Over the past several months I’ve had a lot of successful “one step forward” moments in my quest for self awareness amid the whirl of work and family life.
This week, though, was definitely “two steps back” for me time, but good for the family’s bottom line. It is never easy to maintain a schedule during school vacations. Kids are home and eager to do something 24 hours a day, as long as it isn’t education-related.
So even though they see me at my desk writing, or behind a closed door trying to meditate, or reading something I want to think about, it doesn’t seem to sink in that they should leave me alone. Their focus is narrow. I’m off, so you should be, too. Aren’t you at my personal disposal?
Soon, the room where I have my office begins to feel like a train station.
“Hi,” one says, plopping onto the couch. “Whaddaya doing?”
“I’m working.” “Oh.” Then a pause. “Can we go do something?” “Um, I’m working.” Oh.
A half an hour later: “Hi,” one says again, plopping on the couch. “Whaddaya doing?”
This week I have had six assignments going at any one time with two others on deck for when I can take a breath to look at them. That is the motherlode in the freelance world and, as they say, you have to strike while the iron is hot, or something like that.
I realized the key to getting work time was to say yes to requests for sleepovers and trips to the movies. I might drive one way, but have a few hours free on the other end. And when kids stay up late chatting, they sleep late, giving me the morning for undisturbed writing.
So even though I’m pretty stressed, the kids were often bored, and we all wished we might have flown off to Florida or taken a Caribbean cruise, I needed to work this week. And because I did, we may be able to think about going somewhere warm in April. If we do? I’ll meditate when we get there.