roasted vegetables, tossed salad, with hand-picked tomatoes from the garden–and I finished my own lunch and made some tea and then got on the phone with a few folks.

It’s been a little challenging, not being in my home, being isolated, but I have tried to keep up the good fight and keep my sense of humor and grace.

It was a little wanting this afternoon and I found myself slipping into fear about money, school, making ends meet, would my job have enough hours for me, would I have to look for more work before going to Burning Man?

I felt overwhelmed, sad, and afraid.

I started making phone calls.

Then I prayed.

Then I set a timer and I flipped through a reader which I have already read, to outline some ideas for a paper.

I took a phone call and realized that the best thing I could do was to sit.



Get the fuck into the present moment.

I set the timer on my phone for fifteen minutes and got right with God.

With my body, with my self.

I got back to the present and did the boys laundry.

And when they got back from the hike and eschewed a swim in the pool, we went for a walk to pick blackberries instead.

Despite the many pricks on my fingers and the stains on my pants, including a gnarly scratch I got from a bramble that bled like crazy for a few minutes, I had a blast with the boys.

“Put it in my mouth!” The three-year old demanded, pointing at the container of black berries.

I laughed.

I popped a fat blackberry in his purple stained mouth and watch his little eyes close in bliss.

“Me too!  Me too!” His older brother exhorted me.

I obliged.

“You guys, we’re not going to be able to make blackberry crumble if we eat them all!”

We ate them all anyway.


We found a huge patch that were not decimated by the deer and managed to collect enough to bring back to the house where the mom was waiting with swim suits and goggles, fins, and snorkels.

The boys striped into their birthday suits, hopped into their swim suits, and on into the pool.

While the family swam I organized the dinner and made the blackberry crumble.

I also made my own dinner and ate with the family, knowing, in the back of my mind that I had to do the deal.

I had to at least start on one of the papers.

And not the smallest or the easiest, or the one that I wanted to write the most.


Get the big bad one out-of-the-way.

And I did!

I still am a little in awe that I sat down and did it.

Demonstrating to me, once again, that the most important thing I can do is show up.

I sat down, I opened my books, I re-read my notes on the class and I dug in.

When I looked up it was only two and a half hours later.

I still have time to blog!


Life is good.

I know this is just the beginning, and I know that I can’t rest on my laurels.



It feels good to have this finished.

Sit down.

Show up.




Story of my life.

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