Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Clancy Revealed

whim (hwm, wm)
1. A sudden or capricious idea; a fancy.
2. Arbitrary thought or impulse: governed by whim.

Every morning I wake up and know exactly what I'm doing for the whole day and I always get it all done. Oh wait. Nope! That's not me at all. In fact, I'm the perfect opposite of that statement. I roll more like this: I wake up every morning not knowing what I'm doing for the day. Or this: I rarely have a plan when I wake in the morning.

I suppose I do have a few things in my day that are certain. Get kids up. Brush teeth and hair. Feed kids. Put on my slippers to drive kids to school. Come back home. That's pretty much it. Those are the certainties, the definites, the known-factors that make up my day-to-day life. Oh yeah, and there's also the pick up kids from school and the do homework part. And most days I even make some sort of dinner. Go, me.

Enter Whim, stage left.

Today I didn't have a plan, just like every other day. I got the known factors off to school and then it's just me and Whim. Or, Whim and I, if we're being technical. Well, if we're being REALLY technical, it's me, Rohan, and Whim... or Whim, Rohan and I? Suddenly I can't remember what's correct. You get the picture though, right? (Feel free to help me out, Larrie.)

Yes, Whim and I. We settle in to a perfect rhythm of doing whatever we want. Sometimes it's things that we need to get done, sometimes it's things that we want to get done, and, far too often, it's simply getting nothing done. (FYI: Facebook = nothing)

I am not a planner by nature. I don't check things off of lists. That would be because I don't do lists. My day goes more like a grocery sack in a courtyard on a windy afternoon. Have you ever watched a grocery sack in a courtyard in the wind? It's hypnotic. You never know where it's going to go. Just like my day. Every day.

I don't necessarily like this little facet of myself. In fact, there are some days, not all of them, but some days when I HATE it. Yes, I said hate. Strong word. I know. I wouldn't use it for today's blustery day, though. You see, Whim carried me to my bedroom. Whim told me to clean it. My room was in dire, desperate, S.O.S-kind of shape. It needed cleaning and it need it bad. And not only did I clean the floor that was heaped with lots of ___________ (fill in the blank, it was probably there in a pile), but I also made my dresser and nightstand look cute, dusting included. I can't even begin to think of the last time this dresser event occurred. I'm thinking not so much in the "months-ago" category, but the "years-ago". For real.

I will also mention that Whim also had me cleaning out flower beds and picking up bits of garbage strewn throughout my yard. It was 63 degrees today. It was a good thing. But you know what's funny? I only cleaned out the flower beds and the yard because I was taking the garbage from my bedroom (and I grabbed the one in the bathroom and the kitchen while I was at it) out to the cans in the alley. And when I was walking back I saw the garbage here and there, so I picked it up. Then I saw big weeds starting to grow back from last year, so I pulled them. Then I saw last-years dead growth on the perennials so I pulled that. Then I saw this big black garbage bag full of saw-dust (long story) that I wanted to throw away. It was really heavy so I asked my neighbor (who was also outside) to help me move it to the garbage. We moved it and then we talked for a while. I have cleaning ADD. I never got back to the bedroom. It's only mostly clean now. I'll take it though.

So, the point to this... essay? rant? babble? sream of consciousness?... let's go with babble. The point of this babble is to reveal (to whoever cares) a few things about myself. Let's pretend I'm a list maker and I'll tell them to you in list form.

Clancy is babbling to explore the following:

1- I'm human. Yep. Just human. I've got faults. This is a potential one.

2- My word choice in item #1 intentionaly leads us into item #2. I say Whim is a potential fault because it's not always a bad thing to be 'governed by whim'. There are lots of positives. I *don't get bent out of shape very easily if things don't go as planned. That's because "planned" is a very loose word for me. I *go with the flow. I *have fun with whatever I'm doing. I'm *spontaneous.

*I would like to interject that I'm not ENTIRELY this way either, just mostly. There are rare occasions that I do plan something and if it doesn't go 'as planned', I feel disgruntled and have been known to be *gasp* GRUMPY.

