For this last week I’ve been struggling with wanting to get more done. Coming off of vacation is never easy for me, and now I have a week to get ready for the next semester. I tell myself, too, after this past summer when I fell so spectacularly apart, it’s been a long time since I worked steadily at my peak. Last semester I did what I needed to do and little else, letting myself retreat to Netflix or a book when those must-dos were done, glad to just be functioning at all, I think, and precarious in it. I tell myself now it isn’t fair to expect to be able to flip a switch, to begin doing not only all sorts of extra things, but to be doing them all quickly. And besides, I point out with a wry grin, it just ain’t happenin’. But I’m not giving up hope. And maybe this is a good experiment. Because I’ve never figured out how to get into high gear without engendering more stress than I want in my life. So, maybe if I keep making this transition like molasses, I’ll get where I want to be without bricks for shoulders. When I begin cataloging what I need to accomplish my body clenches, even though I know I’ll get it all done. Still, my mean voice mutters about all the other things besides schoolwork I’ve been neglecting, nags me about the weeds in the driveway, the dirt from the construction site that’s piled up on the little shelf in the shower where the spray doesn’t reach. My mean voice has a long list, but I don’t want to listen, don’t want to even let the voice live in me. I pause with my pen above the page, take in a deep breath, let it out again. I see the hunter green umbrella poking out above the back fence, a happy reminder my neighbors are back from Canada. I hear a house finch singing in their tree, but I can’t see him. I scratch my head, yawn, grin. I’m going to focus a bit more on my writing today, then move on to some school prep. I’m going to sneak up on this full throttle stuff, I tell myself, and find a way to keep my peace.