Sunday, April 14, 2013

Done! - So now what?

Yesterday was the grand finale of the second of the two symposiums I was in charge of this past week at the Prindle Institute for Ethics: 1) "Cool Talk about a Hot Topic: The Ethics of Communicating about Climate Change"; and 2) our 6th annual Undergraduate Ethics Symposium.  Both went extremely well, I'd say, all things considered. More important, both are now DONE. I was reminded of a favorite line uttered during finals weeks at Wellesley: "All's well that ends."

For weeks I've been (foolishly) putting the rest of my life on hold to prioritize fretting and moaning and yearning for the meadowlike expanse of time that was to open up in front of me when both symposiums were over and done with. "Oh, how lovely it will be to do all that work I've been postponing!" I'd tell myself. "Oh, how glad I'll be to able to throw myself back into writing again."

So now it's time for me actually to do the things I've been telling myself that I'm yearning to do. And of course, there was some real danger that I wouldn't come through. The existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre reminds us that however eagerly we make some future appointment with ourselves, there is always a real chance that we won't show up.

I knew that today was crucial. And I knew that I didn't want to spend today doing small postponed LTs (Loathsome Tasks), much as they need to be done. Today was the day to get up, make myself some hot chocolate, and write.

And I did.  It was wonderful. I read over eighty pages of my novel in progress and fell in love with my story again. This is my valentine-to-Indiana book, set right here in a town loosely based on Greencastle. It's different enough from my other books that I'm not sure any publisher is going to want to publish it, but I know that I want and need to write it. Ten minutes ago I finished writing two new pages. My plan is to have a draft of the novel done by the time I leave Indiana in June. That is goal number one for the next two months. Goal number two is just to love Indiana as much and as hard as I can.

So, Jean-Paul Sartre, today I DID show up for my appointment with myself. And how grateful I am that I did.

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