Saturday, July 25, 2009

Nice Things and Accomplishments

When my boys were younger, they both had music lessons in Lafayette, two towns over from Boulder, where we live (piano for Christopher, saxophone for Gregory). At first I dreaded Wednesday afternoons, when I would drive both boys there and back and have to kill time waiting for the hour-long lessons to finish. Then I discovered Cannon Mine Coffee on Public Road in Lafayette, my favorite café.

From that point on, I spent a wonderful hour every Wednesday afternoon lying on the comfy couch there, sipping my tea (or a glass of wine!), and working on lists in the little notebook in which I organize my entire life.

I love to make lists. I will share some of my lists in this blog from time to time: lists of books I have read, ways to earn money, ways to save money, ways to reduce stress in life, writing goals, and more. The very best list is my monthly list called “Nice Things and Accomplishments.” On this list I write fairly major things I’ve done and fairly major nice things that have happened to me. If I don’t do this, I look at my life and wail, “I have ten thousand things to do, and I’m behind on all of them! It’s already almost August and what do I have to show for my year? Nothing! Nothing at all!” But then I look at my list, and wow – I did all that? I have all THAT to be grateful for?

This is what I have so far on my July list of nice things and accomplishments:

1) Gregory took his first college class, an introductory computer science class at CU. (I count nice things that happen to the boys, too.)
2) Makeovers by Marcia was shortlisted for a prize in France.
3) I got back reviewers’ comments on a scholarly paper I wrote on Eleanor Estes’s book The Witch Family. The paper wasn’t accepted but I was invited to revise and resubmit. That counts! It’s progress!
4) Gregory and his girlfriend, Sierra, redesigned my website.
5) I created this blog.
6) I taught the SCBWI workshop in Colorado Springs, “Write It Right.”
7) I gave a talk at the Kerlan Collection at the University of Minnesota.
8) I had a blissful time at the Betsy-Tacy Convention in Mankato.
9) My scholarly paper on Eleanor’s Estes’s The Moffats and The Alley, which I had revised and resubmitted for the Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, was accepted.
10) I heard four of the world’s great piano concertos, by Grieg, Rachmaninoff, Beethoven, and Mozart.

Wow! I say to myself, as I read over this list. And I thought I had done nothing. Wow! I say to myself. My life is much more productive and wonderful than I had realized.

I bet yours is, too.

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