Drift

It’s been about ten days since SA officially finished up for the summer.  I’ve to NLNRU three times, to SA twice.  I’ve written some, not a lot.  I’ve been to a baby shower, taken an overnight (on a boat!) to a beach town with Stubb and the Snork Maiden, observed our wedding anniversary, seen one play and one movie (Brave with the Snork Maiden, Stubb, my sister, and her kids).  I had dinner with my sister and our aunt, and Stubb and I hosted our niece for a sleepover while the Snork Maiden went on an impromptu camping trip.  I’ve also started getting paperwork together for a possible refinance of our house and helped Stubb with the clearing-out-the-back-room-and-painting-it project, and in the background has been a constant flow of emails and phone calls for the conference.

And yet I sometimes feel that I’m drifting in purpose, not quite sure what my priorities are right now.  I have a lot of ongoing tasks at both NLNRU and SA, and these could suck up a lot of my days if I let them.  I think that my book manuscript has a problem that needs fixing.  The conference has a way of rushing in and filling up any unused time; I could easily spend the weeks from now until then putting those tasks first every day, but I don’t want to do that.

What seems to help is a version of the rotation method I learned from Ancrene Wisse and wrote about here.  Only I’ve added a sort of macro level to it: I’ll spend half the day at SA and only do SA things, or the day at NLNRU and do all NLNRU things, or the afternoon on writing and only write, and just keep rotating.  I do have to swat emails from all corners every day, but otherwise I’m just cycling through the areas of responsibility.  I can tell it’s summer because a) I’m taking more time for fun and b) I get to dictate a lot more of my own schedule.

I think it’s really helping that I admitted to myself that I don’t have summers “off“; I’m more realistic about what my summer can look like.  And, although I didn’t get a summer residency (one of my goals in that post), I did find a way to get away by myself in August.  I made the travel plans  for that conference/writing trip, and I’m really looking forward to it.

So, today!  It will be half writing, half organizing/clearing, and will end with dinner at my mom’s.  I should really finish the refi stuff, but I really don’t want to, and I know that nothing will happen on it until Monday anyway–so I’ll leave it until I can’t leave it any more over the weekend, and that will just have to do.  I know that if I do what I want to do (writing and organizing) I’ll get a lot done, and if I try to make myself do this thing I don’t want to do, I will waste a lot of the day.  At least that’s what I think.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Yeah, I think maybe I should re-think the “summers off” business, because I find myself resenting things like teaching the three-week summer program because it feels unfair to have to do something like that when I’m supposed to be “off.” But if I thought about myself as a year-round working person who had really generous vacations, maybe I would be more cheerful. I always feel so whiny to complain about the things I have to do in the summer, when of course I’m so lucky to have so much more time off than most Americans.

    Reply

  2. […] gave NaNoWriMo a go this year, and my school-year and school-break and summer-vacation posts are often about how to find more time for writing and not to let it get crowded out by the […]

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