Something strange has happened to me now that I am spending so much time at home. I just want to get rid of stuff. Like, all kinds of stuff. I want to clear up, clean out, and reboot. Maybe that's what happens when you have a near-death experience. You simply want to take all the crap out of your life and symbolically take all the crap out of your system too. It's been a short weekend to a long week -- not a lot of visitors this week, which was good. I really needed to rest, but I am also starting to get bored of being in the house all the time, which isn't surprising. The other day, we walked to the Dufferin Mall and that was actually my favourite walk of the week. Not because we were in a mall but because we had great conversations along the way and my RRHB made me laugh. In fact, the two of us being at home so much has brought out a lot of patience and heightened sense of humour. There's a comraderie between us when it comes to the RRBB -- there's patience and understanding, the odd sharp word or misconstrued tone/meaning, but for the most part, it's been really terrific to have this time together.
Anyway, that's not the purpose of Notes From a House Frau. I'm trying to find ways of fitting my own life back into this new life we have created. Whether it's getting a closet back in order or finding a moment to write a new opening sentence to my novel (it was recently rejected by not one but two agents; I'm not giving up -- both of their feedback was excellent but I can't say I'm not disappointed). There has to be a way to balance what I want out of life, all of the things I had planned pre-RRBB and what I know I need to provide for him. Tips, tricks from experienced mom/writers out there?
On the whole, I haven't found a good moment or a good writing routine yet. Colour me silly for imagining that would be the easiest part of mat leave -- that the baby would have to nap sometimes and I'd be all awake and intense and ready to go. Writing for me is an amazingly slow process. I mean, I write quickly, but it takes me a long time to get what I write, well, right. I know the problems with my book and how to fix them, now I just need to find the right house frau routine to work that in with the other more intense things I'd like to do in a day.
It's amazing how just accomplishing one or two things from your to do list makes you feel like a regular person despite the muddy, foggy loss of true distinction between night and day. Right now baby has those mixed up and therefore so do I -- I take my iPad to bed and get email finished at 3 AM. I've got a whole whack of projects, knitting projects, getting out my mum's sewing machine and sharing my writing desk with it, clearing out all kinds of crap I've been carrying around for decades. I mean, I don't need my Nancy Drew books. I'll never re-read them and RRBB won't either -- as it's a well known fact in my industry that girls will read boys books but boys won't do the same, so out they go (to a very good home and a very lovely girl, mind you).
The disease has taken its toll on me in so many ways. At the height of the baby's fussiness, I sent an email to a friend stating, "How did you do two, TWO!" and she wrote back, "How have you almost died X number of times and survived!" It's all a matter of perspective. Right now, my world consists of very little sleep, a lot of words bashing around my head, plenty of unread Globe and Mails, and entire bookshelves full of titles I am going to work my way through. I've gotten my reading back or, rather, I've managed to fit that back into my life, now I just need to find a nook and a cranny for the writing because if I don't get this book done and dusted this year I might just have to shelve it -- and I don't think I want to do that at all. There's value there, there's a book there, it just needs another draft. And maybe an agent willing to work with me to get the book into better shape.
I also would love to start writing articles again. I miss that a lot -- I did a lot of it when I worked for Alliance Atlantis, lifestyle-type fluffy pieces on road trips and lipsticks. The first one I would pitch, should I ever pluck up the courage to actually pitch anyone, which so isn't me, is a bed rest/hospital stay survival guide for high risk pregnancy women. It's such a hard situation. When I was on the 7th floor of Mt Sinai there were women there for months. I mean MONTHS. Can you imagine spending that much time in a room you have to share with another person or, at the worst, three other people. Walking the same hallways, eating the same poor excuse for food, finding a way to feel human isn't easy in those situations -- everything about it makes you realize just how sick you are, and the implications for your mind when your body is failing are very hard to come to terms with, especially with 52 doctors coming in and out on a regular basis. Somehow, I think it would be a good story for people to read -- mine, but I'm not sure how or where it could go.
Anyway, I cleaned out a closet yesterday and it was very rewarding. It added more items to the rolling to do list, which is the greatest organization invention of all time as every intern who ever worked for me knows (I make all of them do them), but I now know where my other Michael Kors strappy sandal is, and that actually felt like an accomplishment. Not that I have anywhere to wear them, but at least they're a pair instead of being stranded and lost within my own house.
My second favourite photo of RRBB. He's finally started to semi-enjoy the bath.