I don't know if any of you watch the TNT drama The Closer, but it is one of my DVR darlings, meaning it is high on the priority list unlike say Heroes which I just gave up watching altogether. The Closer centers around Brenda Leigh Johnson head of a Division of the LAPD known as Priority Homicide, which gets big cases, high profile cases, etc. I liken it to Law & Order: Criminal Intent's Major Crimes Division. Anyway, Brenda Leigh, played by the brilliant Kyra Sedgwick, is from Atlanta, Ga. She eats sweets when stressed and is always in a hurry. She has a huge black bag full of who knows what and she puts everyone and everything behind solving crimes. She is scattered, forgetful, and though may not always mean to be... kinda selfish as her drive to catch the bad guys means her whole life is on hold. Brenda Leigh is a "closer" meaning she not only closes cases, she gets confessions. In the interrogation room she does her magic. It's great fun to watch. But she's also a bit of a train wreck outside of the station.

According to the TNT quiz, Which Closer Character Are You,? I am Brenda Leigh

You are totally on top of things in your career, but everywhere else you are a mess. Don’t fret though. It’s exactly those idiosyncrasies that make you so lovable. . You have a knack for drawing people out. Use your powers for good, not evil.

And let me tell you, I have been feeling like Brenda Leigh in all aspects of my life. I feel scattered, never getting my "to do" lists done. This week has begun much better but I still have a lot going on and am unsure how to organize it all. I'm trying to cut myself some slack because I think my expectations of what is "good" may be nearly impossible to reach. I've written here about how I overachieve, how I long to be okay with okay. I keep reminding myself that my word of the year is "enrich" and I ask myself what I'm doing to enrich my life, my thoughts, my everydayness. M and I started taking photographs yesterday for a photoblog we're going to try to keep going. That's one way I am putting "enrich" into practice. And I feel really good about it. I woke up early today when the second snooze went off. I showered; I had some coffee; I didn't read email. Instead I opened up the web editing work I've needed to finish. It is a kind of "working with your hands" that people who are skilled at knitting or crocheting or other kinds of work where you don't have to concentrate solely on what you're doing. And while part of the work frustrated me last night, this morning it gave me a quiet, thinking space where I could do and not do simultaneously.

Then I took some pictures and when M got up she helped me with some of the settings on the camera so I could get the picture I took and posted today. I've been thinking about that picture since we posted it. The image is simple: a bowl and spoon; but I was able to find something interesting and beautiful there. I am creating in this way. I'm sharing the process with someone I love and I'm learning something that takes me way out of my element of control.

I've been feeling bogged down lately, like I'm moving through quicksand. I was telling someone that I wish we had a reboot switch the way computers do so that when we're running sluggish we could just reboot. Last week I felt particularly off kilter, maybe because I turned 31 and had some unexamined feelings about that or maybe it was just one of those weeks. I devised some strategies to combat the stress one of which is sticking to my office hours, meaning finding other places to work on campus (when I have 'free time,' non-office hours) besides my office so that I don't get roped into things or conversations or take on the surrounding stress of a busy department office. I'm trying to give myself different mental spaces by altering my geography. Another is listening to music.

But I have to say, I think that starting my day with something creative has gone a long way.