Q1 to Q2, sonnet, etc.

I find it fascinating how travel (and novelty in general) changes the experience of time. When I drove my 16-year-old to school Monday morning, I realized I had picked him up there for his dentist appointment on the Friday only 10 days prior. That was the day we left for Spain in the evening. It felt like a lifetime ago. Like a completely distant memory.

Now that we are back, time moves quicker through our normal routines. As in, wow, it’s already been a week since our last full day in Spain when we did the market plus cooking class, and got caught in the rainstorm coming back from Plaza Mayor…

This is, of course, one of the reasons to travel — to slow down the experience of time and make it more memorable in your reckoning. It’s also the reason to plan in adventures in general. (That said, I’ve been enjoying a reasonably quiet work week at my desk where I’m only dealing with my immediate workload and not trying to get ahead of a week where I wouldn’t be working…).

The end of March rounded out the end of Q1. I haven’t done strict quarterly planning this year. I more have a list of annual goals that I’m working on.

In many ways, Q1 has been good. I stuck with my Bach listening schedule and am well on my way to listening to all of his work in a year. I stuck with my sonnet writing schedule, cranking out one a week. Vanderhacks has now been up and running for several months and I haven’t missed a day yet (please subscribe! It’s free for four posts per week, and then the fifth is usually behind a paywall). I have mostly finished my book proposal. Shortly, that will be out of my hands. I’m excited to start working on the book itself. We had some pretty amazing travel, between the Disney extravaganza and the week in Spain (I also took a short trip to Naples in there too).

On the other hand, this quarter was hard. Most notably, the radiculopathy episode of January was just…ridiculous. I spent chunks of Q1 in severe pain, unable to walk. I did my course of steroids and multiple months of physical therapy. I do my exercises diligently. But…my back still hurts. When I do a lot of walking, I still wind up with pain down my leg. That’s basically where I was before the incident. So who knows, it could all happen again. I am happy that the timing was such that I was able to take two trips involving a ton of walking. These were not pain-free trips, but I was able to do them.

We are a few days into Q2. It is shaping up to be a very full quarter, though again, mostly good things. There will be a lot of kid activity…My two older boys are both going to a state technology competition for multiple days, and we’ll find out after that if they’ll go to the national one in June (there is entirely the awkward possibility that one will qualify and one won’t but…we will cross that bridge when we come to it). While we were in Spain we got a surprise email from the 14-year-old’s robotics coach that their team was chosen (by lottery) for a berth at the world competition. They hadn’t qualified at the previous competition level, so we thought the season was over, but I guess the coach put them on the wait list and some one else dropped out…fortunately the world competition is in Dallas and not in, like Singapore or something that would require even more last minute scrambling! (Though I’m guessing the kids would have loved an international trip…but my kid will already be missing a lot of school between the technology competition and this one). The 16-year-old and I will be singing in a performance of Brahms Requiem. The 12-year-old and I will be taking a big trip together — more on that after we go.

I had quite the laugh yesterday over something tax-related (believe it or not…). We need to make a reasonably large payment to the US Treasury. This is totally expected — all OK. But I did want to see if it would be OK to pay by personal check for this amount (as opposed to some other method), so I went seeking some guidance. The IRS helpfully informs us that “we can’t accept single check or money order amounts of $100 million or more.” Fortunately I don’t owe more than $100 million, so I think I’ll be OK 🙂

In the meantime, here’s a little sonnet, called “Equinox,” written in mid-March.

The warmth of March is fragile, mid-day sun
pulls buds from branches, green shoots from the ground.
The Lenten roses bloom, plums have begun
to pinken, periwinkle vines surround

the trees that feed on sunlight, but the chill
of evening leads to creeping, shivering hours.
The frost that threatens all this growing, still,
will wrap its icy fingers on the flowers.

So watch the forecast, wonder at this show
a battle absent from the blooms of June.
What wagers nature makes — she does not know
if winter lingers, or the heat comes soon.

She makes her bids, her courage on display
like daffodils that greet a cold March day.


8 thoughts on “Q1 to Q2, sonnet, etc.

  1. I’m glad that in many ways, Q1 has been good. Ms. Laura Vanderkam. Except for the back and leg symptoms, of course. Besides, I don’t plan for every 3 months either.
    Now, as you’re submitting the book proposal, I’m thinking: What would be the name of this book?
    Also, did you mean that national technology competition could only have 1 winner? In which case if 2 relatives come to this same technology competition, there can still be only 1 winner?
    In the meantime, would you rather refer to this sonnet as “Equinox” or “Spring Equinox”? I mean, for me, either one would be fine.

    1. @Yukun – the name is still a work in progress, though I submitted the proposal with a name of course… There will probably be winners in lots of different divisions, so we shall see. Lots of people get to go on to the next level!

  2. Laura, if you have an open mind (which I suspect you do)take a listen to the podcast “Tell me about your pain” or pick up the the book The Way Out by Alan Gordon. I think it might help your back.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *