I've been grading a lot. I feel incapable of paragraphs. Instead, I've been thinking in list form.
Things I need to clean:
-- this desk right here.
-- my place at the kitchen table.
-- my closet. (The plan is to take EVERY DANG THING out of it and then decide very carefully what goes back in.)
-- my yarn and fiber stash. (I have seen moths in the house. *shudder*)
-- the outside of my car.
-- the inside of my car. (Why is it filled with pollen?)
-- my office at work. Like, the whole dang thing. It's getting really close to "bonfire" status...
-- the bins of files I put in the storage closet at work. (I'm starting to think I just didn't have the heart to throw that stuff out before, so I looked for another place to put them. I have the heart now. OUT THEY GO.)
(See? Messy! This is from maybe a week ago... but it looks almost the same right now.)
(More mess... How can people even live here??)
I'm really feeling the urge to get rid of stuff. This is pretty "normal" at the end of the semester--I think of it as part of the ritual of closing the lid on the past semester and starting new things. But it's really powerful this time! Maybe because it's a big year--in July we will have been in Ohio for 10 years. (How did that happen?) It's time for some cleaning out.
Things I need to write:
-- some thank you cards.
-- some graduation cards.
-- an article growing out of my conference paper this past March. (I didn't tell you about NALS--the Native American Literature Symposium. It was awesome, and gave me the kick I needed to put this writing project on the front burner, once I finish the semester.)
(This is at Isleta Pueblo, near Albuquerque, our host for the symposium. Beautiful!)
-- letters to family and friends, especially the ones who sent Christmas cards.
-- a revision of an essay I want to send out again. (It got rejected. Time to put it back in circulation.)
-- a major revision of an essay that needs to go in a completely new direction. It's something I need to say, but I need to do it in a way that won't damage the relationships I've worked so hard to build over the past five years. (I know I'm being cryptic. I don't mean to. It's just a sensitive subject. More later.)
-- more blog posts.
-- poetry? really? (Dear Self: we are not a poet. Why do you keep giving me ideas for poems?)
Calls I need to make:
-- universities in Chicago and Minneapolis that might be able to rent us rooms when I take students there next May. (I didn't tell you about that either--I'm teaching a Travel-Learning course next Spring! So exciting.)
-- my friend (former student) who lives in Chicago and can help us find places, too. And I am so lucky I get to see her this summer!
-- my brother, who is just back from a business trip to South Africa--wow!
-- my friends on the rez. I miss them.
-- my Granddad, who just moved to an assisted living place.
-- my Dad, whose birthday is just days away.
Knitting I need to knit:
-- my mom's Christmas socks. (I know! But I'm on the second one. By the time she gets them it'll be WAY too warm for wool socks. Oh well. She'll have them for next season...)
-- something larger, with swathes of fabric, like maybe a shawl or a baby blanket or maybe even a sweater?? (I have not the first clue why I feel compelled to knit such a thing.)
-- and I need to block TWO things I made that are finished but just need blocking. They are gorgeous, and for me, and I just haven't had time to do that last step before I can wear them. Silly!
-- and this is not knitting, but I need to spin. Like, NEED. I got a charkha for Christmas and have barely begun to learn how to use it. I have a wonderful project on both of my wheels. I have batts and roving just waiting. NEED!
Things I need to read:
-- the blogs I've been neglecting all semester that really and truly bring me joy and make me feel connected to their writers.
-- a new novel, something I can just get lost in.
-- articles to help me articulate my argument about the NALS paper and make it awesome.
-- the magazines that have been piling up for three months or more.
-- I need to go on a date with my partner.
-- I need to see at least two movies with my kid (and also maybe my partner if he wants to see them).
(This is Stella; she is awesome. This is after an hour of riding; I am tired and sweaty but happy.)
-- I need more riding time so I can get better at this. (I didn't tell you about that either. I'm taking riding lessons! With real horses! It's awesome. I'll share soon, with more pictures.)
(This is inside the Great Circle mound in Newark; I went there for a special event last weekend.)
-- I need to go on more walks. I miss our parks.
-- I should probably do something about this abscess-looking thing on my finger. (The child said, "I want to be there when you pop it!" The man said, "Maybe we could film it and put it on YouTube!" This is life with males; somehow, I am still surprised.)
-- I need to go to yoga more--like, as much as possible.
-- I need to talk to my spirit guides--like, as much as possible.
-- I need to weed the garden. A LOT.
-- I need to go out with friends and laugh and tell stories and listen to stories and have a margarita. (That last part is optional; the other stuff is not.)
Before I can do all, or really any, of this, I need to finish grading these 10 last papers, participate in Commencement, and submit my last grades...
What's on your list (or lists!)?