The past few days have been, um, character-building. I’ve spoken before about the problems of being “Generation Squeeze,” where one is pulled in two directions by the demands of aging parents and of teenage/young adult children. While we were looking for housing in Albany, which was stressful enough, thank you, my mother-in-law’s assisted care residence called my husband three times in the space of 24 hours about problems with her.
In the same 24-hour period, we both missed calls from our eldest son, who never calls, preferring to text. We got in touch with him the next day, hoping he was okay, to find out that he was calling for his brother, who was in trouble with his university. Great: 700 miles away from the mother and 1400 miles away from the son, we sat and worried.
Meanwhile, my muse was just happy as a bear at a fish ladder. “Oh, this is how Maeve feels when . . .” and “this will work well for this scene.” Oh, please, can’t I just have a nervous breakdown without turning it into prose? The answer of course, is no; the writer part of me uses all of this, working through the emotions and the worry and the pain to infuse what I write with all of it–refined, cleaned up, less self-indulgent, but real.
However, even my ebullient muse is slowing down with the worry, the calls, the trips to pick up my son (yes, the trouble was that serious). I’m not dropping out of the Round–if anything, I need this community even more–but I am scaling way back for the time being. I may scale back up before the end of the Round, but I may not.
My only goal for the foreseeable future is the test mile. As Kait said in the check-in post, it needs to be a stretch; right now, 250 words is a stretch for me. Most of it will not end up in my fiction, but it will keep me sane (I hope).
Writing: I forgot to thank all the #teamsprinty folks last check-in. I joined in one day late last week with 15 minutes to go, and wrote 616 words. Whew! It was just great. I recommend doing sprints with them if you have the time–it’s 2pm EST if you’re available. It is such a wonderful group!
Exercise: Packing is wonderful exercise, I am finding. My shoulders and back are particularly sensitive, so I am glad that I have an 18-year-old that I can supervise for all the heavy work. I am still walking, so that continues apace.
Friends: I have a character flaw that I don’t want to bore or burden my friends when all I have to talk about is my troubles.
Family: As I mentioned above, our younger son is back home for the next few months. Our older son wants to talk to us tonight about what to do with his life. I am pleased that they trust us enough to want to ask us advice; it doesn’t mean they will follow it, but listening is something.
Dealing with my dad is bringing back all kinds of lost little girl feelings; if that were not enough, my brother has further tests this week to ascertain whether his cancer has returned. Simply put, I am a total mess.
Day Job: My bosses have encouraged me to take all the leave I can manage. No fool, I am very good at taking hints.
Please encourage all the other ROWers here.