Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Job of the Advocate

Life is all about the fine print, the dotted "i," the crossed t, the details that make the difference between the one everyone knows knows what she's doing, and the one who knows, she has no clue. For me, nothing makes me feel more incompetent than knowing, I'm responsible.

This morning, I thought I would be going for my first day of work and I've been cramming for the occasion, but that's tomorrow's adventure.

Before I knew I wouldn't be working until tomorrow, my mind buzzed with articles I could and should be writing.  I should write about the growing pains we're doing with the 17 year old, the about to be 11 year old, the growing pains we need to have with the 8 year old, the ones we've been dealing with when dealing with the 12 year old, and the ones who are far away and the three not already mentioned, but who deserve more time because they don't seem to be demanding much.  

I had whimsical thoughts about being stretched and having it feel too thin, but knowing it would make us stronger in the end, to push Paul to be potty trained at night, to let the 17 year old run in the morning and not be anxious, to tell the 12 year old "No." and stick to it, and make him do something with his time even if he said "No." and get the almost 11 year old to not be anxious about everything.
Reality intervened and I didn't get to write those thoughts.  The three floors of the house needed cleaning and there was a stack of papers almost too heavy to lift from all the back to school nights, first day of the week folders and mail I needed to sort.  All these efforts which required me to act, and which made me wonder, ought I to be going out the door if there's all this stuff to do?  However, I never got time to sit and write the ideas down, only to hold onto the concepts. Writing takes time, and I had up until this point, had none for such things.

With all this cluttering in my head, yesterday I also had to get to the store for grown up clothing so I'd look professional.  I ran into a friend from when I hung out at the gym almost daily, trying to fight off the pounds of three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine...ten pregnancies.  She gave me a big smile and asked what I was doing.  When I told her, she said, "The Holy Spirit puts you exactly where you should be.  This is perfect."  I hadn't mentioned God or religion or anything, we'd just been chatting about my starting up teaching for the first time in 23 years.  I thanked her and held those words all through my errands.

Today, the stack of necessary junky paperwork loomed on my bed. I'd ignored it for as long as humanly possible.   It needed to be tackled.  The laundry sagged on my couch, also needing to be sacked.  There were transcripts to order, airline tickets to research, emails to answer and I hadn't written anything worth sending anywhere in a week.  The great nag of writing is, if it isn't worth sharing, does it count?  Well, I wrote a lot of junk I didn't share, (When I die, I will ask the keeper of my blog to just go in and delete all the drafts) but it kind of feels like when you lose the weight that gets you back to your original, I'm not going to pass this number kind of success.  It's hollow.   Was I still a writer if I didn't write stuff people could read?   My friend's words heartened me as I flailed about this morning, unable to gain traction on anything I was doing.  "The Holy Spirit puts you exactly where you should be."  I sat steeped in those words.  "Maybe, but could the Holy Spirit please direct me so I can get something done?"  No good.   "Holy Spirit, help me act?  I've made a list, I just can't seem to get to it and get it done."

Now we're talking.

There are now four stacks of sorted paperwork.  My inbox is empty.  I even filled out several forms before they are due.   That NEVER happens.   So as of today, I'm designating the third person of the Trinity to be my office manager.    Not only does it put me where I'm supposed to be, it also tells me, "Sherry, get to work."

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