Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The Week of Fixing Everything

Here's my hard-won boast: I am extremely good at accepting what I cannot change. "Oh, well," I say with a sigh and a rueful grin. This is my standard response to the long list of things that are sub-par in my existence.

But of late I've been struck by this new meme I'm encountering: "I'm tired of accepting what I cannot change. I'm going to start changing what I cannot accept."

Ooh! Maybe there are some troubling aspects of my life that I CAN change? And if so, maybe I should actually change them?

This prospect, though, is somewhat daunting. So, of course, I sat down and made a list of all the problems in my life, large and small, and how I might possibly do something to solve them. And then I decided to try to SOLVE THEM ALL IN ONE WEEK! Why not just face what has to be faced and  take care of them all in one fell swoop? So this last week in July, starting TODAY, is going to be the week of fixing everything.

Here is my list of current woes and what I plan to do about them this week.

1. It's an ordeal getting my granddaughters in and out of their carseats because the straps need adjusting. Fix: ADJUST THEM!

2. There is dog hair all over the front passenger seat of the car from taking Tanky to the vet. Fix: VACUUM IT! PUT AN OLD SHEET IN THE CAR TO AVOID THIS PROBLEM IN THE FUTURE!

3. My clothes, all bought at Goodwill, are getting too shabby even for me. Fix: BUY SOME NEW ONES! When I was teaching in Utah last month, I admired a student's dress and asked if I might inquire where she had purchased it. So now I have a new favorite dress source: Mikarose, a Utah company specializing in "modest" clothes. I know it will cause a sensation in church when I arrive wearing something different from the same half a dozen things I've worn for the past half a dozen years.

4. I wake up in the middle of the night worried that my will is woefully inadequate in a way that would be disastrous for certain family members if I died tomorrow. Fix: MAKE AN APPOINTMENT FOR A FREE 90-MINUTE CONSULTATION WITH AN ESTATE PLANNER!

5. Another family member's health is declining rapidly; this person needs to have a years-overdue doctor's appointment to see what might possibly be done. This one definitely seems to fall in the category of "things I cannot change" because if there is anything in this world that is true, it is that you can't change other people and make them do something they don't want to do. Or IS that true? Fix: TRY HARDER TO COAX AND CAJOLE AND COERCE AND COMPEL!

6. I feel stressed every day about a children's literature academic article which needs to be revised-and-resubmitted from the reviews I received from the journal many months ago. Fix: JUST SIT DOWN AND DO IT!

7. I feel stressed as well about book revisions that feel especially overwhelming. Fix: JUST SIT DOWN AND DO THEM!

8. I am consumed with guilt that everyone else in Boulder except for me composts their food waste, but it just seems so messy and complicated. Fix: GET COMPOSTABLE TRASH BAGS! GET A CONTAINER FOR FOOD SCRAPS TO KEEP ON THE COUNTER! BY THE END OF THE WEEK IT WILL BECOME SECOND NATURE TO DO THIS!

9. I would like to lose two pounds to have my weight below a Certain Number on the scale. FIX: EAT LESS! NO MORE KEEBLER FUDGE STICKS FOR YOU, MISSY!

10. The meals in our house are awful, truly awful - lots of snacking, lots of carryout. FIX: GET OUT MY COOKBOOKS, PICK A FEW RECIPES, AND MAKE THEM!

11. I find myself frazzled at the end of each long day of caring for my granddaughters during their monthly ten-day visit. FIX: HIRE SOME TEN-YEAR-OLD "MOTHER'S HELPERS" TO COME FROM 3-5 EACH DAY!

12. The pantry is a nightmare of disorganization where I can't find anything and end up buying lots of things I already have, thus adding to the chaos. FIX: CLEAN IT!

I do believe it is possible to fix every single one of these things over the course of the next seven days, though maybe I'll have to choose between the article revisions or the book revisions. Still: even if I don't get all of these things done this week, even if I only get half of them done, how much better my life will be. . . .

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