3- I want to learn a different way to live. I want to wake up with a plan. I want to have lists that I check off. I want to be systematic rather than always being a grocery sack carried on Whim.

4- I need a teacher. I don't know how to do item #3. I learned a while ago that if you want to learn to do something, you have to find someone who already knows how to do it and have them mentor you. (I recently experienced this phenomenon with a family who mentored me in things that they didn't even know they were mentoring me on until I told them they were... interesting the quiet example someone can be, and how totally unaware they can be of their influence on you.)

Well, that's all I've got for now. Four items. Seems like a measley little list, but for a non-list girl, it'll do.

So, is there anyone out there who wants to teach me how to be less like a grocery sack?


Nickster said...

Maybe we should spend some time together. I would like to be more like a grocery sack ;)

Elena said...

Hey, when you find that teacher, will you either send them my way or give me lessons yourself? :)

Polly said...

But think of all the experiences and adventure that a grocery sack gets!

lynsey said...

i don't know what it is about you, but i can relate to you on so many levels. what is up with that??

the ADD cleaning.

i mean, come on. i'm cleaning off my counters, take something into to put it away in the bathroom. notice that there's caleb's clothes on the bathroom floor. pick them up, decide to scrub the toilet. walk the clothes to the washer. see that there's clothes to be folded. fold the laundry, go to put the kitchen washcloths away, set them on the counter i had initially set out to clean, which is still covered with other things. you follow?

i am also not a list maker, and struggle with just setting my two measly goals a day. it goes against my very being, i tell you!

if you figure out how to make this insanity stop, please enlighten me. otherwise keep writing about it because i LOVE IT! (don't tell the others) but i comment on your blog more often than almost anyone else. bosom buddies, i tell you. we are bosom buddies. and i just had to let you know that. :)

Ginny said...

ahhhh...funny the connection we've made and yet, this aspect of us is so entirely opposite. i don't know if i could teach it, but i am a list-making, plan-outlining, accomplishment-checking, semi-flexible individual who could probably use a little whim in her life. but whims tend to make me feel stressed. i do much better with plans that go awry then no plan at all.

does this make me a paper bag--heavy, brown, blah and flat?

p.s. i too am totally guilty of the ADD cleaning lynsey referenced...loved the description!

Clancy Pants said...

Lynsey... I'm so glad you let me know we're bosom buddies. And I won't tell your other readers that you're commenting most on my blog. But that sure made my day!

And Ginny...
No, Gin, not a heavy, brown, blah bag, but, perhaps a grocery sack that's being used for what it was intended, not just billowing around aimlessly. And after it gets used for the purpose intended, it's put away for use another day. Or maybe it's recycled or maybe it's brought to a school to earn money back for the school...

The point is, it has a purpose. It knows what it's doing rather than blowing around aimlessly. Not sure why but typing this makes my eyes brim. Do you still like me even though we're opposite like that? Insecurities scream so loud in moments like these.

Ginny said...

did you really just ask me that question?? the difference is what makes me like you all the more!! i don't know why you consider your flying sack, redefining the limited use of the plastic as it was thus known, as something to cause insecurities! remember, you yourself called that fluttering, unpredictable sack hypnotic. that's the way i like to think of you. worth watching because you never know what tomorrow will bring. i love it...and i love you!

the real question is, does my structure drive you away??? ;-)

Clancy Pants said...

Drive me away??? Are you kidding!? We must be drawn to each other like magnets. Polar opposites. I yearn for more structure... you're hypnotized by the random, flightiness. I'm glad that my insecurities are unfounded, weird as that may seem to me. My own quirks are hard to see as endearing. They're just annoying to me. But, oh, to be structured!!! I want to be more that way. That's why I asked for a teacher. It may be a dream for the rest of my life, but weak things can turn into strengths... it's a promise. So I keep hoping and trying. Thanks for the reassurance!

Kristin said...

