Last week I received some long hoped-for good news: my university awarded me a generous summer research grant to work on the next draft of a novel. When I submitted my application in October, I included a proposed timeline of May and June. But now there’s another challenge, beyond that of the actual writing.
Three Saturdays prior, autumn arrived, my favorite time of the year. I awoke to rain, and the temperature hovering around 70. The higher temperature and humidity had finally broken, at least for a weekend.
Two Saturdays ago, my family and I painted our home office, its previous color a tired butterscotch. Before lunch, the four of us almost finished the first coat of a refreshing light blue, but we needed another gallon. I volunteered to pick up another can of paint at one of the local home-improvement stores.
It was 100 degrees on Friday afternoon when I was discussing with a colleague one of my favorite books: Silence in the Snow Fields, by the Minnesota poet Robert Bly.
He and I had recently agreed to start a mini reading group, as in the two of us. We wanted to pick things that one of us enjoyed and wanted to share with the other. I thought of Bly’s 1962 book, and I excitedly texted my friend.
I’m years into my recovery as a reformed perfectionist; nevertheless, if I plan something, I want to follow through and finish, no matter what. Training for a race. Completing some writing challenge. I’m still learning to readjust my expectations and give myself grace.