This is how it happens: at first you pledge to write every day and then you do. Then you give yourself weekends off, because that just seems reasonable. Then you take the occasional weekday too, because the kids are sick or you’re on holiday. Or both. Often both.
You begin to write less than you don’t write.
Then the pendulum swings back. Or you find it, give a big push, grunt and pull a muscle in your shoulder to get that bad boy swinging again, because I need to get to 100 posts. I pledged it! I will not break my pledge!
Since my last blog post I accepted a part time job that starts relatively immediately. It was supposed to start today but there was some paperwork missing so I am waiting to hear when it starts. I will work two days a week and a third day every other week. It is pretty much the most perfect schedule I could hope for. I’ll be working for my old employer, for whom I have not worked in six years, but in a different department, which means I am fulfilling my obligation of returning to work after taking a maternity leave pay top-up. The pay is great, the work is..
..the work is not great. It is fine. It is administrative assistant work. I can do it. It’s not hard. But it’s not great.
It’s not a calling or anything.
But I have to do something, and of all the somethings I’m qualified to do, within the constraints of my old employer to whom I owe either time or money, this is the best thing.
No really, I am happy. Though with happiness due to change in status quo comes stress. They are two sides of the same bagel. They come in the door holding hands and smiling.
Saint Aardvark is modifying his schedule to help take the kids to school and back. My mother will help out one of the days. I am hiring a babysitter type person to look after the third day. I have new corduroy pants. I already try to get up early, although as the days grow shorter, darker and rainier, this is harder. Pitter pat, pitter pat, the rain falls on the roof and the duvet is warm and I can still hear the phantom cat purring. It is hard to get out of bed at six o’clock. BUT I WILL DO IT. Soon.
Right now I am having some tea, listening to Radio Paradise, and smelling the banana chocolate chip muffins I just took out of the oven. In half an hour I will fetch the children from school. I hope they’re happier than they were when they went in this morning.
Correction: Eli is as happy as a songbird full of fresh bugs. He loves school. He loves soccer. He loves his friends. He loves playdates. He loves recess. I ran into his teacher at the grocery store the other day and she described him as “such a happy little guy” which was quite a head-scratcher for me but then I realized he is. He is happy. Everything is in place for him.
The other child, the previously happiest child ever, is suffering beneath the weight of the world this week. He stays up late reading and the mornings are hard. This morning he slept in until eight o’clock and then insisted he was not going to school because it was too dark and cold and wet and he was too tired. He sounded like an adult. And no, a mental health day is not the worst thing in the world when you’re seven, but also, soon I will lose 50% of my time my time and I really am selfish. I am. He had two sick days — actual sick days — last week and that threw my whole tentative new schedule into a spin.
In the immortal words of my old first year professor, Allan, a man who had lips like a Muppet and a pocket full of change that he jingled while he lectured, life is flux. (Not fucked as Sarah and I used to write it in our notes where we should have been, well, note-taking.) Flux. Life is flux and we can ride the waves smiling.