Monday, June 2, 2014


Last month was a challenge. I failed to set a thirty-day challenge or develop a new habit to replace things getting me in trouble. I broke a writing streak that was almost a year long. I gained weight. I stopped running. I failed to send writing out to be published. And most school days were dreadful. It wasn't my best month, but it wasn't a complete wash.

I came back to the Seven Valleys Writing Project after too long away. I got out of teaching summer school and its canned curriculum. I visited with friends and that energized me. I applied for jobs and revised my resume.

Lou Reed says, "They say the bad makes the good and there's something to be learned from every human experience," and who am I to argue?

This morning I weigh 214 pounds. Yick. I had planned to get up at 4:30 but lay in bed until five. While showering, I though about habits and triggers, challenges and change. I wondered if I will ever change. That worry hits harder than usual today.

I'm doing a few things that could radically change my life. The writing project and applying for jobs that would stretch me. Am I up to either task? The logical part of me knows I am. A more primitive part of me feels only doubt and anxiety like a squirrel it is frantic about being another animal's meal. No matter how often I tell the squirrel that it's going to be okay, it still runs away. This is me.

This morning is the first day of the last month of school. By the end of June I may or may not have a new job. I will have already started work on the writing project instead of on canned lessons for summer school. I will weigh more or less than I do now.

June is endings (of the school year and maybe the job I currently have) and beginnings (of summer which and the writing project). It feels momentous and it follows May which was challenging. It wasn't a disaster, but I want to do better in June. I want to capitalize on the good of May and learn to put a stop to the bad.

Now is when I suppose I should write a bulleted list of my June goals. I'm not going to. I want to only as far as today. I'll go to school. We will write and read. I'll go to my second school and get through it. I'll drive to Ithaca to meet a friend and plan the writing project. I'll come home to my wife, kids, father-in-law, and the pets. I will take time today to write because, if nothing else, I know that June is as good a month as any to write on.

From there anything is possible.