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Repetition and Patterns

I have several projects in process right now. I’m working on my book of essays, which has me combing through blog entries from 2007 and 2008. I’m working on creating family photo books and I’m two years behind, so the project has me reading through blog entries from 2009 to pull the family-related ones to be matched with pictures. Each year I pull all the blog entries and use a Print on Demand service to create a blog book which goes on my shelf. For the 2010 book I decided I wanted to make it pretty with actual layout. So I’ve been glancing over the 2010 blog entries as I put them in place. Then of course there is my ongoing blogging.

Most of my projects spend lots of time idle. This is why the family photo book is so far behind. In the past couple of weeks each of my projects has had a turn being in the front of my attention. It is very retrospective. As I read through these snatches of my life and the lives of my kids, I remember things I would have otherwise forgotten. I find hidden treasures of thought. I just wish more of them stuck. All too often I read entries written a year or more apart where I come to a nearly identical epiphany. Just a couple of days ago I wrote a post about how I can’t fix everything and I shouldn’t expect myself to. I came to a similar realization last March too. I keep over scheduling myself and struggling to clear spaces in my schedule. I get stressed. I get anxious. I’m excited about events. I stay home from events for the benefit of the kids. Around and around I go tromping over landscape which looks remarkably similar.

Last night I was inclined to be discouraged with myself for needing to learn the same lessons over and over again. I would like to just learn the lesson and move on. The thing is, I do. The fact that I have to come to the same epiphanies is not because I forget, but rather because I need to recognize the new iteration of a particular problem. Life is cyclical. I should expect to cycle through patterns of thought in response to the patterns of my year. For what ever reason, early March appears to be the time of year when I need to remember that I am not responsible for solving all the troubles in the world. September is a month when I plan, organize, and take control of many things. In Fall I shoulder my burdens. In Spring I learn to put them down again. Winter I hunker down and survive. In Summer I run fast and be busy. Not a bad pattern really.

The patterns do shift from year to year. I can see that bit by bit I’m finding more balance. I also am more understanding of my past failures. When I read the lists of things which all happened more or less simultaneously, I am amazed that we survived intact. We’ll probably stay pretty close to variations on these themes while I’ve got all my kids home and in school. The future will hold different patterns. It will be interesting to see what they are when I get there. For now I’m content to repeat the current patterns. They have far more good in them than bad.

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