Monday, November 9, 2009

Stop the world, I want to get off.

Last post I said I was trying to do a Mini Nano -- write 25K in a month. I'll probably get it done, but ...

But I feel like I'm juggling a hundred balls in the air and only just managing to catch them. Woops, there goes one.

There's the writing -- a new book, completely new, lots of research. It's an alternative history set in Australia. Don't want to say anything more about it but it excites me and that makes me glad to wake up in the morning.

But there are so many other things in my life ...

There's my family. I love them madly. Want to do the best by them. I just wish I had all the answers. Sometimes you have to let people go and do things, for them to find out if it works.

There's work -- a new job. I'm getting the hang of it now, enjoying the challenge, enjoying the other lecturers, enjoying the students. (and enjoying the regular money!).

There's volunteer work -- I'm setting up a national workshop for developing writers, for Romance Writers of Australia. I love the challenge and the people I'm working with are great.

Then there's the unexpected. A drunk ran into the back of my daughter's car. She wasn't hurt, but it meant sorting out insurance. The car got written off. Now we have to help her get a new car.

All of these things get in the way of the pure joy of writing. The photo I chose for this post reminds me of being a child and having the time to simply look at things and see how remarkable they are. There was an empty block of long grass on the way home from school. I was always looking for magic in the real world. I used to think the way that grass looked in the sun was magical. Now, I have to stop and make myself notice things.

I tell myself, this is just a high traffic time of life. In the next couple of years half of my six children will move out. One day it will just be my husband and I, pottering around.

Until that day, keep juggling ...

Is anyone else feeling as if they'd like the world to slow down?


Nicole said...

Rowena, that absolutely fits with the way I've been feeling lately - everything is a have-to (even the writing), nothing is a want-to and so I'm not enjoying it.

I like your thought of taking time to find the magical. I guess attitude is part of everything.

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Nicole, like you, I'm doing stuff I love, stuff I want to do. But I'm scrambling.

What's wrong with this picture?

Are we setting ourselves unrealistic goals?

Could we live with ourselves if we didn't?

Nicole said...

Maybe that's it - that we feel we can't fail, or can't give up something that isn't working, or can't say no when in fact none of that is true. life would still go on, we'd still have our family and friends and the things that REALLY matter.

So I think what we should recognise is that we've chosen this life and we can unchoose it, and that will give us back a sense of control over things.

Flinthart said...

Cheez, Rowena. I've only got three kids, and I'm desperate. This afternoon: Spanish with the boys, followed by martial arts. Tomorrow: after school, extended orchestra practice in Launceston. Friday: mid-day violin exam in Launceston for the younger son, followed by orchestra practice for both boys. Therefore I'll yank 'em out of school for the day. And probably take 'em to the local Show in the morning before the exam, because they really want to go and they cannot go on Saturday because:

Saturday: from 0700 to 1100, I'm doing my CUb Scout Parent Duty, helping park cars at the Scottsdale show. But at the same time, Natalie is taking the boys to YET ANOTHER orchestra rehearsal. WHich is leading up to the Saturday night concert, in Launceston.

We'll probably rent a room in Launceston, because hte concert will end late and the kids will need a bit of sleep. Besides, if we stay in Launceston it will be easy for us to meet the visiting medical student at the airport. (That would be Grace Dugan, by the way. She'll be staying with us for a month, assuming the kids don't drive her mad.)

And then it's Monday, and back to school again, with sword training in Launceston in the evening for me...

I was desperately hoping that you, a little farther down the family/parent track than I, would be writing about the light at the end of the tunnel.

Rowena Cory Daniells said...


Some of the things we have control over. Some we start in motion and just have to hang on for the ride.

Like kids. See Dirk's post. :->

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Dirk, I feel for you. There were times when Daryl and I had to be in three places at once, some evenings, and that was without doing any of the things we wanted to do.

There were times when I had a 15 minute envelope to pick up one child and drop another at a different lesson.

It doesn't get easier, but it does become different. When they are little you can love them madly and be the official 'what I say goes'. When their bigger you still love them madly, but you have to stand back and watch them struggle, because it will weaken them if you take over. And besides if they are anything like the Mau Mau, they are a force of nature and nothing will get in their way.

I'm hoping that thing will settle down when they are all over 25.

All 6 of mine (plus an extra) are still at home, chopping and changing study areas, dealing with dramas. Thinks Days of our Lives times Brady Bunch, only more complex because it's real and there's no happy answer at the end of the episode.

Tearing your hair out yet?

I wouldn't swap it for the world. I've learnt so much as a parent, about people in general and about myself.

And besides, it is worth it when you make a joke and your sons pat you on the head and say 'Clever little Mummy.'