For those of us in Upstate NY it’s hard to believe the long, frigid winter is finally behind us. Odd to think about, as we face high eighty degree temps later this week and I sit here and listen to thunder rolling. Whoops (pause to unplug laptop).
But summer is on my mind right now for a few reasons, all of which relate back to my writing career.
1. Training has begun again for my fifth Iron Girl triathlon. It still blows my freaking mind that five years ago I could barely dog paddle and hadn’t been on a bike in 20 years. Sure, I’m still slow as hell, but I do it. This year I’m fueling my body better and am focusing my training on strength and speed, hoping to make some decent progress in my times.
2. We are working with an autism consultant for my son. School has been horrible for him this year. Don’t even get me started on the Common Core; that’s bad enough, but we just learned that he’s essentially being ignored in school. Not out of any malicious intent, but because he’s just a quiet, well-behaved kid. Which is nice to hear, however, he is not the squeaky wheel he needs to be. So we have to be. We have some major decisions to make for next year which have the potential to affect our entire family. I’d always been vehemently anti-homeschooling, but seeing my son slowly shut down over the last couple of years has swayed me to considering it, albeit reluctantly. We have a little time; the decision doesn’t have to be made today, or even in August– we could give it a go in the fall and see how things go. If he gets the special education teacher I want him to, things could be just fine. If not, well…
3. Our summer weekends are filling up quickly, as they always do. My husband will soon have his annual panic attack that THE ENTIRE SUMMER IS OVER!!! in May because I’ve scheduled the weekends, leaving nothing free. Well, that’s kinda the way it works, sweetie. I have my race, he has his (Tough Mudder–my husband totally rocks), we’ll run a 5K or two for the hell of it (something else I never thought I’d do). Most remaining weekends will be spent at my in-laws’ cottage at the beach.
The weekdays fill quickly, too. Up until last year, the kids were busy in the summer. My son doesn’t qualify for summer programming, so they went to a camp for a couple of years that was run by the school. Then the administration of that camp changed, and I had to pull them partway through the summer.
Last year I was still working part time at the Y, which took up some of our time, but I resigned in August. So we have the entire summer yawning ahead of us. We need some structure, sure. My husband works at home which is super helpful– except when it’s not. When I have a seven and ten year old upstairs playing, someone gets offended, and the screeching begins. Not all of it by my kids, I confess. Then my poor husband, who is trying to work or talk on the phone with customers, storms out of his office.
Yeah, vacation weekdays are rough.
My challenge: I like to pants our vacations, just as I like to pants my writing. However, both my writing and my schedule benefit from some structure, some guidance. I need to balance my need for alone time, my need for writing time, my need for training time, my need for time to keep the house clean, with my need to keep the kids out of the house or quiet so my husband can work, with my kids’ needs to stay busy and see friends, with my kids’ needs to also NOT be busy, to just chill out at home and do nothing and just…be…kids.
I will have to schedule every day and it’s going to give me hives. But something has to work better than last summer, when I rarely wrote. Right now I’m on a pretty good roll thanks to this Fast Draft class and I’d like to keep it up. Maintain that momentum. I actually feel like I may be able to finish this novel in May which is HUGE for me. And a little scary.
But the best part of following a schedule will be that everyone gets their own time. And we might actually accomplish all of our goals, which will be a a beautiful thing.