Business as Usual (Business Sucks)

I have four letters of recommendation I have to write today. And a slew of "to-do list" items to tackle, things that make me break out in a sweat when I look at them, realizing the extent to which I'm behind. And not a hell of a lot of time in which to do them.

Bright spots in my semester continue to be the moments in teaching that prove truly engaging and rewarding -- like, for instance, the two independent studies I'm doing this semester. One of my students is writing a nonfiction novel/memoir piece about his experience with childhood cancer, and another of my students is creating a full-length musical, replete with songs. It's been amazingly fun, so far, in the two meetings I've had with both, to talk about their work with enthusiasm because 1) the work shows so much promise but also 2) because they show so much investment in their own work. It's just sad that students who give a shit are the exception, not the norm. But that's how it is with most people you meet, right?

Boo, cynacism. I should be more upbeat.

I should make a special, emphatic note, too, I suppose, that my family isn't the thing that gets in the way of my writing life. Maybe it has, in the past, but not currently. I feel as if work is sucking away my attention from BOTH my writing and family life.

At the Pen Parentis Literary Salon last month, I said that last semester I made a special, concerted effort to spend more time with my family and make sure I was home with my children more . . . and it ended up being my worst semester, possibly ever. And yet. I don't regret that decision. I just wish I'd figured out how to make it all work.

I'm still trying to figure out how to make this all work. My goal for this semester, a kind of best-I-can-hope-for, is to keep this spring from being an extension of the fall. If this semester could be even a degree better in terms of organization and efficient use of time, I'll be . . . well, not exactly happy, but satisfied to a degree. It will be a small win, but a win nonetheless.

So to end this weird, patchwork post, here's a picture of Mosey, my current morning writing/reading partner, whom Vampire Toddler calls "More Puppy." (Sober hasn't been demoted, but chooses to sleep out in the kitchen in the vain hope I'll feed them earlier than usual.)

His sleepy/disgruntled face says what I feel.



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