5 things I will do, and 5 things I will not

Photo credit: D Sharon Pruitt

Yes­ter­day, I headed out to buy cat food. I parked my car, went into the store, pulled out a shop­ping cart, looked around … and real­ized that I was at Sta­ples.  (True, the pet store is just next door. Still, this is a first.)

For the past few days, I’ve been unusu­ally dis­tracted and dis­tractable, anx­ious, and unset­tled. Being threat­ened with evic­tion will do that to you. At least, it will to me. My thoughts are shoot­ing in all direc­tions, but every­thing seems hazy. I’m doing my best to get things done with­out know­ing what to do.

Back home from errands, it occurred to me that I need to sim­plify. I need to be clear about what I’ll do – and what I will not. Here’s my first crack at set­ting down a set of per­sonal guide­lines (a sort of mini-experiment within my exper­i­ment of nest­ing).

I will:

1. Write some­thing every day. (Because writ­ing always makes things better.)

2. Get at least some exer­cise every day. (And yes, a walk counts.)

3. Look for a place to live.

4. Do some­thing sooth­ing / nice for myself each day.

5. Frac­tal flower pitch­ing.

I will not:

1. Expect myself to be oper­at­ing at full capacity.

2.  Tell myself I shouldn’t be so dis­tressed — or any­thing else that I, in fact, am.

3. Do one more thing that I don’t want to do unless I really have to.

4. Draw con­clu­sions about what any of this means

5. Give myself a hard time for eat­ing weird meals (cot­tage cheese and car­rots any­one?) or rely­ing on pre­pared food. (Yes, I could make it more cheaply myself, and I will again. Just not now.)


So in the course of the day, I took a long walk, did some writ­ing, and checked out real estate list­ings before spring­ing for a rasp­berry lemon­ade at Cup and Top. At the moment, mak­ing lemon­ade out of life’s lemons feels a bit beyond me. But real lemon­ade on a sum­mer day is a pretty good distraction.

© 2012, amy gut­man. All rights reserved.

16 thoughts on “5 things I will do, and 5 things I will not

  1. I wish I could send this to a col­league at work, who is deal­ing with ter­ri­ble per­sonal stuff and insist­ing on oper­at­ing at full capac­ity while so clearly not…and cre­at­ing chaos for every­one! Very wise of you, Amy.
    Lisa recently posted…Walk, Mem­oryMy Profile

  2. Very wise plan! And good guide­lines for life in gen­eral, whether under extreme stress or not. The ‘do one nice thing for your­self’ (and the other pieces of advice) has got­ten me through some very rough times. Even as minor as a cup of cof­fee, a candy bar or buy­ing a sin­gle flower. Hang in there and good luck!
    Pollyal­ida recently posted…Helsinki Air­port Book SwapMy Profile

  3. Dur­ing these past few tumul­tuous months (my dad’s death, etc.) I found myself telling my fam­ily: We all need to be care­ful. We think we are oper­at­ing at full capac­ity but we are not and we will not be aware that we are not until we open the fridge and drop a big jelly jar on our toes. Wear closed-toe shoes fam­ily! I love your list and am adopt­ing them too!
    Alle­gra Jor­dan recently posted…Inno­va­tion Killer #2: Ask “Are you sure?”My Profile

  4. Amy, it sounds like you’re han­dling a tough time with some really smart and healthy strate­gies. You’ve pro­vided a good list for any­one fac­ing a chal­lenge. Fin­gers crossed that you’ll find a new place soon.

  5. This feels like a won­der­fully gra­cious per­mis­sion slip. Fill­ing up on per­mis­sion not to oper­ate at full capacity!

    Also send­ing warm sup­port for the hard.

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