Monday, November 23, 2015

A Day Off

It’s Monday. My schedule is flexible—changing every week—but for this week, Monday means a day off.

“Lucky you,” you say. “I never get a day off!”

Well, believe me, you have my sympathy and utmost respect. I applaud any parent who can manage to keep their house from self-destructing whilst working full time. I don’t know how you do it. Seriously, I don’t.

As for me, I work part-time so that I can manage the day-to-day life of a military family with teens (hubby is away…frequently), but really, my days off are supposed to be writing days. 

With two published books and numerous manuscripts in various stages of completion, I still cringe inside when I call myself a writer, but in reality being a writer is a job. A career. Some extremely fortunate people get to write full time. I am not one of those fortunate people (YET) so for now, my days off are technically working days, just with a different career path. Days off are days supposed to be spent in my favourite writing spot, hammering away at the keyboard while building worlds and creating magic. Days off are creative days, quiet days, productive days while the kids are at school, hubby is at work and my mind has a few blissful hours to focus on the screen in front of me.

Ha ha ha ha.  HA! HA!

Lets just take a look at how today started out...

Yell at kids to get their butts in the car. Frantically make coffee because I NEED CAFFEINE. Dishwasher full of clean dishes, countertop full of dirty dishes. Scrounge to find a cup. Pour coffee. Discover there is no milk to put in coffee. Yell at kids to get in car.  Skip breakfast—no milk for cereal. Too late for toast.

Take milk-less coffee with me. Drop kids at schools. Go to grocery store to get milk. Spend an hour in grocery store because I need a meal plan to get me through a crazy week. Buy a gazillion dollars worth of food. Light goes on in car—need gas. Stop to get gas. Drive home. Start putting groceries away, fridge is too full of last weeks leftovers. Empty fridge of science experiments to make room. Garbage is full. Empty garbage and put in new bag. Pantry is full of empty boxes, dismantle boxes and put in recycling, but recycling is overflowing so empty that. Put away rest of groceries.

Realize my coffee is cold. Make new coffee and leave sitting on counter. Try to find a recipe for chicken-creamy-something-put-it-all-in-a-crock-pot-and-leave-it so I can at least get an hour or two of writing done before kids need to be picked up. Give up on recipe books and find something on pinterest in ten seconds. Chop and dump and put nutritious food in crock-pot.  No space, so empty dishwasher and refill it first. Finish crock-pot meal prep. Realize coffee is cold. Nuke it in the microwave.

Remember that kid needs gym clothes washed. Reset laundry that I washed yesterday because it’s been sitting there overnight and has a bit of a smell (I have a thing with smelly laundry...). Trip over cat. Feed cat. Realize dog is outside in the rain. Let dog in and dry his muddy, disgusting paws.

Remember coffee is still in the microwave, cold. Nuke it again.

Sit down for two seconds to take a breath and realize I don’t have coffee. Go to get coffee. Look at the clock and realize it’s now noon and I haven’t had breakfast. Grab a banana. Sit down. Hear the washer finish it’s cycle, go switch it over, but the dryer is full so empty that and fold clothes. Put gym clothes in washer.

Remember coffee is still in microwave. Nuke it again.

Sound familiar? I’m sure you’ve all had similar days. Big, empty days off that suddenly evaporate and it’s fifteen minutes before you have to go again. How does it happen? Some days that coffee is never warm enough to drink it, and I’m lucky if I write a hundred coherent words—today being one of them.

The good news is, I’ve finally managed to sit down with my laptop and I’ve got two hours left to write. The dog is dry. The crock-pot is cooking. The laundry is doing it’s thing, the counter is clean, the groceries are put away, the recycling is out, the fridge is full and I’ve turned on some peaceful music to write by.

And guess what?  My coffee is beside me.



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