Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Plan for Hard Times

I'm having a hard time. Make that, a very hard time. I'm overwhelmed with pain and worry about various things in my personal life, wondering how I can get up in the morning and face all that I have to face: a full-time job on top of a writing career that means so much to me, and then all the demands of these new Herculean challenges.

This means that I need a plan, a tough times plan. Luckily, plans are my specialty! I woke up this morning and made this one, and I think it's one of my best:

Here it is:
Use my hard time as an excuse not to do things I already didn't want to do; don't allow it to be an excuse not to do the things I do want to do.

So: say no to things that would have been Loathsome Tasks, anyway. I am having a hard time! I don't need to make my life even harder. So: no to serving on committees that are pointless and boring, no to being endlessly responsive to every student request to meet with me at exceedingly inconvenient times, no to volunteering to take on thankless jobs that nobody else seems to be willing to do.

But still take walks with Rowan, still watch tape-recorded episodes of "The Colbert Report" with Diane, still read Anne Tyler's new book, Noah's Compass, still write my poem on Thursday to send to Clara, still blog, still eat Hershey cherry cordial kisses. I am having a hard time! I need to give myself all reasonable comforts and treats.

Sounds like a plan to me.


  1. Dear C: I'm sending a big atmospheric balloon of love and hugs your way, to rain down upon you. I hope that it will scatter a cloud or two from your sky. xoxo

  2. Claudia, this is an awesome plan. Last year I was going through a tough time, and I made a similar plan. The amazing thing is that now that my tough time has passed, and life is less chaotic, I have stuck to that plan! So all those things I learned to say no to last year, I'm still saying no to now. It's amazing how much more time time I have in my life for the things I really want to do. I hope your tough time passes soon, and that your plan sticks around forever! Life is too short and too precious.

  3. This is a great plan. And you have all my sympathy for the Herculean challenges you're facing right now. Some more hugs from me.

  4. Hugs from us too! Sending you lots of good energy to weather the storms... may they pass quickly. Until then, treat yourself well. How does breakfast over spring break sound?