Tuesday, September 29, 2009

plowing, sowing, going, going, going.

i spoke earlier of my love affair with farmville on facebook.

(it's beginning to die down from burning infatuation to abiding affection, but it's still there.) 

musicboy often asks me about my farm. we have named all of my farm animals.

(the horses are bill, ted, preston, and logan...oh, please tell me you get it. the cows are larry, moe, and curly. the sheep are john, paul, and george. the chicken is funky, the duck is spunky, and the swan is chunky. listen, i know.)

and we consult about the various crops i will plant.

(right now, i'm working to be able to buy a cottage.  i have to reach level 19 and have 60,000 coins.  once i do that, i'm not sure that i'll still be as thrilled to play. i know you don't care, but i thought that i'd share.)

on sunday night, i began to get anxious.  sunday nights are the worst--for sleep, for anxiety, for everything. the week stares me down on sunday night, trying to get me to flinch. i try as hard as i can not to, but on sunday night, after writing so many thank you notes that my wrist literally hurt so bad it almost made me cry, the week was winning.

musicboy, as always, had wise words.  he told me to maybe start to think about my weeks differently. instead of seeing it as too much to do, unconquerable, unending stress, think about it as work.  just like on the farm, he said.  you're plowing and planting and harvesting and then you do it all over again.

when he said that, my first reaction was how brilliant an attitude it was.  why do i love farmville so much? because it's very clear that i am working for a particular goal. at first, it was just the thrill of getting things done and things growing the way they should. now that i have a bajillion animals and trees and plots of land to manage, it's figuring out how to best work all of them so that i can reach my goal as quickly as possible.

i sow seeds that will get me closer to my money and my experience point goal. i don't throw away my precious growing time on things that won't get me very far.  such is true with my life right now too. i have to be so very careful with my time, with making sure that i am making the most of it, or else i find myself overwhelmed my things left to do and deadlines missed.

(that happened yesterday. but we won't talk about that.)

so, this week, i'm trying to do that--to see my week and the things that i do as good, earthy, solid work.  i don't have to be stressed out and annoyed by students who fail to do their assignments. they didn't do it? okay.  zero and moving on.  a whole class didn't read their assignment? i can sit there and be annoyed and force them to answer questions that they can't answer, or i can give them a mini-lecture on how they need to a) find their syllabi; b) realize that college is responsibility; and c) leave and try again for next class.  i put in my time, i sow my seeds, and i move on.

if they grow, great.  if they don't, i'll diagnose the problem later.  but right now? my life is an expanse of plots of land, some fallow, some tilled and ready to be planted, some growing seeds that will take years to bring forth fruit, some that are almost ready to harvest.

somehow that metaphor works for me.  you just keep moving from place to place, from plot to plot, taking a little time to consider your next move (a good farmer is a thoughtful farmer), but you keep moving. and you're moving toward a goal.

so i'm moving, and in the process, i find myself trying very hard to give myself credit for the efforts that i do put forth, rather than spending time belittling myself for the things that i didn't do.  when musicboy mentioned trying to think about things differently, after my initial recognition that he was absolutely right, i began to wonder if maybe the reason that i needed to think of things differently and better was because somehow i wasn't doing things well.

so i asked.  "do i do life okay?"

musicboy sort of laughed and said, emphatically, "you do life amazingly."

"even if i have to think about things differently?" i wondered.

"you thinking about things differently doesn't change what you do.  you do life really well. thinking of things differently--"

i interrupted him at this point. "--only makes things easier on me."  he nodded and hugged me.

so me and my little life plots are working on working and sowing worthwhile seeds.  and when i think about it that way--what can i work on next?--it somehow seems less scary than what do i have to get done next?  i'm not sure why that is, except that i've suddenly turned it into a choice.

rather than seeing my week as a beast to be faced down and fought, i choose to work at it.  i'm not sure that will really make any sense to anyone else, but it makes some sense to me. 

ultimately, that's all that really matters. 

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