Contrariness or Procrastination? Maybe Both

The surest way to keep a project going is to make up your mind that the project is finished.

At least, this is the way of things in MY world, which is a contrary world and a confusing one at that. Yesterday I resigned myself to certain facts: one, that poems for the fairy tale (those "interruptions") and the myth section of the manuscript were not coming as easily as they did a few weeks ago, and two, that the deadline for my sabbatical report was fast approaching and I needed to print out whatever I had so far and begin writing the report.

These were fictions more than they were facts. Actually, "fact" number two is still pretty much true -- I DO need to start writing that report -- but I woke this morning thinking about beginning my revision of the first two scenes of the verse play, and ended up writing another interruption poem. I'm happy with the result, but I find the situation laughable. The verse play is never going to be written, at this rate.

Something in my nature ensures that I will always avoid what I think is most timely and important. I have no idea why this is -- I'm not going to attempt psychoanalysis (because I'd probably be lousy at it, and/or frightened by the result) -- but I've noticed this tendency in both my writing life and my academic life. Hell, AND my family life.

Laundry needs to be folded? I'll vacuum or file papers. Need to file papers? I'll go do laundry. Need to grade papers? I'll answer emails. Need to answer emails? I'll grade those papers! Need to work on my play? I'll be magically hit by inspiration for a manuscript poem.

Nonetheless, this was a good way to begin my writing week. I narrowly escaped having a depressing and lackluster beginning -- yesterday morning was dismal as far as the creation of something new. I did work on the manuscript. I typed an entire page of notes and attributions on the myth poems, which was necessary but not necessarily creative. I still need to do the same for the fairy tale, too, and I'll probably avoid doing it for a while because yesterday was so exhausting. I made the mistake of sleeping in and then trying to write while the kids were running around. Well, at first they weren't running around -- they were eating breakfast quietly and watching cartoons. But then they finished breakfast and they became bored with cartoons, and, well -- CARNAGE! CARNAGE! CARNAGE! (Actually, just a lot of bickering on their part, and then wild laughing and running around, followed by some yelling by either myself or A., followed by about two seconds of quiet, then more bickering. Then more wildness. Repeat cycle. ALL DAY.)

Transcript from yesterday:

A: If I hear you two fighting anymore, you're going up to your rooms.
The boy: Yeah, to play!
A: No, not to play, to sit on your beds.
The boy: You're poop.

Aaaaaaannnnnnnd, that pretty much sums up the parent-child dynamic in our family.

Anyway, so now I'm going to get ready for work and feed those children, who are beginning to wake up and . . . you guessed it . . . bicker and act wild! On Friday I managed to clean off my desk -- no small feat -- although this was after I somehow managed to leave all of my graded quizzes at home and neglected to brush the boy's teeth before we left the house. He informed me of this as we were about 10 miles away from his daycare, so I had to make a quick run to the store, buy a new tooth brush and toothpaste, run back to the daycare, brush his teeth, and then arrive at work about a 1/2 hour late. My transition from caregiver-to-sick-child to working-mom was not smooth, to say the least.

Today, and for the rest of the week, Little Miss Talkalot is going to her brother's daycare because the elementary school has their customary-and-inconvenient-for-working-parents Winter Break. I've promised that on one of these days she can come visit the college with me, and she is oh-so excited. (I'm sure my colleagues will be too!)

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