Jun 21, 2007

Frustrations, and Beginning Again?

Have you noticed how often things don't go quite according to the plan? No matter how carefully we map our future (even today's) something always comes up to get in the way. Bobbie Burns put it very well when he said, "The best laid schemes o' mice an' men /Gang aft a-gley, /An' lea'e us naught but grief and pain, /For promised joy!" How deep the 'grief and pain' get seems to depend on our attitude, but all foiled plans are accompanied by some degree of annoyance, discomfort, perhaps self-incrimination and always at least a little lost time.
May I walk you through a rather typical day?

Yesterday, I had not planned well to begin with. I stayed up too late Tuesday night doing who knows what, and slept in until eight. Fortunately, I looked at my little black planning book, and with dismay saw I had promised to sub at the temple mid-shift. I should have remembered the time but, since time is told with numbers and numbers and I ignore each other as completely as possible, I only remembered I should either be leavng home or getting there around ten. No problem.

I showered, shampooed, didn't have time to curl, so I slapped on a wig and got ready to leave in plenty of time. I found my glasses, strapped on my watch, checked my recommend, and looked for my hearing aids. They weren't in any of the places I usually put them. I searched and searched, and the clock kept on ticking. Finally, in desperation, I went without them. (I STILL haven't found them.)

Traffic was traffic. Sometimes it worked for me, sometimes against. A long, slow train even stopped in front of me. Luckily, it backed up.

Good fortune again. The parking lot was full, but somebody left a place up close, and I got it. I actually thought I would make it on time. I hurried too fast. As I turned the locker key and pocketed it, I realized I'd forgotten to put on my long, white slip. Oh well, better there than to have somebod point it out to me. I missed preparation meeting. Everybody treated me sweetly, but as it turned out, patrons were just scarce enough that my presence was hardly needed. I had a wonderful, but short time at the temple.

When I got to my car, I hardly glanced at the pick-up alongside until I started to back out. The bed was piled high with watermelon, and I remembered that Brother Barney always brought melons in season from his farm in Queen Creek. Free for the taking! Yippee! That made my day.

At home, I booted up the computer to blog, but first checked my twenty-five new e-mail messages. Before I'd finished, my son David telephoned for me to send my layout for the 'Sox Box' flyer. I'd already given him a printout. If there is a way to illustrate on this new [I've only had it a year] computer, I haven't discovered it. So I turn to my talented son.

David said he'd finished the illustration on his computer, and thought if I e-mailed it, he wouldn't have to type in the text. So I did. He called back saying no, don't paste it--attach it. Naturally, I'd forgotten how, but I managed, feeling rather fulfilled. He didn't receive it. Not even the message with an unopenable attachment. Nothing. Nada. Nevertheless, my 'sent' box said it went. While on the phone with him, I re-sent it half a dozen times, carefully following his instructions. I sent test messages, which he received easily. My 'sent' box claimed ever one of them went. I could even open the attachment from the sent message. Finally, I called Cox to see why. After about ten minutes of questions and answers, the only excuse the geek could come up with was that the attachment must have been too long. 325 words? Too long? Yikes. After about two or three hours of frustration, room felt hot, my stomach queazy, and my brain numb. I was ready to forget it all, and hand out an unadorned flyer.

Then David called back with a brilliant idea. He walked me through a post to his website for the 492nd Bomb Group, and finally got the form he needed. Today he'll get it to me, illustrated with individual socks of various kinds and sizes floating down, hanging out, and strewn beside a "sox box". Since David is a perfectionist, I'm eagerly looking for the results, but also feel a bit guilty for taking so much of his time. I'd post the results to you, only it wouldn't do any good.

Suffice it to say, I thought no more of the blog, nor can I remember what I had intended to say. I knew frustration, but I freely admit it was still a wonderful day. I did some knitting, a bit of crocheting, watched something interesting on TV (I've already forgotten what) and read until my eyes made me stop in the current choice for a reading club, "The Far Pavillions" by M.M. Kaye, then worked a SuDoku, napped in my LaZboy, woke up and went to bed.

This morning, I listened to a Dr. Walker, professor of English at BYU Hawaii, who talked of the many times he and his wife had to start all over again in a new place, a new job, and new experiences. Some were more traumatic than others. Like moving with a wife and five children from Canada to hot, muggy Oahu and given quarters with no fans, no air conditoning, a stove that was tagged with DO NOT USE, and the biggest dead cockroach imaginable lying on its back in the middle of the living room. Their instinct was to turn and fly back to Canada. But they survived and loved it.

I thought of all my own beginnings. I've racked up quite a few. After high school, but before I married, I lived in four different states and the District of Columbia. Since then, we've moved about thirty times. Most of these beginnings have been fun. All have been enriching. Some I've met with flying colors; others I've come up with too little, too late.

Almost every day I promise myself a new beginning. Today I'm going to get organized. I'm going to put things away instead of merely down. Clutter will go. I'll know exactly where everything is. I'll plan ahead, and quit procrastinating. I'll learn to follow a schedule instead of giving in to whatever whim grabs my attention.

I'll actually read the Book of Mormon every day instead of spasmodically, and then guiltily trying to atone by reciting a few verses before dropping off to sleep. I'll remember friends and family, birthdays and anniversaries, with contact of some kind so they know I'm thinking of them. I'll schedule Family Home Evenings with my kids and married grandkids, and plan them well. I'll interview each descendent separately at least once a year. I'll write a minumum 500 words a day on something or other. I'll memorize all the hymns in the hymn book, and review them --and all the poems I've memorized--regularly, so they'll stay memorized. I'll read all the old classics, and watch the classic films.

I'll learn how to paint. I'll take time to play the piano daily, and get back the skill I've lost. I'll walk the dogs every day. I'll actually study the CD's I have of college courses, and I'll work on speed reading. I'll still crochet or knit a dishcloth daily. I'll embroider, or bead, sew or craft, or paint, and actually finish the fity or so kits I have stowed away, taking up needed room. I'll write accompaniment to the music I've written, and edit the script for the 'reader's theater with choir' program we presented when I almost got it polished it up two years ago. I'll get brave and submit, instead of just dream. I'll actually DO the March of Dimes thing I just promised to do in August. I'll go to the ANWA retreat, even though it's sandwiched closely between Colorado Springs and the Grand Canyon.

And I'll learn to write succinctly--briefly stick to the point and not wander.

I will be awesome! Maybe.


  1. Great essay, Anna. I laughed and laughed at this line: " I should have remembered the time but, since time is told with numbers and numbers and I ignore each other as completely as possible"...

    Numbers and I have exactly the same non-relationship! Thanks for all the great insights.

  2. Anna, Anna, Anna! This sounds just like my life.

    What a delightful blog. Thanks!

  3. I collect cartoons. I have a slew of them and they still make me laugh. One was a bird sitting on a stool in a birdcage. He went through his litany of what he would be able to accomplish and when and what it would do for him. Then a panel of him thinking. Then the final panel was of him saying Naw, nevermind. Your delightful post reminded of how many times I've made those same lists only to decide naw, some other time.

  4. Anna--awesome for you is not in the future. You are awesome now!


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