Overwhelmed, So Please Excuse the Public Freak-Out
Next year, I am going to set my school email account with one of those automatic "out of office" reply messages that states I'm unavailable during the month of July and that I will respond to emails, AND DO SCHOOL-RELATED WORK, beginning Aug. 1. Really. Someone remind me about that, please. 'Cause I'm sure I'll forget and be all like, "oh, whatever, I can handle it," and then come mid-July I'll be a freakin' nut case, all stressed out because, very clearly, I CANNOT HANDLE IT.
I'm having trouble focusing. I can't figure out how to see projects, even very small ones like folding laundry or running an errand, to the finish. I begin something, and naturally Vampire Baby or Little Miss Talkalot or The Boy interrupts as it is their wont and their right to do, but then I forget. I move on to something else. And as a result, my entire house looks like one of those antique shops that has shit piled upon other shit -- you know, those cool ones where you know you're going to find something good because it's evident that even the owners have forgotten what's buried under there -- only my house doesn't have cool antiques, just a lot of paper and clothes and toy and random plastic crap clutter, and it's turning into a pretty accurate representation of what my mind is like, too -- filled with clutter.
I adore my children; I love having three kids. The best part is how they enjoy one another, how the older children adore the baby and how she so clearly adores them. We laugh a lot. There's lots of "I love yous" and kisses and hugs being bandied about, so that part is working out all right. But I am NOT very good at the being-responsible-for-three-kids-and-two-dogs-and-one-household system yet -- the technical, functional, but necessary crap that everyone else seems to be able to handle with aplomb. You know, the BEING AN ADULT crap. And I'm especially not good at being adult AND being a writer AND being an academic.
I have so many emails to write (and I'm ignoring them right now, to vent on this blog. In a few minutes, the baby will wake up, and then I won't be able to use the computer anymore). I have union business and Creative Writing Festival business to wrap up before the beginning of August. (That's still, like, six days away, right?) I have writing projects to attend to, that I WANT to attend to: reading A.'s manuscripts, which I promised him ages ago (I'm really sincerely sorry, A., that when you came by the other day I didn't have them for you); writing the poetry of witness article, which is a project that's approaching -- what, a year old?; my verse play (oh my god, THREE YEARS OLD); and poems, ideas for poems, something that might even be something like a collection if I could get my head on right and begin the work in earnest.
I feel like I'm at a precipice. I'm either going to have a fabulous mental breakdown or I'm going to have a fabulous mental breakdown followed quickly by major overhaul of my life in which I implement a series of systems and practices that enable me to keep my head, and the lives of my precious little family members, in order.
I don't really want to implement systems and practices. I'd love to be a little more organic and relaxed about my life. But I don't see how I can possibly keep everyone clean and well-fed without some kind of list-having, schedule-following habits in place.
I just can't seem to find the time to think clearly enough to actually come up with those lists, or to devise a schedule. And the summer keeps slipping away.