There’s a light

I have been overcommitted as long as I can remember. I think I was born with a to-do list in my hand.

This afternoon, I realized it was entirely possible that I might, at long last, finish enough projects simultaneously to end up with a completely empty list.

The last item is a mural-painting project I started almost a year ago. It took way longer than I expected. I worked on it all winter and into the spring, and when I finally got it done, it wasn’t really done, because I discovered little spots that needed touchups, and I got a suggestion about something I should add to fill out an empty spot, and I kept thinking I’d get a hand free to wrap up that last little bit.

Except I never got a hand free. Spring turned to summer, and summer turned to fall, and my plate piled higher and higher with projects. Each one I finished led to another new one … and sometimes three or four new ones.

In the past three days, I’ve laid out a newsletter, updated two Web sites with reciprocal links I’d promised out, called Sprint to have a mistake corrected on my cell phone bill, placed a call to my neon guy so we can finish installing some equipment in my studio, and started touching up that mural.

I can’t quite finish it this minute. The paint has to dry so I can come back with a paint marker and add some final flourishes. But for all intents and purposes, I’m done, and anything I don’t wrap up tonight when I go back (after I feed the dogs and grab some dinner for myself), I can finish tomorrow on my lunch hour.

The last time I saw the light at the end of the tunnel, Ronald Reagan was serving his first term as president.

It’s been so long, I’d forgotten what that light looked like. But it’s a glorious sight.

I’m going out to dinner with a friend tomorrow night. I don’t know how to explain what it means to me to be able to give her my full attention, without that obnoxious little voice in the back of my head yanging at me about how irresponsible I am for socializing when I’ve got projects to finish.

This is the first time in 23 years that I’ve had a chance to see how normal people live. This is the first time in 23 years that I’ve had a chance to find out what the phrase “down time” means.

God help anybody who even THINKS about dropping a project in my lap tomorrow….

Emily