I never said I’d win Mom-of-the-Year, but did you have to agree?!

In the van on the way home from picking up my eight-year old from after school care, she asked me if I’d remembered to check on an extracurricular activity she’d been hounding asking me about. “Umm. No, I forgot,” I admitted.

“Well, what about checking with Emmy’s mom for that play date?”

“Sorry, hun. I’ll do it soon. I promise.” Geez. I can’t believe I forgot again! I wonder what I should fix for dinner. I’ve got to wash those pants for tomorrow and remember to finish that summary I was working on at the office. Pick up the prescriptions at the pharmacy later and pay that bill online.

This was followed by some whining and a big sigh from the back seat.

“I’m sorry. I’m a lousy mom,” I joked. I figured she’d come to my rescue and stick up for me, saying, unequivocally, that no, I wasn’t a bad mom, just a busy mom.

She says, without missing a beat: “I know. I’m just glad you’re able recognize that about yourself.”

Ouch.

My damaged self-image was only half resurrected by the fact that shortly following this statement, she busted out laughing. Which made me realize that: a) I’ve really got to watch myself lest my unintentional broken promises wind up the source of some future therapy sessions for her and a heaping load of parental guilt on my part; and b) she’s got her own little quirky sense of humor emerging.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some errands to run. And some laundry to do. And I must remember to email about that play date. And the violin lessons. And then thaw out the chicken. And…

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Be Ever So Careful What You Wish For

Perhaps I should have specified. I didn’t really want to feel unwell in order to have some downtime.

I simply wanted some time to myself to relax and reflect. To regroup my thoughts and spend some uninterrupted time working on some rewrites for my novel, without the hassle of having to get out of bed or to cook or clean or shuffle kids here or there. Not in the least, to skip having to go to that pesky, time-encroaching day job.

It was a fleeting fantasy and I quickly realized that everything I’d neglected would probably be there waiting in a big, looming pile upon my return to the real world anyway. <sigh>

So, guess where I’m posting this from? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Just take a wild guess.

You’ll never guess.

Bed! That’s where! Laid up. Down for the count. And not even with anything remotely useful, like a sore throat or the sniffles, where I could at least be indulging in a guilt free chocolate milkshake or some sodium-laden chicken noodle soup.

Nope. I threw my back out. And not even by doing anything remotely exciting or strenuous, like mountain climbing or hang gliding. I was bending over to check my daughter’s backpack before school.

I bent. I stood up, empty handed. And then WHAM! It felt like I’d been kidney punched. I nearly passed out from the intense, sudden pain and had to grab hold of the table to remain relatively upright. And once I finally stopped wailing, my 8 year old asked (from the safety of her bedroom) if I’d been shot or stabbed and then begged me not to die. Apparently, she either has a very active imagination or we live in a more dangerous neighborhood than I ever realized because I was alone in the middle of our kitchen when said injury occurred.

I was a trooper though. I delivered all the kids to their destinations and arrived at the day job, on time I might add. Once I finally could call it a day, I headed home to the comforts of my bed where my husband has offered a massage and to make dinner. I should be doing some rewrites but that might be ill-advised on account of my creativity being jacked up by the muscle relaxers and pain relievers. I’m afraid that might result in only more needed editing.

So, next time, when my brain starts devising ways for my body to catch a break, I’ll try to be more specific in my fantasies.

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I Think I’m Coming Down with Something

I was watching TV with my 8 year old daughter the other night. And because it’s sometimes just easier and I was only half-watching anyway, she had control of the remote. I was relegated to watching an age-appropriate kids’ channel–an episode of one of her favorite programs I’ll probably have the pleasure of seeing at least another half dozen times.

Remind me why we ordered the DVR feature again?

Anyway. The mom in the show had the flu. Her hair was a mess, she was dressed in a grungy robe, looked like she hadn’t showered in days all while coughing and hacking with every other strained breath. She looked miserable and her acting actually had me convinced she was really sick.

Nobody wanted to be in the same room with her for fear of catching it.

The story went on with the mom hiring an older neighbor boy to help watch her younger son (about my daughter’s age) and to run his “errands” with him. While she’d paid the 14-ish-year-old to escort her little boy around town for the day (busy Chicago, none-the-less) to get his haircut, buy some new “slacks”, among a myriad of other to-dos, (predictably) they ended up ditching the entire list laid out for them and spent the day at a baseball game instead.

