The Restless Squirrels

I have a running image of when my thoughts from various To-Do Lists start caroming about in my brain, jumping over and colliding with each other as they pick up ever more speed.

 I call them “the squirrels in my head” — and these days those squirrels are becoming RESTLESS.

Being a still new-ish single mom of course brings the expected challenges, but the one challenge is learning to be patient that some things will just take more time because now everything is on me.

The cracked foundation, in which my kitchen and the converted garage is slowly but surely sliding into the neighbors next door? How about the fencing that is falling apart due to dry rot, a couple of hailstorms, and the carpenter ants? And — hey — the entire front part of the house’s shrubs are all DEAD.

All of that will have to wait until my personal loan that paid off the mortgage is paid off. I’m estimating that that will be a couple of years. Until then — I’m watering the heck out of that side of the foundation while praying that the plumbing doesn’t warp too much, and I’m patching the fence and weeding the front as best as I can.

The sequel to my novel, in which I had plotted out the entire book before I paused to get ready for my fall classes four weeks ago?

That sequel has been in limbo as I tackled one story problem after another, until — after reading one of my favorite novels and listening to way more RadioLab than I should — I realized that one character had NO REASON TO EXIST. Back to the drawing board I went, and I only now feel somewhat confident to return to novel writing — when I  can carve out the time, teaching six classes.

Getting the kiddo ready for kindergarten next year?

Yeah — right. That has shut down as I’ve dealt with his flu for the past two days, becoming reacquainted with the profound sleep deprivation hearkening to my maternity leave days. As it stands, he has one more year in pre-K (he’ll be 5-going-on-6 when he starts kindergarten next year), and it’s in last pre-K class where he’ll experience FIELD TRIPS for the first time.

Can I micro-chip my kid? No? Is that unethical? Yes? How about tons of temporary “I’m lost — call this number” tattoos?

Also, he’s still the most hyper/active/kinesthetic kid in any class he’s been in — whether at preschool or martial arts class. Not that I think he’s ADD or ADHD (I know what that looks like), but another year learning how to deal with a structured learning environment is EXACTLY what the kiddo needs. He — like me — has his restless squirrels, but he hasn’t learned how to discipline them yet.

Being an educator, I’m tempted in putting in a sabbatical leave, just so I can 1) work on novel 2, and 2) be there for my kid as he starts kindergarten. I just haven’t figured out how all of that will benefit my school — which is the whole point for the sabbatical. I’ll be paid, so the “Great Debt Reduction” project can still continue, albeit not fast enough for me.

Patience patience PATIENCE. I’ve always been an impatient person. Now, as a single mom, my impatience could drive me to distraction, if I let it. So.

So — the usual mantra holds. One thing at a time. One day at a time.

And, squirrels — stand in line. And wait your turn.

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This entry was posted in AVOCATIONS, Creative Writing, Family & Parenthood, QUIRKS, The Writing Life and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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