Yes, there is trouble in my paradise of free mornings while my angelic little tyke is at preschool. The course my husband teaches got cancelled (damn economy, it was only a matter of time before our family was impacted), so I’m going to be looking for work.
Which led me to wonder: what exactly can I do?
write stories (good ones, sometimes)
read lots of books, and read fast
bake chocolate chip cookies
consume vast quantities of chocolate chip cookies
critique and edit manuscripts
complain about my messy house
shush a three-year-old until she finally decides to go to sleep for the night
I can totally make friends with cats (just ask my neighbor’s cats – they fell in love with me today when I was locked out of my house…long story)
arrange coffee dates with friends
compose lullabies (and check dictionary.com when for the millionth time I cannot be sure of how to spell “lullabies” – turns out I was right the first time)
write endlessly about myself (last I checked, there was not much of a market for memoirs of people who haven’t really done anything unusual or groundbreaking)
speak some Spanish, less French
type a gazillion words per minute
wear stylish new reading glasses
realize when the list is getting boring, and stop a few bullets after that point.
shamlessly advertising me, in my stylish new reading glasses, doing some scholarly lip-pursing
So if anyone out there wants to pay me to do any of those things, well, I’m your girl. Available in the mornings, during not-so-quiet play time, and after eight p.m.
As a homebody stay-at-homie, I’ve found that tasteful dress can go far in making me feel better and in positioning me to expect a better day. And even if the day is doomed to be crap (hello feverish whiny toddler), wearing ill-fitting clothes that make me look like Hagrid cannot possibly help. Below are some Don’ts I have compiled for myself.
wear a tight camisole and boxer shorts. While such an outfit might be comfortable in hot weather, I don’t want to have to rush to my bedroom to change if someone knocks on the door.
wear the same ratty pair of sweatpants every single day. It’s just bad for morale. (Yet I do it day after day after day.)
wear clothes that are tight. Life is too short; I shouldn’t squeeze myself into anything.
wear clothes that need safety pins to stay together. A certain pair of Husband’s hand-me-down boxers comes to mind here. Granted, I was pregnant when I wore that particular garment, but still. No more.
try to wear t-shirts in summer. Tank tops were made for a reason. Personally, I find the sleeves on t-shirts irritating when it is hot. I guess I’m a California girl through & through.
wear stained clothes. The one exception is to have some dirty-work clothes. Only wear them when doing things like painting or having food fights.
flash too much flesh. I am not guilty of this one (I don’t think?) but there was a particular young mother at the zoo one day, wearing a belly-baring halter top. It is not my place to judge…okay, fine. I judged. If I wear a belly-baring halter top, please judge me. But only after giving me a sweater to hide in.
Do…wear comfortable clothes that make me feel glorious. Do embrace color. Do clothe my body in soft fabrics. Do find things that fit and are flattering for my current body (not the one I had when I was twenty, not the one I had when I was twenty-five, not the one I had when I was pregnant with Z).
Do…plaster feel-good positive affirmations over every mirrored surface.
I love my kid with all my heart AND I also truly believe the adage, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”
Because I’m really struggling.
Like, a lot.
It helps to make fun of it, find the humor in the situation, but the truth of it all is that this Summer of the No Naps is completely maddening. It’s hard to restructure my routine, especially my writing routine, around this no-napping thing.
So yesterday Husband took Z to his parents’ house for the day. I went out to lunch with a fellow English-nerd friend (she wore these AWESOME earrings decorated with colons and semi-colons). Then I bought six diary books at Borders (a little excessive, even for me, but this IS my favorite brand of blank book, and I don’t know where else to get them, and I don’t know how much longer Borders will be there). Then I had iced tea at a nifty little cafe downtown, and stopped for a nice chat with another friend and critique partner before heading home to write.
I wasted time when I got home. Too much time. It’s what happens when I’m not in the habit of putting my booty in the chair and working on the manuscript. But my friend Seven and I made a pact to write for at least one hour every evening, and that pact should give me the forward momentum I need to get through the remaining 33 days until preschool starts.
So let’s do this. I have some blank books to fill with new manuscripts as soon as I finish revising this one!