Thursday, December 31, 2009

Year in Review Haiku

Three kids grow so fast.
Homeschool schedule flexible,
but oh, so busy.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Are You Kidding?

An editor contacted me in mid-December and asked if I could get an article done by January 4th. It was a pinch, she said, and I could decline. But I have such a difficult time turning down assignments. I figure it helps my future career if I am a reliable and responsive writer. Though I have no idea what my future career looks like, and I don’t know why I don’t consider what I do now my career. But those are questions for another day, I think.

In this situation, I suggested to this editor that I write an article that recycles some old research and she accepted. I figure that the research is always the hard part. If I just had to pound out an article, it’s easy breezy. Okay, I agreed.
Of course, holiday hoo-haw is always more than I expect it to be. We started the month with holiday activities, which included a downtown adventure with friends, a holiday choir concert for both big sisters, a holiday choir performance on TV for one of the kids, two performances of a play in which both big sisters participated, and a piano recital. In addition to our already full schedule of classes and activities, we made plans to make holiday gifts for friends and family, celebrated Hannukah, set and decorated our tree, made and decorated cookies, shipped a giant stack of gifts around the country, cleaned the house in preparation for entertaining, culled less-loved toys and personal items to donate to those who need them more than we do, and so on. Our holiday celebrations included gatherings with friends, and gatherings with family over multiple days. I still had to wrap gifts and make sure Santa’s orders were placed and received. Phew!

All of this hoo-haw plus a small article to write.

In the midst of holiday hoo-haw, I mentioned to two close friends that an editor asked for an article due January 4th. They said, well, of course you declined. Neither employed the slightest hint of sarcasm or ironic tone. Sheepishly, I said, well…..I said I would do it.

“ARE YOU KIDDING?” they both burst out.

It seems that they know me better than I should know myself. I think I should hire them next time I need to say no to someone.

Actually, the fact is that I am almost done with the article and it really hasn’t been painful at all. I did have an abundance of research that I haven’t yet fully employed and it was a familiar and easy topic for me. In fact, it has made me realize that I should try to do more of the same! If I could recycle my research and articles a few times, I could certainly earn more for my time. But the effort involved in pitching and building relationships with new editors is sort of out of my bandwidth at the moment. Maybe I will find some room for real career development when my youngest has grown a bit more. There is something about having a two year-old that is both magical and exhausting.

Despite the fact that I have accomplished my holiday goals thus far (well, with two gifts that I wanted to finish on time, but did not, though the receivers of the gifts are extremely easy-going and won’t mind the delay), it has been a little tighter than I wish. I have also had a difficult week with some digestive issues that are probably stress-related.

I always envision the relaxed, peaceful atmosphere of homeschooling and holiday time. And I then realize that the relaxed, peaceful atmosphere that homeschooling and holiday times can bring are really created by me for the rest of the family. I get a lot of help from my co-parent, and he works hard in high own right. But, it’s so often my work and effort that allows everyone else to sleep in and take life a little easier. Maybe this all pays off when the kids are old enough to appreciate what I do and help in a more meaningful way. I will let you know.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Time to Myself

I enjoyed the strange luxury of a day to myself to run errands. I bought holiday gifts, pet supplies, books, and craft supplies. I visited a dear friend and her new baby. I even sat down for 15 minutes (because who can spare time when there is so much to pack into one day?) to gobble down some lunch. By myself.

In some ways, it was heaven. And in some ways, it was dreadfully lonely.

At the end of the day, part of me still wanted to keep on driving and knock of some more errands without any helpers. But it was very nice to come home to my boisterous bunch. Well, except for the mess they made while I was gone....

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Why I Haven't Written

This tired mama
desperately craves more than
two hours of sleep at a stretch.