I realized this evening that I am on track to complete my leanest blogging year ever in the (almost) seven years I've been blogging. Which made me wonder...what precisely am I doing these days with all the time I'm not blogging? Just in case you were curious, here are a few things on that list.
1) Grading papers. Tidal wave two hit Friday. As a mere teaching assistant this year, rather than a full-fledged adjunct, I somehow had the mistaken impression that grading would take up less of my time. But when paper deadlines hit for two seminary classes at roughly the same time, the avalanche is still an avalanche, even if I am only grading for mechanics and reading accountability rather than deeper content. Reading a paper and assessing it thoughtfully still takes time...maybe not as much time as it used to, but still plenty of it. So does answering student questions and managing record keeping. All of this, of course, on the everlastingly wonky computer (that I am nonetheless grateful for).
2) Moon watching. The sweet girl has always loved the moon, and lately her love for it seems to have grown. We're doing a lot of moon watching -- and star watching -- in the evenings. And reading/thinking about/talking about moon phases and constellations.
3) Battling a falling apart clothes dryer, whom I have now named Barky. Which, as my husband points out, is better than Sparky.
4) Cooking, cleaning, lesson planning. The usual suspects.
5) Teaching preschoolers about Isaiah the prophet.
6) Planning an out of town trip without credit.
7) Ghost-writing articles (mostly travel ones). Lots and lots and lots of ghostwriting this month.
8) Refining my ghostwriting travel voice by watching Rick Steves travel videos from the library.
9) Reading a lot of Madeleine L'Engle out loud. Because the sweet girl has fallen -- and fallen hard -- for this favorite author of my heart.
10) Watching Mary Tyler Moore season 1 episodes with my dear husband. Not that we have any time, but we're sneaking them in really, really late at night when we're both giggly with exhaustion. And I am discovering that MTM is great television comfort food. I can't tell you how nostalgic and warm it makes me feel. And oh, yeah...a little bit old too (the first season aired when I was 2).
11) Feeling utterly grateful for Christian community. We have been literally held up and sustained in this incredibly lean season by provision we could not possibly have imagined. God's people responding to our needs and to God's promptings and putting feet and hands and hearts to work to help us. My exhaustion level may still be there, but you know, my heart is so much lighter than it was a few weeks ago. Knowing this level of care from so many people makes all sorts of things feel possible in an impossible season.
12) Working on writing chapter 5 of The Four Princesses. Yes!! So excited to get back to this beloved project.
13) Mentally writing book (and movie and music) reviews, and missing Epinions like crazy.
14) Finishing up our afterschool arts program for the fall.
15) Listening to lots of Elgar. And Handel. And Bach.
16) Sneaking in the writing of an occasional poem. (See previous post.)
17) Praying my way through helping the sweet girl with some new levels of intensity and anxiety.
18) Praying WITH the sweet girl, a lot. And reading Isaiah with her. It's been an Isaiah kind of month.
19) Drawing. A little. Mostly in the tired cracks and crevices when I am most worn out but needing a creative boost that involves physically holding a pen/pencil and not sitting at the keyboard.
20) Contemplating where this year has gone. Do you realize Advent starts December 2?