Because a List is the Remedy for Scattered Thoughts

Have you ever held a helium balloon in your hands and lost grip of the string?  You can feel it slipping from your grasp, yet your mind can't convince your hand to clutch quickly enough, so you simply watch the balloon float away.

I experienced this sensation all last week, except that the balloon was my thoughts.  So many thoughts!  Some were mundane: Buy eggs!  Send checks for the kids' school pictures!  Reply to that email!  Call to make that appointment!  Do not forget the eggs!  Or the school pictures!

But I'd forget.  The thoughts would slip through my grasp and float away, never to be seen again, which is further evidence for why I need to write lists to function in daily life.  All week long the same principle applied when I thought about writing here.  An idea would form loosely, but before I could get a good grip, it would be carried away on some invisible breeze.

I said all that to say this: in today's post, please bear with my scattered thoughts.  I'm clutching them as tightly as I can.  (I'm also reverting to a list, because -- see above -- lists work for me.)

Hurricane update.  Last post I told you that my parents had evacuated their Florida home for Hurricane Irma.  They've since returned.  While there's exterior damage to their house, there's no interior damage or flooding.  We're so grateful, yet we know many weren't as fortunate.

Fall is in the air.  We had the most gorgeous weekend -- sunshine, mid 70's in the afternoons, cooler mornings and evenings.  The best part, though, was that when I breathed deeply, I could smell leaves and a type of earthiness that's solely reserved for the fall.  It made me inexplicably happy.

Sort of, but not really, saying RIP to summer projects.  I'm starting the fifth week of the semester, which means one thing: I will perpetually reside in a state of needing to grade something -- speeches, essays, exams, student blogs -- for the next ten weeks.  That being said, this past weekend I looked at my list of the summer DIY projects that I wanted to complete (I told you I thrive on lists!), and thought, "One more.  Do one more.  You've got this."

So today as my kids were playing outside, I pulled out a drop cloth, wood, my palm sander, paint, my trusty one-and-a-half-inch angled paint brush, and a can of spray paint, and then got to work in my garage.  Something inside of me changes when I get to work with my hands, not just within my head.  It's rejuvenating.  It's therapeutic.  Right there, I promised myself that no matter how busy the semester gets, I'd still remember that this "mere play" might be the best way I can spend an hour, especially when I might not feel that I have an hour to spare.

(By the way, I can't wait to show you my day's work when it's done.  My annual DIY week where I showcase favorite summer projects will be coming soon!)

Be prepared for some changes.  Speaking of big reveals, in the near future, Robin Kramer Writes will be getting a new look.  I'm excited to refresh the design so it looks slick on both desktop and mobile versions, so be prepared!  I think you're going to love it.  I already love it, and it isn't even done yet.  I can't wait!

Friends, as always, thanks for reading.  This week, may your thoughts not fly away from you, may your lists be helpful, and may you find happiness in the littlest of things -- even a fresh breath of fall air.

Image compliments of A. Currell.


  1. I started following you after reading a post on attaching pennies to your curtains to keep the bottom corners straight. You know some blog emails you peruse quickly then delete, some you just delete wondering what brought you to it in the first place and a special few you look forward to and enjoy every word? You are in the last group. I love your variety, insight, humor, faith, and common sense. I share you with one of my sisters who also works at a college. Thank you for taking time to share.
    I am glad your parents were so fortunate. I live in Suwannee County in north central Florida. Many still do not have power. My family was out six days. We also use lists. A list of tasks - fill buckets with water, clean out the freezer, etc. helped prepare us for the outage. The Lord protected our home. Ten trees fell. One huge tree fell inches from our house on one side, inches from our pump on the other, and nestled within the downed behemoth, our Dish satellite. The trunk is less than an inch from it. While appreciated, the Dish was the least of it, but the protection given was bigger than the tree. Please continue to pray for guidance, wisdom, peace, and strength. Don't forget prayers of thanks too.

    1. Why, hello, dear Anonymous! Thank you for such a thoughtful comment! I'm touched that you've stuck with my blog and enjoyed following. It means so much that you took the time to share this with me.

      What harrowing times in Florida! Praise God that the fallen trees didn't cause more damage. I can't imagine looking at the aftermath, knowing mere inches were separating you from even greater destruction. Although I don't know your name, I will pray for you -- and for all those who will still be working through the emotions, costs, and logistics of the clean-up process.

      So glad that you wrote!

  2. There's got to be some fun German word for that "perpetually needing to grade something" state of being. If there's not, I feel like their should be, because it sure would come in handy when I try to explain my absence from the world from Sept-Dec to non-teachers! =)

    1. Ha! That's hilarious, Maggie! I think there *IS* a German word that describes the scenario perfectly: blitzkrieg!


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