Thursday, October 2, 2014

Finding My Footing

So remember a few weeks ago, when I was figuring out how to best organize my life and balance everything and find time to do the writing I love with the family I also love? And I was pretty sure I had found the balance? And I was out of the summer laziness and into a great fall routine?

Well, it's pretty obvious how that turned out.

If you're still with me and are not a member of my family, thank you from the bottom of my heart for sticking with me. I've barely been on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest. I've definitely not been blogging. Once in a while I'll have something with a hard date on it, like when a book comes out or someone is actually paying me, and I'll forgo sleep to get on board, but mostly, I'm still in flux.

There's not a big reason that I'm struggling to find my groove (note to people who just latched onto the word "struggling". I am not struggling in any real sense. No worry is necessary). It's more that when our fall schedule started, I just can't quite figure out a way to make it routine. 

I think one of my issues is that I keep latching onto the "as soon as".

As soon as I get caught up with housework I can get things organized.

As soon as things are organized I will make a schedule to keep it up.

As soon as I'm up to date with everything it will be easy.

Here's the thing. I keep convincing myself that as soon as I get totally organized I will able to start a maintenance plan. But here's the thing. I have two young children at home all the time. I'm never getting completely organized to my satisfaction. I get something about 75% done, and then I need to abandon it to drive to an activity or break up an argument or supervise something. By the time I get back to it, the 75% has dwindled because two little children have gotten their mitts in it, and the next chunk of time is spent redoing something I just did (just in this situation is anywhere from several days to several weeks). It's frustrating.

I really don't think it's that we lost the "preschool" time. Frankly, Madison is busier now than she ever was in preschool, and since I'd still have Reagan with me, it's not like I lost a chunk of "me" time. It's not anything in particular - just that I lost my footing somewhere over the past few months, and I've yet to get it back.

Now I have had several people suggest that I take a break from writing. "Remove that stress!", they say. "One less thing!". I don't like hearing this and although it's slipped in the short term, I have no intention of letting it go further. At first I thought it was because giving something up would make me feel like a failure. I don't think that's it. I'm ok with finding a balance, and I realize I can't do it it all.

But here's the rub - I like this writing thing. Writing and connecting keep the Meredith part of my life alive and well, and keep me from drowning in the Mommy portion. I'd rather be busy trying to balance my writing with my home life, than be busy solely because I'm trying to keep the floor vacuumed between dance drop off and pick up. I'd rather have play dough under my kitchen table and a sense of balance in my life than a constantly clean house.

So this week I'm tipping the balance back. Rather than waiting until the "as soon as I'm organized" moment, which, let's be honest, is never going to happen, I'm dedicating the time to getting back on my writing feet this week. That may mean some laundry and pick up suffers. I'm ok with that. I don't know one person who goes through life, especially life with small children, feeling like they are on top of their game in all areas all of the time.

So what's happened the past month? I'll catch you up quickly, and with a teaser that all of these things have full posts about them sitting in draft form somewhere. If not in an actual folder, in my head. All the words are there...I just need to put them in the right order.

Madison officially started homeschooling instead of returning to preschool.

Madison started dancing more. She moved from an hour of preschool dance to several hours a week of "pre-team", which involves a lot more than any of us were used to. Which makes me a "dance mom". Which, most of the time, is nothing like the stereotype (with the exception of a few who seem to think they need to fit some sort of caricature, and try admirably to be noticed by a reality show producer).

Reagan has had to figure out how to idle - something she's never been all that great at.

I am involved in several new books. My Other Ex released two weeks ago, and actually prompted the first contact I've had with one friend in ten years. This book is powerful. Raw. Honest. I could not be prouder to have a story included. On the other end of the spectrum, Clash of the Couples is releasing in two weeks. Building off the material that Adam and I have developed together and that I shared a piece of last spring in I Just Want to Be Alone, I shared one of our most ridiculous arguments. If you haven't read these books yet, you need to. Amazon. It's easy. Trust me.

Reagan continues to be the most adorable, challenging, stubborn second child I could have ever imagined. She is sweet and cute and absolutely adorable, but this kid will not do anything if she senses someone wants her to do it.

I remembered that "Girls' Night Out" (also known as Girls' Day Out, Mom's Night Out, Mom's Night In, and pretty much any time I'm getting together with any female who doesn't require wiping of a face, nose or butt) is incredibly valuable and deserves more scheduling effort.

The Magic of Santa Claus might just last from September through Christmas.

The gym is more than just exercise.

Dry erase marker has become my least favorite instrument for written communication.

A paper planner has made me a dinosaur...and I'm OK with it.

A good sitter is worth every penny.

With my resolve to dive back in BEFORE I get to "as soon as" or have my feet firmly planted, I should be back to oversharing with gusto fairly soon.

Of course, I started writing this five days ago. And I'm finally able to hit publish. So, apparently, slipping a bit on my unsteady feet is possible.

But slipping beats standing still any day.

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