Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My Little Book of Lists and Stuff

Sea bass – 2 kilos
Mussels – 1.5 kilos 

Canned tomatoes
Mortadella (possible? No pork)
Hazel nuts

Parsley – Italian
Salad greens – Rocket
Cherry tomatoes
Swiss chard

The list comes at me as a poem.  In this desert of writing, fumbling for entertainment as I am temporarily without my iPhone, I come across my little book.  The blank book I keep in my purse to write down lists, thoughts, impressions, phone and flight numbers.  Things I don’t want to forget.  One corner is slightly chewed by the puppy Satchmo…so I suppose I cannot forget him too, another one I left behind.  For now.

I start flipping through the book.  Filled with gems (and also some words I cannot read nor begin to decipher…written in a rush and thoughtlessly thought I could not forget the meaning nor context.) 

It begins in ’09…Scotland with Andy.  Then there are notes around the continuation of that trip, into Italy where I celebrated turning 50 with wonderful friends.  There are sermon notes from church, packing lists, thoughts and lists around the big change up: a temporary post in the Middle East.  Notes and lists from a trip to India in the fall and meeting up with Andy in Spain over Christmas.  A few self pitying dumps and yet even some joyful discoveries.  Some things that I think would be pretty profound...if I could just remember what I meant at the time.

Still waiting for a driver, still sans iPhone I begin my “Surviving Ramadan” list.  Truthfully I am worried about this next week and a half.  My flatmate is going on a well deserved escape from the heat and stifling lifestyle.  The handful of mates that are still here are all leaving save Hannah, who will also be stuck here.  At the end of Ramadan we have five days in a row off but I have no plans and no one to plan it with.  Hannah has to work.  And at the end of this “break” I dive into a few months of potential work hell: no new projects; only old ones that won’t die though the budget for them has long since dried up; continued shortness of staff and support and my unflinching desire to prepare those who are here to pull off a quality presence and reputation for work well done…but so much of what it takes completely out of our control; dealing with agencies who have agendas different from ours and hell bent on moving the target on a daily basis; the red tape and administrative BS that has been developed to a fine art of delay the likes of which I have never before encountered.

But, then this, this little notebook, with little gems to take out and unwrap and remember.  Perhaps I can start with this as a source of inspiration, if not for some things great, at least for somethings positive.  Memories which might help through hell week and beyond.

Surviving Ramadan List (not too ambitious…definitely doable) and still room for staying in pajamas a full day or two when self pity gets the most of me.


-        Paint 1 picture
-        Write 1 poem (I’ll try to do more than an Italian meal shopping list)
-        3x treadmill
-        1 day by pool (shoot for 2)
-        Talk to Julie, Melinda
-        Finish current Kindle read, start another
-        Cook healthy
-        Order out healthy J
-        Broccoli salad (get recipe from Lola)
-        Bible Study (3x+)
-        Starbucks hang/read (2x)
-        Get outside my mind


Anonymous said...

Yes, you can survive it! So glad to know what's on and in your mind. I am thinking of you a lot as I start my back-to-school madness. Loving you from afar.

Lou Woods said...

Melissa pulled the large jizsaw puzzle out of storage and put it up on the table for me to noodle over in her absence. At least I can move my laziness from the bedroom to the living room!

Lou Woods said...

I got the recipe from Lola (woohoo!) After work I am going to Spinney's non-Muslim room and buying BACON!! Yep. Some to go in the salad. Some for a BLT. Some just to have in reserve in case I am one bacon strip away from a total mental breakdown. This is part of my Ramadan survival plan. Pathetic, no?

KelleyM said...

Nice to hear your thoughts again... I have a little book like yours - a couple of them, actually. One which is entirely devoted to "notes to self as I get older". This is where I put things that the women who are going before me have done and are doing that have inspired me - to remind me to DO those things. And notes of things that I observe that I DON'T want to do when I am old(er)...

I think you should add to your "to do" list - outline a plan for Italian villa. Ken suggests that my beach house might need to start with a lottery ticket. I'm buying one today...

Love ya!

Lou Woods said...

Kelley, I'd love to hear some of your gems from the "aging gracefully" notebook. Both the "to be" and "not to be" categories. What a brilliant idea. Must be some good advice because, in the short time I've known you, it seems you are definately on the right track :-)

U Can Still Play in the Rain said...

I am going to think of your posts as "Ideas From Afar". I am going to put a little notebook in my purse and start taking notes! Brilliant Jen! Thank you!

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