Equally predictable, they ended up on the big screen at the televised game, where the bedridden mom caught them in the act, since she had nothing better to do in her invalid state than watch ESPN.

I actually envied her.

Really?

Yes. For a brief moment I thought: If only I had a couple days downtime to myself. How much writing could I get done in that time? Would life go on, seamlessly, without me for a few days? My husband would have to handle school transportation and meals and laundry. Dishes and homework help and straightening the house. Maybe no one would even notice if I were bedridden. I could even call in sick to work. Sure, I could do that.

I was even beginning to feel somewhat feverish and maybe a tickle in the back of my throat.

Then reality hit. Trust me, it didn’t take long.

I realized, that once I was fully functional again, there would likely be a pile of paperwork at my day job when I returned. There would still be a load or two of dirty clothes to be attend to and dishes left undone. And, although my family might have survived during that time on Ramen noodles, I would rather have something with a little more sustenance. Perhaps something in the vegetable group.

Suddenly, I was feeling much, much better.

And, really, would I have gotten all that much writing done anyway? Probably not.

 

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A Great Start Leads to the Perfect Finish

I’m so excited!

No, I didn’t win the lottery. (Still working on that one.) Nor did I finally figure out how to please my entire family at one, single mealtime. (Gave up that delusion a long time ago.) Or score the all elusive book deal. (Yet.)

I got three, count ’em three, different kids transported to three different schools this morning. All on time, I might add!

Although my day job is full of deadlines and I should be somewhat accustomed to the fast pace, I don’t do well when thrown into crunch time first thing in the morning. Since the start of the school year last week, the morning routine, or lack of, has set my heart  into wild palpitations. The entire rest of my day then ends up on a high-speed crash course where it usually ends in me meeting with a head-on collision, face first into my pillow, dreading the next day when I have to do it all over again.

My whole day seems to just run better. What about you? What gets your day headed in the right, or wrong, direction?

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Afternoon Delight

A light rain pattering on my windowpane, a glass of sweet, red wine close at hand and my trusty laptop, ready to accept everything my mind can pour into it.

Now, excuse me while I get back to writing. This book ain’t gonna finish itself!

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Creativity–A Precious Resource

Three months? Really?! I cannot believe I’ve neglected my blog (as sporadic as it was anyway) for nearly 3 months!

I honestly don’t see how other writers do it…working on a novel (or two at a time…guilty!) and find both the time and, more importantly, the creativity to sustain a blog worthy of readership. When I’m in the middle of writing a book (3 years now, but who’s counting), I eat, sleep, breathe the characters. I’m constantly working and reworking the plot line. In the shower, while reading, doing laundry, dishes, while I’m running, while laying in bed until the wee hours trying to get some sleep. It’s even occasionally been known to filter into my dreams. Every creative bone in my body is fine-tuned to my story.

I take short breaks from it, sure. Once in awhile I have to step back, let things rest for a bit so I hopefully gain some prospective, but usually only for a few days. Then, I’m back at it.

So, how do other writers find it possible to write, say a novel, and to come up with blog material, sometimes on a daily basis? I’d like to know!

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Just Stuff

I’m in a funk.

Not necessarily in a bad mood…just a weird mood. I feel like I’ve lost my momentum, like things aren’t moving forward but I lack the energy to get them moving again. Everything’s just standing still. I don’t like standing still.

Writing is frustrating me right now. I can’t seem to make this new story come together any more than I can my own life. My other novel, already drafted, still sits. Unpublished. I know it needs revised and polished and, yet, I’m reluctant to do it. Why?

I don’t know. Maybe because I’m afraid that even when I do, it still won’t be good enough? Probably. If I want to be a writer so badly, then why am I standing in my own way so much?

I’ve been researching college degrees online today. I’ve been thinking about it way longer than that. If there is one thing I regret in my life, it’s not going to college. I feel like the poster child for the need for continuing education. I feel like I’m missing something, but do I want the degree, or just the life experience? It seems like all the courses are geared toward medical or technical or business. I’m not interested in any of those things.

So what is it?

I’m being totally honest here (plus I’ve had a couple of glasses of wine); I feel like I’m banging my head against a brick wall. I don’t know if it’s an age thing, a hormonal thing or something else. But please tell me I’m not the only one who’s felt this way or else I’m really going to regret this post in the morning when the wine’s wore off.

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