Thursday, May 26, 2005

Prisoner release DENIED

No happy food ramblings today, no strange knitted toys, and not even a little rhapsodic waxing over someone else's wonderfully written novel: today I'm feeling sorry for myself.

I had my hopes up that Brian would follow through on the plan to take the kids up to the cabin for the long weekend thus freeing me to work on my long-neglected novel for 3 days without interruption. But Brian has come down with a pretty bad cold--a sore throat so bad that he has trouble swallowing anything that isn't liquid and noticeable fatigue. I may not always be the most sensitive spouse, but even I know it isn't fair to send the guy off with two insane bundles of energy when he's feeling that lousy.

I was, however, surprised at how disappointed I felt last night when I realized that my mini-writing retreat would not be happening. I've been keeping that part of my brain pretty much in prison since Ian was born (that's almost 5 years, folks) and told myself that realistically I wouldn't have enough time or energy to face it until both kids were in school. I convinced myself that I was ok with this. Brian's suggestion of the free weekend was kind of like an early prisoner release promise that was withdrawn at the last minute. I was already peeking out through the bars and anticipating what freeing that part of my brain would feel like.

Anyway, instead of continuing this poor-me rant, I am going to try something a little more proactive. Today I'm going to call my mother-in-law and see if she will agree to take the kids for one day a week for the summertime which I will turn into my writing day. I already feel guilty suggesting this since she is probably too nice to say no and a full day with them both can be exhausting. But hopefully the guilt I feel will motivate me to use the time well: I hereby publicly promise that if I can pull it off I will not end up using the day to run errands, clean the sty-of-a-house, do any of the myriad home improvements we have started and never finished, or even relax with my other 3 obsessions. I will use that day to write.

4 comments:

Annie said...

I'm so sorry your writing retreat won't be happening this weekend (feel better, Brian), but am happy to witness your writing promise--and maybe make one of my own! I've been neglecting my writing lately.

But: When I was still working on the dissertation long-distance, my mom would occasionally watch Elliot, and I was always surprised at how productive I could be. Once you start to make some progress, it gets even easier.

I hope it works out!

Eva said...

Oh kate, I'm so sorry; you have my full sympathy. You should definitely get some childcare respite lined up for for the summer. I'm certainly a better mom when I have time for my own pursuits, and have absolutely no guilt looking for breaks from mothering to indulge in things that are important and gratifying to me (currently looking for a good sitter in fact if you know of anyone looking to pick up some hours...). And your mother-in-law and Ian and Fiona will presumably win too in this arrangement. M-I-L will be drained for sure, but it really is a nice opportunity for them to have time together without you or Brian around, don't you think. This is probably the most transparent justification line of reasoning ever, but I do try to convince myself of this when groveling for childcare help from our parents.
By the way, where did Ian do preschool? Were you happy with it? Ruby will be going to the Ann Arbor Coop Nursery next year, where Henry has been for the past two years, and oddly enough there are 6 openings in the 3s class for the fall (usually there are long waiting lists). I forget how old Fiona is, but wondered if you might be interested in enrolling her. It's a wonderful place and the teacher is phenomenal.
Hope you get SOME time to yourself this weekend!

ami said...

I'm sorry you won't enjoy your writing retreat this weekend. John and I are certainly glad you're finding time to write here. I know it's not your novel, but it is damn fine writing (and educational too). So when you have the time to return to Strange Animal, your prose will be in excellent shape.

Kate said...

Thanks for the affirmations, y'all. It is reassuring to hear from others that it is better to respond to my own needs and feel a little bit guilty for dumping the kids rather than keep the kids with me every waking moment and feeling like a part of my brain is crazy and clawing to get out.