"Do not compare, do not measure. No other way is like yours. All other ways deceive and tempt you. You must fulfill the way that is in you." -Carl JungI’m beginning to suspect that really, there is no such thing as a “normal” week–or even one that falls neatly into the expectations of what the intersection of my work and social calendars tell me will be on the agenda for the week. My work hours can easily expand all out of proportion to my plans, as happened again this week. Or my days can be filled with the distraction of a toothache that really wanted to be a headache, as also happened this week. So I would have anticipated that nothing much would come of such a week.

Except I found out about Patrick, who is trying to mitigate for the drought in the Tsavo by driving 70km to deliver water to watering holes throughout the park several times a week, and has a gofundme set up to help him make that support more sustainable. I also read news that mastodon bones in California show evidence of human activity there … 130,000 years ago, 100,000 years before archeologists thought there would be anything of the sort.

On the sad side of the scale, a cousin’s classmate lost their son to suicide. Because of that, I learned about the Trevor Project, and encourage you to consider a donation there, too. I also found out about the legal horror a stalker can inflict on his victims through Lenora Claire’s story.

Then there was the article hubs forwarded, regarding the four insights empathic people are most likely to overlook. And fellow author and blogger Alicia Aderson wrote about the shadow side of fatherhood.

Taken together, these pushed me to consider both how I take care of myself and how the smallest health issues can impact daily life. How subconscious and societal preconceptions tend to try to herd us into neat categories, when our experiences make each of us much more than what we even expect of ourselves. So this week’s message from Carl Jung is pertinent. We can only walk the paths we are able to follow. Indeed, we set ourselves up for failure when we let some stereotype–or even just comparison-mind with what we see friends and colleagues managing to accomplish–mislead us into pursuing something that is right for someone else, but doesn’t fit our needs.

I’m grateful hubs is able and willing to give me regular acupuncture treatments, as those were the reason I was able to get as much done this week as I did. And my phone says I averaged 3,399 steps a day this week, up 400 from last week. Today we managed our first walk of over two miles in months. Tashie’s evident happiness in that exercise was its own heart-warmer, even though the heat and the distance were unaccustomed enough to make her pant for a good long while.

Also unaccustomed: My second week in a row of beating my word count goals. Across five days, I managed 2,397 words.  On one of those days, I even managed over 1,000 words for the first time in … I don’t know how long. I slowed down some from last week’s report, and I need to watch that I don’t slow down more, but it’s still not outside the realm of possibility that I could actually finish the third in the Red Slaves series this round. (In related funnies, there’s a meme/movie running through my Facebook timeline about an imagined conversation between an author and a reader that has too many of us groaning with the the relatable reality of TRYING to finish a series.)

On the date night front, we caught up on Designated Survivor. It’s another lesson in making sure the villains have an understandable, possibly even sympathetic back-story to drive the plot’s tension.

Taking a lesson from last week, even though we will be celebrating a nephew’s 16th birthday (seriously, how did he grow up so fast?!) and the pesky tooth will finally leave its haven, I will try to avoid panicking at the thought of all the hours I could lose to those two events this week. Somehow I will continue to churn out the words I need to, to meet my deadline–most likely because I continue to be blessed with an inordinate amount of support from hubs.

Check back next week to see how I’ve fared. Otherwise, check in with the other ROW80ers to see how they’re managing their goals.

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