Wow! So, I'm so much like you and yet, so much like Ginny... I'm the bad side of it all (see my latest post if you want to understand my mood). I want to plan, but am too lazy. When I do, I am easily upset (not your #2) when it doesn't go the way I hoped. I'm grateful to have both you and Ginny in my life so I can see the good side to both ways and strive (constantly striving) to be good too! Love you both!

Travis said...

Here's a thought...don't put so much pressure on yourself to be a certain way. If you want to wake up with a plan, then maybe you need to sit down for 10 minutes before you go to bed and write down some things you'd like to accomplish.

It doesn't have to be a long list. Say 3 things other than the standard get the kids ready and take them to school.

I did this not too long ago. I listed out 3 things to do the next day. I didn't put any pressure on myself to do all 3. But I usually did at least one, and sometimes all of them. Then that night I would put 3 more things down.

It works pretty well and helps you develop some habits. Not the chores, but the habit of planning.

Anonymous said...

ha ha! i can so totally relate to you!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Replying on a whim…

For me, I know I’ve read some great writing when it gets me thinking about something I could write, or perhaps thinking back on something that I have written. You and Rohan riding around on the back of Whim every day definitely got me thinking… and remembering about things I’ve written in the past.

Things like this (from a talk for church):

It takes me hours to clean my room because I take all of the CDs and tapes that I find under the bed or in the back of the closet, play them, and dance and sing along. I dress up my sister’s cat in all of the scarves that I pull out of the back of the drawers. I pull out old yearbooks from the highest book shelf and read through all the signatures… I live in a metaphorical world. I sing along to CDs at the top of my lungs while driving in my car; I draw pictures to stay awake in meetings; I dress up my sister’s cat.

Or things like this about accomplishments (from an old blog):

"I've been reading a book about emotional intelligence and as I read in the chapter, "Managing Melancholy" last night, I was relating a little too well with the subject matter. In the past several days, I was allowing myself to sit around in a sad state of despondency. I had somehow missed the part of my life when I had fallen into this pit, but started to realize my light was gone as I read about myself in this book.

The author wrote about unsuccessful methods people try to get over melancholy. First, he wrote about "simply staying alone." It's not my fault, I thought. I would like to blame my recent loneliness on the failure of my phone's text messaging abilities. I'm sure that's why I had no choice, but to hang out at home with my sister's cat.

Second, he wrote about ruminating; "focusing on some aspect of the depression itself: how tired we feel, how little energy or motivation we have..." Oh, I totally agree. I just feel like, blah. All week, I had intentions to go to the gym. (Except Monday night--let's be honest, I counted soccer as my workout.) However, I never even made it so far as to put on gym clothes. "Maybe later," is my greatest argument. Continuing the ruminating topic, the author includes that the thoughts are not accompanied by "any concrete course of action that might alleviate the problem." Sitting on the leather couch, watching my thumb push the channel up, channel down, channel up button on the remote control wasn't alleviating my ambiguous boredom? That's no good; because I really didn't want to do anything except tell the cat how bored I was.

As I read, I eventually came to the section, "Mood-lifters," and was determined to follow the directions. I write to you today to tell you that I did it. I followed the strategy of "positive alternatives" and "engineer[ed] a small triumph or easy success." Today, after work, I cleaned my room. Cheers, shouts, jubilation! That consisted of hanging my laundry that has been wrinkling in a basket for the last week and organizing the paperwork of my wealth (a.k.a not-outstanding credit card bills and retirement savings statements) into a binder, even if they weren't going anywhere in their neat pile on the floor. Although more tidying up than cleaning, this was my small triumph, which I followed with a positive alternative by going to my gym (with mirrors all around). Check out my tan legs reflected in 24 mirrors; that's hot. My next small triumph: getting up tomorrow morning--climbing my mountains one snooze button at a time.

So, I bet you’ve never had a comment as long as mine. Sorry to be so excessively loquacious, but that’s my way of telling you that I truly, madly, deeply enjoyed this blog entry.