1. Three months gone. Best intentions shot to hell. Still paying for the space. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
2. I've missed a few Thursday Thirteens, but 1) I watched High Fidelity last night, and 2) these listicles have always been the most effective mental decongestant on the market. So. A list.
3. The past couple of months have been filled to the brim with adventures and fun. We helped the grandson celebrate turning ONE. We spent a long weekend enjoying the heck out of the natural splendor of our Mountain Mama homeland. We've been - of course - to Morgantown for Mountaineer football. Simple, glorious, stuff of life stuff.
4. Concurrently, the nonprofit has been growing like a weed. It's amazing. Humbling. Gratifying. Heart wrenching. Inspiring. Exhausting. Life changing. It's hard to find the words, really. And then, it's harder still to shut up about it. We're doing good work. Let's leave it there for now.
5. I am struggling with how much I miss my family these days. Every piece of it. The one in Kentucky. The ones in Virginia. The ones right down the road who are busy planning the next phase of their life, which includes exploring at least four vastly different regions of the country courtesy of the son's girlfriend's travel nurse dreams come true. New year, new directions. It's one thing to experience the Empty Nest phenomenon when your child leaves home. It's a whole other thing to experience it when they leave your area code.
6. Recently I learned that Anne Frank and Martin Luther King, Jr. were both born in 1929 and my mind has been blown in unsettling ways ever since.
7. Can I give you a little taste of the what my life looks like right now? Here is a live look-in at the next three weeks:
- Holiday Bazaar fundraiser is tomorrow afternoon. 11 vendors, all day, first time event, flying by the seat of my pants. Fingers crossed for nice sales and correspondingly sweet donations.
- Secret Santas for Our Seniors program is HAPPENING!! This has been a needling tug on my heart for a couple of years, but now - this year - through Faith in Action of the Greater Kanawha Valley, it's real. Realer than real. We've got a crowdfunding site (sooooo close to our tipping point goal!) We've got volunteers lining up. We've got 45 seniors about to get an injection of cheer into their holiday season.
- Volunteer trainings are scheduled for 11/9 & 11/12.
- Spirit Night at Chick-fil-A is taking place on 11/10.
- I signed up for a 36 week intensive Bible study class. It meets every Wednesday night and if I don't do the reading for it every day, I fall tragically, irrevocably behind. So, I read. Every day.
- Our BIG fundraiser, Sweet Charity, is in its second year and we've had to change venues to accommodate the growth. ! Right?! ! Even though the event is not until January, there are competitors to secure, sponsors to sway, logistics to plan, and tickets to sell. The good news? We've already secured our three celebrity judges and I cannot WAIT to get the word out about the who's who.
- One more football party in Morgantown for me this season, and it's next weekend. Texas comes to town. It's gonna be raucous.
- Thanksgiving. THANKSGIVING! I'm hosting! A dozen people for The Dinner, a houseful for the duration. Oddly enough, I'm not the least bit stressed about this. It will be what it will be, and it will be, as always, fabulous. We're doing a simple, traditional meal. We're doing lots of conversation, lots of laughs, lots of love. What could be easier? Ha! Shhhhhh. Humor me.
- And in between it all is volunteering, running the business side of the nonprofit, getting the house ready for company, and never losing sight of my touchstones. My husband and my dog ground me on the home front by tethering my heart to theirs. Hush, you. It's true.
8. I need a nap.
9. We stayed up very late last night watching movies - High Fidelity (the husband's first time! Crazy!) and The Departed (so good but DAMN!). I addressed FIAGKV Thanksgiving cards and created the online Secret Santas sign up sheet at the same time. It's all multi-tasking, all the time these days, and right now, it's all good. But I need to watch myself. Pace myself. Burnout is a horrible horrible thing.
10. Maybe I need a walk. And then a nap.
11. Part of the reason I sat down to write this today, of all days, is to take a mind break from all of the above. Because I cannot sit here in this chair and watch the Mountaineers play this football game on my teevee while accomplishing nothing of consequence. Because my brain will not TURN OFF. Because I like writing lists. Because I like writing. Because. Because. Because.
12. Did I mention I also challenged my daughter to read 'Infinite Jest' with me over the next couple of months? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Hoo boy. Went to see 'The End of the Tour' and was blown away/inspired anew to tackle this epic/classic/magnum opus of a once a generation genius. (I also went down the internet rabbit hole until I found this spectacular All Things DFW treasure trove-turned-obsession.) I'm trying, with the reading. I'm trying. Although not very hard, it's true.
13. Okay. That seems enough. The head feels a bit lighter, and what's not to love about that? Besides. Tonight is date night. The calm before the storm. I'm going to relish its lovely lull, as long as I can, and then feed off of its soul fuel to sustain me through it all.
Because let's be real.
Ain't nobody got time for naps.
*Title quote from 'The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes,' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.