My next side projects keep queuing up. I’d like to:
- Start a recycling program in my apartment building.
- Write a series of essays.
- Create a photo series based on hidden beauty in my worn-down, Oscar-the-Grouch city.
- Hold a donation drive for one of the local women’s shelters.
- Learn Spanish using some of the fun programs available online (like DuoLingo).
- Dream up an improved organization system for work.
Most of what’s kept me from launching anything thus far is intangible: fatigue, my malfunctioning neural pathways which keep my mood in the doldrums, lack of social connections as willing volunteers to share in the work with me. I spent several years as a caregiver to my grandma and am still reeling from that blessed and exhausting experience; it’s been quite a challenge to balance health and rest with striving forward and pushing myself to accomplish my goals.
I’m currently still at a point where I’m impressed with myself if I go to work, do laundry, visit family, and cook supper all in one day. I’m reasonably happy with my attempts at self-care but not wholly satisfied; I want to thrive, to make a positive mark on my community. What I’ve done in my life has been meaningful, but it’s not enough for me to stop there. I’m inspired and prodded by poet Mary Oliver’s words on mortality: “When it’s over, I want to say all my life I was a bride married to amazement. I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms. When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder if I have made of my life something particular, and real…I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.”