Monday, June 6, 2011

Not Done Yet

Every day I think, TODAY is the day that I'll be done with this house-salvaging project, or at least done for now, done enough to have a realtor walk through the place and size up the situation, done enough to put the project on hold for a bit so I can turn to all the work that has piled up since I took this on. But every day I still feel so far away from completion.

I now have such a hatred for STUFF that I can well see Jesus' point when he told the rich young man that the only way to the kingdom of heaven is to get rid of all our stuff for good. And yet stuff that I haven't seen for years, once I've seen it, exerts its claims on me: a darling doll's tea set, a ceramic bear Gregory made in third grade, a patchwork quilt top for a quilt I never finished, marching band videos even though we no longer have a video player. How do you get rid of these things? But if you don't, how can you live crushed under their cumulative weight?

Well, I now do think that TOMORROW will be the day I'll be done. The realtor is actually coming at 6 p.m. whether I'm done or not. And then I'll have four days before I leave to teach children's book writing for a week in Utah. In those days I have to: read the manuscripts submitted by my students, decide what to teach my students, read a colleague's book-length manuscript, write a promised article for an edited collection on children's literature and philosophy (due next week), organize the talk I have to give on fairy tale retellings to the Broomfield Public Library on Friday, and work through the edited manuscript for Third Grade Reading Queen. Oh, and go on an outing to the Denver Art Museum with Rowan and Gretchen. And have a celebratory lunch at the teahouse with two favorite grad students.

So tomorrow the house project HAS to be done or, done-or-not, abandoned. And heck, I can read manuscripts on the plane. If my colleague has to wait another week for his comments, so be it. If my paper is late, I bet I won't be the only contributor who will require nagging. The fairy tale talk is just a version-for-kids of the talk I already gave to the university libraries last fall. The edited manuscript should only take two or three hours. And the museum outing and lunch are well-deserved treats.

So I'm not done yet. But tomorrow I will be, one way or another.


  1. I love your enthusiasm and determination, Claudia. And, if we ever sell the house we've been living in since 1978, I will have your experience to hold before me as a model for how to get the job done. Good luck with the realtor and have a good time in Utah.

  2. You continue to amaze me with how much you do and still manage to be such a prolific writer. Thinking of you, dearest Claudia, in this time of letting go.