Total silence is easier than a sensitivity towards deliberate speech -- in giving up verbosity for Lent, I still write. I just think more about what I'm writing.

Sally and I talked about how reality-testing can help me learn to live with imperfection. For anything I'm having trouble letting go of, what's the empirical evidence that Bad Things will happen if I do? We also spoke of contracts and covenants; a contract is a functional specification of the minimum, whereas a covenant is an unconditional commitment towards putting forth all that you can. Not everything can be a covenant. In fact, to have a covenant, a lot of things need to be contracts -- we limit some things so others can become unlimited.

And so Pondermel looks at Future Dr. Mel and wonders: who are we called to be? Writing, teaching, hacking, researching... the call to work as part of my vocation has been clear since I was small, and I've pursued that with a fury. But the voice I'm learning to listen to has more to say. Go be that explosive plasma-cannon whirlwind in your work as Future Dr. Mel, it says -- and be that whirlwind with awareness and the ability to stop. I'm called to balance sprinting with sabbaticals -- to make a breathing space and room for... I don't know, and that frightens me; if I create a space I don't immediately fill, what might come into being? I do not know if covenants with marriage and/or motherhood are on my path, and even opening the possibility that they might be is terrifying, but I've promised to not run away from where I'm called to go. The future will unfold, and we will have the grace to walk each day that we are given. I know that the warm-up for a dance is in itself a dance, and no lesser a dance at that; I also know now is the time for me to learn the strength I need for such a balance if or when it comes. Right now my covenant is with becoming... me. And I can handle that today, and that is all I need to do.

Of course, today's also the day Distractomel goes "Whee! Do alllll the things, do allllll -- ooh, squirrel! Shiny! Wheeeee!" and skids off-track with half the things on her to-do list. So I'll smile and tuck my little puppy self into bed; tomorrow is another day.