Muddy Waters

5 Jun

For the past two weeks I’ve been feeling a bit lost in the abyss of my constantly unraveling to-do list. I spent a month and a half burning the candle at both ends and then hit the metaphorical wall. Since then I have struggled with practicality; I know I should have my house on the market by now, I should have job interviews set up in Florida, I should have all those research papers graded…. and yet I haven’t done any of those things completely.

What I have done is help my kids finish their seventh yearbook and plan my wedding (and without the internet at home for 1.5 weeks–that’s another story). I mean given the choice, would you paint your hallway above high stairs or make sure one of the most important days of your life will not make you cry (in a non-touching, tragic kind of way). While I’m sure many people might make the same choice I did, more together and organized people might have the wedding planned, house on the market, papers graded, and job waiting…while I’d love to say that’s me, I know I’m more the “I have so much to do that I can’t do any of it” type. At least in waves I am; in other waves I can cram so much into a week that it makes my head spin.

Though today I felt the beginnings of optimism again, I have felt a fair amount of guilt and shame over my two weeks of stagnant, ‘get through the day’ behavior when my life is ultimately a blessing. It just reminds me  how selfish we are as human beings. By now, most of you have seen the relentless images of shorebirds assaulted with oil in the Gulf. I see that and I think how on earth could I be plagued by anything personally negative when so much wildlife is dying, so many livelihoods floundering. On top of that, two of my dear colleagues lost parents this week, and people close to me are hurting deeply. My heart is with them and in comparison, my to-do list and my house-as-disaster don’t mean a thing. I’ve accepted that no matter the situation, we always walk through it in our individual shoes, with our own biased eyes. We are all in a sense one of those oil-caked pelicans in the bayou trying desperately to put one foot in front of another and thrive. Some of us have thicker mud to wade through, depending on the way the tide comes in. Tonight, mine feels a little thinner.

Brown Pelican at East Grand Terre Island on the Louisiana coast. (Charlie Riedel/AP Photo) If this little guy moves you, text "WILDLIFE" to 20222 to donate $10 to the National Wildlife Federation. It feels good to help even in small ways.


3 Responses to “Muddy Waters”

  1. rookiemistakesandbeginnersluck June 6, 2010 at 7:32 pm #

    Thanks for putting everything in perspective. We all need a reminder sometimes. Also, let me know if you need help with the house stuff this week or next weekend. While I’m a little swamped with my own to-do list right now (grading, finding a job, etc), I can definitely put in a few hours to help a good friend with some painting/packing/anything-that’s-not-electrical. Don’t hesitate to ask!

  2. Alison Breland June 7, 2010 at 11:41 am #

    hang in there kara! i don’t think it is humanly possible to do all the things you need to do, all at once. but things will eventually get done. next year, maybe try a few fewer major life events?? 🙂


  1. Mad Pen: a blog year in review « GOING SOFLO - June 24, 2011

    […] 2010:  I create blog to maintain sanity; write through gloom and more gloom; end bittersweet school year; visit Aaron in Florida and suddenly moving there […]

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